September 29, 2005

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Members present were Supervisors Dave Bracken, Bob Stephens and Bruce Baker along with Secretary-Treasurer / Manager Dave Hirko and Solicitor Bill Barbin. The meeting was called to order by Dave Bracken, Chairman with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Board Roll Call was taken with all three Supervisors present.

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:

Stephens, second Baker to approve the minutes of August 15, 2005 and August 25, 2005 Board of Supervisors meetings. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$    62,572.02

$ 139,147.69

$     158,050.65

$     43,669.06


$ 1,314,604.24

$   63,588.23

$       42,890.55

$ 1,335,301.92


$     47,627.20

$       130.05

$       44,908.30

$       2,848.95


$     27,615.78

$    2,450.73

$         2,007.43

$      28,059.08

Supervisor Stephens
said Iíd like to make a comment to get an answer concerning one aspect of the bills. I noticed that if you go on down concerning number 24 on the agenda and the $3,980.00 to Harper & Gallo. . .in the bills themselves we have $7,299.00. Manager Hirko said there was another bill submitted and it was for materials. Stephens said and thatís separate. Hirko replied yes. Stephens said and thatís over and above the $3,980.00. Hirko replied yes. Stephens said, and thatís actually part of the $7,299.00. Hirko answered yes. Joe Baxter stated that the materials were purchased by Recreation and the machinery work was done by Harper & Gallo. Stephens asked, why wasnít the total amount included on Agenda item number 24 transferring the money. Why the discrepancy and differences? Hirko replied, we donít have to transfer everything out of the Capital Fund. Stephens said, thatís what I was asking. So thatís actually part of that $7,299.00. Hirko replied yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve the bills for the period of August 26, 2005 through September 29, 2005. Vote-3 yes.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$      158,050.65

$      44,908.30

$      2,007.43

Township Police Report:
The July-August, 2005 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures for July-August were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 801. Reportable Incidents were 74 broken down as follows: Criminal Mischief-14, Harassment-12, Theft-11, Burglary-8, D.U.I. (Driving While Under the Influence)-7, Assault-5, Disorderly Conduct-4, Arson-2, Drugs-2, Threats-2, Homicide by Vehicle-1, Public Drunkenness-1, Rape-1, Receiving Stolen Property-1, Resisting Arrest-1, Stalking-1 and Vehicle Theft-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-14. Traffic Citations Issued-57. Accidents Handled-29. Criminal Charges Filed were 34 broken down as follows: D.U.I. (Driving While Under the Influence)-7, Harassment-6, Assault-4, Disorderly Conduct-4, Criminal Mischief-3, Drugs-2, Threats-2, Public Drunkenness-1, Receiving Stolen Property-1, Resisting Arrest-1, Stalking-1, Theft-1 and Vehicle Theft-1.

stated that we received two letters requesting contributions and weíve contributed to these organizations the past couple years. The first one is from the Home Nursing Agency and theyíre saying to date this year they have 212 visits to 4 children and adults in Jackson Township and they are a non-profit and theyíre asking that we consider the same donation as last year which was $300.00. The second letter is from the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company asking for a contribution to help defray treat expenses for the Halloween Parade and last year we contributed $500.00.

Old Business:

New Business:
Mr. Greg Simmons
of the U. S. Department of Defense gave a poster to Secretary Hirko to post on the employees bulletin board. Simmons said he represented the Department of Defense as well as the Coast Guard and we understand that you currently have an employee serving overseas right now. You understand that under Federal law, her job is protected, right? . . .And that the Township should honor all pay raises and seniorities as if she never left. . ok? This plaque is from the Department of Defense and weíre presenting it to the Jackson Township Supervisors now. If you guys have any questions in the future about when she comes back or if she comes back, you have to do this or that, check with me as Iím the legal advisor for this area. Iím leaving some cards here and this form needs filled out and you can mail it to me. Are there any questions. No questions were asked by the Board. Simmons added, it means a lot to the Community when you guys support the Veterans in our area. Those guys got enough to worry about and shouldnít have to worry about their jobs. Chairman Bracken read the plaque and it said, itís a statement of support for the Guard and Reserve. It says, we recognize the National Guard Reserve as essential to the strength of our Nation and well-being of our communities. In the highest American tradition, the patriotic men and women in the Guard and Reserve serve voluntarily in an honorable and vital profession. They train and respond to their community and their country in time of need. They deserve the support of every segment of our society. If these volunteer forces are to continue to serve our nation, increased public understanding is required of the essential role of the Guard and Reserve in preserving our national security. Their members must have the cooperation of all American employers in encouraging employee participation in Guard & Reserve. Therefore we join other employers in pledging that: Employment will not be denied because of service in the Guard or Reserve, Employee job and career opportunities will not be limited or reduced because of service in the Guard or Reserve, Employees will be granted leaves of absence for military service in the Guard or Reserve, consistent with existing laws, without sacrifice of vacation; and This agreement and its resultant policies with be made known throughout our organization.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve subdivision of Mazie Savering & Barbara Meekins. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize membership in the Greater Johnstown Watershed Association at a cost of $25.00 per year. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to ratify granting permission to the Nant-Y-Glo Tri-Area Museum & Historical Society to use space in the NAPA Building for storage on a temporary basis. The Township reserves right to cancel agreement on a 30 day notice. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes. Stephens said Iíll have to abstain due to a possible conflict of interest since Iím a member of that Association.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to set mileage reimbursement rate at IRS approved rate, currently 48.5 cents per mile, retro-active to September 1, 2005. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to authorize the Solicitor to begin the process of adopting changes to the Zoning Ordinance as recommended by the Planning Commission. Supervisor Stephens said, Iíd like to make a comment. I think the proposals in general that we receive should get out and reflect what the Board collectively wants for the Solicitor to incorporate into this Agreement or Ordinance and I think we ought to get out and conduct a meeting to facilitate that. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes. Stephens-no.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to authorize Solicitor to file injunction against Leisure Village for violations of Subdivision & Land Development and Stormwater Management Ordinances. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on approving Kleban Easement for Adams Avenue Drainage Project. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to approve Highway Occupancy Permit and Municipal Mitigation Fee Agreement between Rager Mountain LP and Jackson Township. Supervisor Stephens said, Iíd like to make some comments. . .I think # 20 & 21 are inter-related and I have a number of questions that Iíd like to ask the Solicitor before I make a statement. The Supervisory Board to my knowledge did not participate in negotiations with the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority. Our interest would be, how much money will the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority invest in the construction of this project. None I know of. Why does this proposed agreement give the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority about 10 square miles of Township controlled sewage rights over what is needed for the construction of this project. Why isnít there an end contract date specified. Since I came here I learned that thereís some kind of different proposal made at sometime around 2:30 this afternoon to make changes. These questions need answered in a meeting with the Supervisory Board; therefore I feel that the agendaís # 20 and # 21 be tabled until the Supervisory Board meets and negotiates with the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority. Concerning this, Iíd like to ask Mr. Barbin his legal opinion concerning this matter. Are you Solicitor or were you Solicitor for the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority when this agreement was proposed to the Township? Solicitor Barbin replied, yes. Stephens continued, Were you Solicitor for the Township when this agreement was proposed or in an interest of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority? Barbin said, youíll have to repeat that. Can you put that in your own words. Stephens answered, these are my own words. Barbin said, that didnít end right and I donít know what it meant. Stephens asked, weíre you solicitor for the Township when this agreement was proposed by or in an interest of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority? Barbin said, I canít answer that. . thatís a double-question question. I have been Jackson Township Solicitor during this entire process and I have also been Johnstown Redevelopment Authority Solicitor during that entire time. Stephens continued, Do you own land along a road that will be affected by this proposed agreement? If you own land that may be affected by this proposed agreement, would your land be worth more? Barbin answered, If I decided to sell it. Would you sell your home? Stephens said, or subdivide. Barbin asked again, would you sell your home? Iím not going to sell my land any more than youíre going to sell your land. Stephens continued, I would like your legal opinion if you may have a conflict of interest or have the appearance of a conflict of interest in the outcome of this proposed agreement concerning agenda items #20 and # 21. Barbin said if weíre going to talk about a conflict of interest, letís talk about them separately. The one youíve been talking about the last 4 minutes, item # 21 is a Sewer Service Agreement between the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Johnstown, Jackson-East Taylor Sewer Authority and Jackson Township. The advice I have given Jackson Township concerning this from the beginning has been Jackson Township should not approve anything until JETSA and the Redevelopment Authority are both happy and both work out their differences amongst themselves and when that happens, then once they both agree to it, then the Township will be in a position to approve it. The Township shouldnít stick their nose into it and the Township should refuse to stick their nose into it until JETSAís happy and Johnstownís happy. I donít feel that I have a conflict in giving that advice to the Township. Stephens said, the Supervisory Board is here to vote on this matter and therefore they have authority over this matter, otherwise we wouldnít be voting on it. Itís my understanding that JETSA as a Sewer Authority is recommending to the Board to accept this the way it is. Iím not satisfied. . .I think we need to go into further negotiations by stating this at a Sewer Authority Meeting and I think the Board should have the right to participate in these negotiations. Barbin said Jackson Township has authority under the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act to designate service areas within the Township and you have a right to say in this geographic area of the Township this will be the service provider, in this other geographic area of the Township this will be the service provider and the Township has the right to do that. This agreement draws a boundary line that within this area. . . . Johnstown Regional Sewage will provide service directly to customers and allow JETSA to tap into the line from outside the area to use the line and outside that line the area is reserved for JETSA or anybody else the Township might designate in the future. Stephens said Iím not disputing that. I agree with it 100%. What I am disagreeing with. . . .in order to consummate this agreement weíre giving up approximately 10 square miles or more. I went to the Courthouse and researched this and spent 4 hours or more. Barbin asked, did you look at the map attached to the agreement? Stephens replied, yes. Barbin said itís closer to 4.5 or 5 square miles Bob. . not 10. Thatís still a lot of land. Thereís no question, itís a lot of land but thereís no way itís 10. Stephens said, from a negotiation and management standpoint I think itís redundant on our part to get out and move in and accept an agreement that we give up a whole lot. Iím in favor 100% of Rager Mountain and the Landfill having this line go in but how itís done, how itís negotiated, I have a problem with. I donít think that weíre bargaining properly when we give up in my opinion, approximately 10 square miles and the right to get out and service the rest of these facilities. If they wanted, and this is what I stated to the people involved, to put this line in I would consider directly along Rager Mountain but when they want Dishong Mountain Road clear to the Indiana County Line on the west side and over to an arbitrary line on the east side between a red and a blue line. . .itís not real definable except based on what direction the water flows. . . I think this is something we all need to look at as a Board itself . . .to participate in these negotiations. I think we can do better and thatís my opinion. Barbin said, the line was negotiated between the two Authorities. Greg Shaffer went back and forth between Johnstown and JETSA and there were several different versions of a map worked out but the two people that provide sewage negotiated and agreed to the line. You can say that the Johnstown area is the whole way down to the Indiana County line but thatís a 1500 feet in elevation drop. Nobodyís going to pump sewage 1500 feet uphill. Stephens asked, why did they want it? Why would they want all this land? Barbin replied, the Indiana County phase. . . because itís not relevant, nobody drew a line on that side because it doesnít have to be divided on that side because you canít pump sewage uphill 1500 feet and everybody, JETSA, Johnstown. . .everybody looking at it knew that. Nobody felt a need to draw a line on the west side. On the east side, JETSAís on the east of Dishong Road. . . .theyíre running the sewer line along the ridge top and thereís a limited amount of space on each side of the ridge top where you can cost effectively pump sewage uphill to get to it. It might have been better long-term for everybody to run the line down Laurel Run down the middle of the gravity drain but DEP would have taken years to approve something like that on a stream and it could be done effectively and provide development in the area by running it down Dishong Road. The fact is the people who do the sewage negotiated and agreed so what are you going to negotiate? Stephens replied, let me get out and finalize this with this statement. Since you know so much about it, donít you think it would be more important that the Supervisors Board know as much about it as you profess to know about it? A vote was then taken. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes. Stephens-no.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to enter into Sewer Service Agreement between Redevelopment Authority of City of Johnstown, Jackson-East Taylor Sewer Authority and Jackson Township. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes. Stephens-no.

Motion Stephens, second Bracken on authorizing contribution of $300.00 to the Home Nursing Agency. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on authorizing contribution of $500.00 to the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company to help defray expenses of holding the annual Halloween Parade. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on transferring $ 42,890.55 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $8,000.00 to Wyse Memorials for Veterans Monument, $6,009.70 to Pashek Associates for work on Master Recreation Plan, $5,810.73 to Quaker Sales for road paving materials, $5,257.18 to P. Joseph Lehman Engineers for work on Comprehensive Plan and Drainage & Road Projects, $4,475.44 to Naugle Insurance for September installment, $3,890.00 to Harper & Gallo for excavation work at Leidy Park, $3,765.00 to Howards Flag Poles for Veterans Monument Project, $3,393.00 to Kukurin for work done on Pike Road Water Project, $1,289.50 to Hegemann & Wray Engineers for work on Pike & Ogden Water Projects and $1,000.00 for a contribution to the Miners Community Food Pantry. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on approving the time sheets from August 14, 2005 through August 27, 2005, August 28, 2005 through September 10, 2005 and September 11, 2005 through September 24, 2005. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:
Baker, second Bracken to authorize the Solicitor to draw up an Ordinance to erect no parking signs along Route 271 from Simmons Lane to the south side of Moshannon Drive. Supervisor Stephens asked, is this on both sides or just one side? Supervisor Baker answered where the problem is . . the west side. Stephens asked, is that in the area of St. John Vianneys? Baker said, no, itís in the area of Fred Sell and Mike Homan. Stephens asked, whereís Moshannon at? Baker replied behind Fred Sell & Mike Homan. Stephens said, Iíd like to get some more information about the proposal. Baker said, certainly not intentionally, but at the Supervisors Meeting on June 26, 2003, there was a complaint made about parking along Route 271 blocking visibility and such. We had a guest Solicitor that day and it was never followed up on. Itís been brought to our attention again and I thought we addressed this but it was incomplete. We asked the Solicitor then to look into putting signs up there and what it would take and it never materialized because there was a mis-communication between us and him. Stephens asked, this would be on the State highway, right? Baker replied, correct. Stephens asked, whatís the State regulations on this? Solicitor Barbin said, I talked to Bob Mills today and for parking signs only, thereís no State regulations. Speed limits need their approval, weight limits need their approval but parking ones donít. Stephens asked, what about the State law concerning parking along the State highways? Barbin replied, we donít need any approval and itís written right in the Township Code. Stephens questioned, thereís no State law that you canít park along a State highway? Barbin replied, no and Iíve had this problem in Washington Township about 15 years ago, we had a real serious problem with people parking at an intersection and somebody died and the State answered, thatís not our problem, itís the Townships. Stephens asked, are we trying to regulate State right-of-way or are we trying to regulate property outside the State right-of-way? Barbin said, the justification for no parking signs would be safety along the road. What I think youíre getting at is, are we indirectly trying to regulate the business that is grandfathered under the zoning. Stephens answered, not necessarily. Barbin said, that would be improper to do that but the complaint as I understood it is at times there are so many cars that park along there that they block visibility of people pulling out onto the road. Safety would be the justification. Stephens asked, what would be the State law on the amount of visual distance you have to have pulling from a parking space out onto the highway. Barbin said, for a driveway sight distance, it varies. I see the State apply different rules to people all the time. Stephens said, that would depend, but what Iím getting at is along a major highway in our Township, we should know precisely or exactly what the State law is concerning that. Barbin replied, thereís no State law about what this motion is. Stephens asked, are we trying to regulate where a person can park on their own property? Barbin replied, no. Outside the State right-of-way, we have no jurisdiction and taking it one step further. . .there apparently is a driveway permit from the State and if people pull in to the private property and park onto the private property, thatís not our jurisdiction and our police officers could not cite the person for that. Our police officers can only cite if any part of a car is parked along the public right-of-way. That would be the limit. Stephens said, ok. . just so we know weíre particularly specifying that weíre not infringing on the property owners right to park on his own property. . . but only on the State right-of-way. Barbin answered, right. Clair Michaels asked, will you check into it and find out how wide the State right-of-way is out there? Chairman Bracken answered, 60 feet. Barbin added, thatís pretty standard. Michaels said, I was just making sure. Barbin said, we canít do anything without knowing that number. Thatís the total width. . right? Michaels said, not from center. Barbin said, you take your total width and divide it in half. We need to check so we know that number authoritatively. Betty Lou Shoup asked, along the same line, how wide is Moshannon Drive. . is that 60 feet. Barbin replied, I doubt it. Baker said, thatís 40 feet. Barbin said, thereís a road docket in Ebensburg that has these numbers set down right and I donít want to start making numbers up and telling you. Bracken said we have the same no parking signs up on the other side by Bill Naugleís business down past the Lutheran Church past Bracken Street on the right hand side of the road coming northbound. They were put up for the same purpose. Barbin said, but they have a right to park cars on their property. Baker said, now unfortunately the State issued him a Highway Occupancy Permit with the intent that the vehicles would park in the parking lot . . . theyíre not. . but the State wonít enforce it. Barbin added, and thatís the problem with the State. Bracken said, technically it isnít a business. They say it isnít. Manager Hirko said, thatís unrelated to the traffic safety issue. Barbin added, and we donít have a mercantile tax and we donít have anything for them to declare whether itís a business or not and because with zoning, whatever it is, it was there before. Will Michaels said, I donít know. . it was brought out before and I think some of this is personal vendettas against certain people and I donít know if thereís as much of a safety problem there as you people want us to believe there was. Who was the complainant? Ed Bernat said, Iím the complainant. Baker said weíre not going to get into a debate. Barbin said, in our meetings we do not address other people in the audience. . .thatís a sure way to a fight. Will Michaels said, Iím Will Michaels, Iím not somebody else. Baker said, explain it to him when one of his kids are killed because they pull out. We only address the points. . . .we got a complaint. . .weíre addressing it. . .unfortunately two years later. Will Michaels said thereís a lot of things in this Township or across the United States where things could be done. Bernat said, that has to do where I come out or my family comes out and on several occasions we have to pull up the opposite side of the berm so we can see and I donít think itís right for my wife and kids to have to pull half way out on the highway to be able to see up and down the highway. I donít think thatís right Will. Barbin said, please do not do that. Thatís a courtesy we offer to everybody in the Township. Bernat said, we shouldnít have to do that on a regular basis and I just donít think thatís right. Dick McDowell said, Iíd just like to make one suggestion that could help everybody out. When you put up those no parking signs, is there some way of lining off where the edge of the right-of-way is so that people will know whether theyíre parking on the right-of-way or not? Baker said, we could do that but then youíre not going in and out the designated area. Barbin said, thatís a violation of the State. . . but thatís a reasonable courtesy to mark where the edge of the right-of-way is after we have the Ordinance. That probably falls within the category or reasonable. Stephens said, there might be some places where that wouldnít be practical because they might have a barrier out there or something so it would be kind of a judgement call. Hopefully we can get out and facilitate doing this. Barbin said, so go out and mark where it is because we can only regulate the public right-of-way. Stephens said, the signs will have to be on the right-of-way. Barbin agreed, thatís right. . .we place our signs on the edge of the right-of-way. Thatís the common sense way to do it and then the marks always there. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Public Comments:
Ed Westrick
asked, on the new garbage system, the letter we received from Waste Management was unlimited curb service for household trash and large items such as appliances, carpet cut and other bulky items if bundled in 4 foot lengths no bigger than 40 pounds and furniture to the curb for weekly pick-up. The other day when I received my sticker for the next three months. . (Westrick held up three stickers that said Bulky Tag and there was one for October, November and December). Supervisor Baker said that was an absolute complete mistake. It will be addressed in the newsletter to go out. Manager Hirko said, throw them away. Baker said, it was a complete mistake Ed. . just disregard them.

Chairman Bracken
announced that the Board of Supervisors next scheduled meeting will be held on October 27, 2005 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to adjourn the meeting at 7:40 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary