September 30, 2004

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Members present were Supervisors David Bracken, Bob Stephens and Bruce Baker along with Secretary-Treasurer / Manager Dave Hirko and Solicitor Bill Barbin. The meeting was called to order by David 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:
Richard Sutter
of Richard Sutter & Associates spoke on the updating of the Comprehensive Plan. He said that he met with the Planning Commission as well as the Township Manager before submitting a proposal. He added that his firm would be working with Lehman Engineers as there are a number of engineering components in the Comprehensive Plan. Solicitor Bill Barbin asked if this involved the proposal of looking at the re-zoning the current Zoning Map. Supervisor Bruce Baker said that was a separate proposal and that the one being addressed now is for updating the Jackson Township Comprehensive Plan. He added that the Planning Commission recommended we accept the proposal. Solicitor Barbin said that if the Board agreed, the motion to consider the plan could be taken out of order and a vote could be taken. The Board agreed and Mr. Sutter preceded with his presentation. Sutter said the proposal being considered includes a work program that meets the requirements of the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code as well as a budget for undertaking the plan. He added that parts of the plan later in the process would qualify for grant assistance. He then went on to say to get the program started, they are proposing to do the background studies first which would be done in the latter part of this year and into the first part of next year. He said by the time background studies are finished, the grant should then be available to do the actual plan elements. He said the plan is two-phase which would include the background studies and the Comprehensive Plan itself. A final phase would be the actual implementation. The public was invited to comment. Barbin asked what was actually being proposed for consideration. Baker said there was a budget and detailed step-by-step procedures on how the update would take place. Sutter said Phase I would be initiated entirely by the Township while Phase II, III and IV could be funded by a grants and funding could be as high as 70-75%. Barbin said we would be asking for a motion authorizing the cost to initiate Phase I of the Proposal. Sutter said there were a number of sources for grant money including the Land Use Technical Assistance Program as well as DCNR and PennDOT which could help defray part of the remaining local share and said it would be up to Sutter to package those grant applications to be submitted.

Steve Yurasek asked that when this was updated would there be specific points where you go from one zone to another zone. He said he has a piece of property that has 4 zones on 45 acres and that there was no definitive place to start and he already talked to a surveyor. He added that you could not decisively state any starting points from looking at the Zoning Map. Sutter said that we were talking about the Comprehensive Plan and it wouldn’t address Mr. Yuraseks issue however there was a second proposal on the Zoning Map Review Recommendations where his issue would be addressed. He added that we are fortunate in Jackson Township in that the County-wide GIS Computerized Mapping has been completed and that the County is moving from west to east. He said that particular computer program would much more accurately reflect property lines. He said the other issue here is that some properties may have 2 or 3 different zones in them and that wasn’t real good. Yurasek said Kimball Engineers did a "fly over" this year using the same technology as the military and they can pin-point things pretty good. Sutter said that was the firm doing the County-wide GIS and the maps have been made from those photographs which are very recent. Barbin asked if the second proposal for $6750 would incorporate that information. Sutter replied yes and that would be the key not only to Mr. Yuraseks property but anybody else who has that confusion. Yurasek said the map shows that the Commercial Zone is about 300 feet deep down into Vinco but if you take a simple measuring device and walk to the back of the property you would already be in Residential so the back of that building is in Residential when it should be a whole commercial property. He said if you go the other direction past Kamzik’s hardware and you measure, you don’t get to the old road where you’re already in the Residential Zone. Sutter replied that in the old days the way the tax maps were made they tried to get together all of the needs in the County based upon ariel photography, however there was no way of adjusting or measuring things. He added that now with digital mapping of ariel photos it is very accurate. He went on to say that tax maps done 20 or 25 years ago don’t match what’s on the ground and the technology was cost prohibitive as it is today. Yurasek said the military could take a projectile and put it right through a window of a house based on a "fly-over" and map so that’s accurate. He said here we have an incident up here where a fellow wanted to put an addition on a building but he was in the wrong zone to start with and instead of farming he should have been zoned Commercial but he wasn’t and you’re going to have that problem all along Route 22 unless you sit down and really get serious about zoning properties and what they should be. Sutter said now that technology is there at a reasonable cost, it could be done. He added that this is not an unusual problem unless a community has gone through and done an update of their parcel mapping as well as putting in the GIS computerized mapping format. Sutter then said the same problem exists whether you’re in Cambria County or in Pike County.

Clair Michaels asked if the public would have any input on this. Sutter said on the comprehensive plan that they would. Michaels asked if they would be notified in the paper when there would be workshops on it. Sutter replied that it’s part of the process and the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code and funding sources requires it. He added that there will be a couple of public workshops and once the plan is finished the Planning Commission must have a public meeting followed by a public hearing for the Board of Supervisors before it’s adopted. He said you’re probably looking at 4 or 5 public meeting types. Michaels asked if stuff could be taken out at any of those meetings like something that the people really don’t want in there and can it be taken out or are we gonna be stuck with it. Sutter replied it would be up to the judgement of your Planning Commission and what they want to take out and keep in and they make the formal recommendation after their Public Meeting to the Board of Supervisors for adoption where they have a full-fledged Public Hearing where they have a stenographer. Michaels asked if any of that can be taken out if the majority don’t want it even though the Planning Commission wants it or the Supervisors want it. Sutter said it would be their judgement call as you elect the Board of Supervisors to do a whole host of things and adopting a Comprehensive Plan is one of those things but there is a required public process which has to take place and it’s up to you locally to make judgement calls on any one point on that plan.

Will Michaels asked if we would be checking with other bordering Townships and municipalities on their opinion. Sutter said that was part of the process also and said there was a statement in the Comprehensive Plan that specifically involves them and any plans they may have in place as well as how our plan would relate to the County Plan as well. He said while the County Plan is more of a general framework, ours would be more detailed and site specific. He said usually the County Plan wouldn’t go down to the parcel level while the Township Plan does. He added that when looking at our Township he tried to find one similar for comparison. He then said they just finished a multi-municipal which includes Derry Township, New Alexandria Borough and Derry Borough which are located along and near US Route 22. He said they would have similar concerns and problems as Jackson Township would with Route 22 being improved and much depends on what access there will be to the new improved road. He said while more commercial and industrial growth may be possible they also want to preserve their agricultural lands as well. Baker asked if Mr. Sutter could explain other aspects of the participation process including the focus groups. Sutter said there were a number of public participation techniques including Public Meetings, "Key Person" Interviews and Focus Groups. "Key Persons" are included because of their position and examples would be the School Superintendent, Clergy or perhaps someone from various Civic & Social Organizations. He then said focus groups would be for people interested in a single subject such as those interested in Commercial Development, those interested in Recreation or those interested in the protection of life and property. Bob Benedict asked if the actual property owners themselves wouldn’t have a "say so" then except at the meeting. Sutter replied that they would and the range of focus groups are open depending upon what groups you want to have. He said the planning process is "rooted" in public participation. He said background studies that are done include historic, cultural resources, physiography which would include flood plains, wetlands, slopes or any physical features, population, housing, agricultural, economy, transportation, community facilities, police and fire protection, public utilities, solid waste and others. Once the studies are completed we then know what the data says but then we must merge what the data says with input from the public. That then creates the basis of the Comprehensive Plan. Betty Lou Shoup asked how long this process would take. Sutter replied 15-18 months. He added that it takes about 3 months to go through the adoption process.

Tim Davis asked if this process would inter-mingle with the Recreation Master Plan on our agenda. Sutter replied to some degree, yes and that parks and recreation are an element of the plan. He said when applying for grants if you have a Comprehensive Plan as well as one for Recreation, you can enter that in your application and you will get more points. He then said that a Comprehensive Plan is a blueprint for the future and looks at 3, 5 or 10 years down the road. He said if the Recreation Commission is applying for a Planning Grant it would involve long-range planning and the plan would be "dove-tailed" in with the Comprehensive Plan. He added that under the DCNR Grant Program there are also acquisition, development, rails-to-trails grants and others. He said that once the Recreation Plan is developed, other grants can be applied for to help develop that plan. He said recreation would be approx. 3-5% of the Comprehensive Plan. He said the big items in the Comprehensive Plan would be land use, housing, transportation, public utilities, natural resources, etc. Mr. Sutter said the Plan would be carried out in four phases. They would include Phase I-Background Studies, Phase II-Comprehensive Plan, Phase-III-Administration of the Program which would include items such as reports, newsletters, etc. and Phase IV which would actually be implementation which would be where you actually go about building something.

Manager Dave Hirko mentioned that there was a letter from the Jackson Township Planning Commission that recommends that the Board of Supervisors approve Sutter & Associates in conjunction with Lehman Engineers to start the update process of the Comprehensive Plan. Baker then pointed out that a Comprehensive Plan needs to have a Recreation Plan but a Recreation Plan requires the Subdivision Ordinance to have an "open space" provision. Barbin added that if you wish to have a requirement for developers to pay for recreation facilities under the Subdivision Plan, you must have a Recreation Plan first. He added that you we are required periodically to update community development objectives in the Comprehensive Plan and you’re not supposed to leave the Zoning Ordinance adopted and sit forever as things are always changing. Hirko added that the Planning Commission is currently updating the Subdivision Plan so all of the planning processes should work together.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to accept proposal by Lehman Engineers & Sutter Associates to begin work on a Comprehensive Plan for Jackson Township. Vote-3 yes.

The Public Comment then continued. Len Wyrwas said they had a proposal up for taking over Raymond & Eagle Drives and they submitted all the required documents and agreements. He said there also was a signed contract in place for the work being done on the road to comply with the Township Engineers recommendations.

Al Slippy commented that if the Township decides to purchase the NAPA Building he would like to suggest that they consider meeting space in that building that could be used by the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, ETJ Baseball, Softball and other groups organized in the Township that have no permanent meeting place.

Baker, second Stephens to approve the minutes of the August 26, 2004 meeting. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$     71,534,10

$   95,669.05

$   147,124.64

$       20,078.51 


$ 1,416,547.38

$   53,364.99

$     48,397.27

$   1,421,515.10


$    107,514.64

$       122.52

$     86,347.89

$       21,289.27


$     29,845.89

$    6,155.12

$     11,961.05

$       24,039.96

Baker, second Bracken to approve the bills for the period of August 27, 2004 through September 30, 2004. Supervisors Stephens commented that the Solicitors bills do not show enough detail including the people he is talking to. He said the bills should show who called the Solicitor or whether the Solicitor called somebody as well as the subject matter of their calls and recent bills haven’t reflected that. He added that he felt we shouldn’t pay the Solicitors bills until we received adequate knowledge of what we’re paying. A vote was then taken. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-No

General Fund

   Highway Aid Fund

   Senior Center Fund

$  147,124.64

      $ 86,347.89

       $ 11,961.05

Township Police Report:
The August, 2004 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 405. Reportable Incidents were 47 broken down as follows: Harassment-12, Theft-10, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-5, Criminal Mischief-4, Underage Drinking-3, Trespassing-3, Burglary-2, Curfew Violation-2, Protection from Abuse Violation-2, Assault-1, Drugs-1, Public Drunkenness-1 and Vehicle Theft-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-16. Traffic Citations Issued-70. Accidents Handled-6. Criminal Charges Filed were 27 broken down as follows: Harassment-8, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-5, Theft-4, Underage Drinking-3, Curfew Violation-2, Protection from Abuse Violation-2, Trespassing-2 and Public Drunkenness-1.

A letter was read from the Home Nursing Agency requesting donation. It stated that they are a non-profit organization and show an increase in specific visits to Jackson Township are up to 237 from 196 last year and patients increased from 4 to 11 citing a 21% increase. They are requesting a $300 donation compared to last year’s $250 one.

A letter from the Jackson Township Vol. Fire Company was read requesting a donation for to help defray Halloween Parade treat and prize expenses for the event which will be held on Sunday, October 31, 2004. It was noted that last year’s donation was $500.

Another letter was received from St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church concerning the Jackson Township Heritage Festival. The letter wishes to thank the Committee and the Supervisors for all of their work in planning the Heritage Festival and that they look forward to participating next year.

A letter was read from the Jackson Twp. Planning Commission on Ordinance # 133 (amending the Zoning Ordinance). It states that the Planning Commission held a public meeting for public comment on the proposed amendment to Ordinance 118, Section 401 - Conformance and Permits on September 20, 2004. It goes on to say that following that meeting at their regular monthly meeting the Commission reviewed the proposed Amendment on hunting and noted that there appears to be some confusion as to the reason for this change. It states that it was their understanding that some animal rights activist could somehow stop hunting or Ordinance 118 could discourage hunting in Jackson Township, without something in Ordinance 118 saying that hunting is in fact permitted and referenced comments and complaints in the minutes of the Board of Supervisors May 26, 2004 meeting and the draft minutes of the August 26, 2004 meeting. It adds that after hearing public comments on this Amendment, that they believe that what the complainants wanted removed (animal essence) from the Ordinance never was in the adopted Ordinance. It goes on to say that factually in Article II, Section 202, Definitions, Infectious Waste clearly states (Infectious waste shall not include the field dressing of game animals or animals for human consumption). The letter than states that it would appear that those who wanted it changed did not read the Ordinance. The letter states that the Planning Commission did recommend, although not necessary, the Amendment to Section 401 by a 3-2 vote. This vote should reiterate the fact that hunting always was and always will be permitted in Jackson Township.

Old Business:

New Business:
Stephens, second Baker to approve Ordinance # 133 which amends Jackson Township Zoning Ordinance # 118 to include changes that protect hunting in Jackson Township. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to approve the hiring of attorney Ron Carnevali to represent Jackson Township in the Zoning Appeal and Ordinance Violations involving Edward & Bonnie Nischalke. Vote-Bracken & Baker-yes, Stephens-no.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize Harry Baker, Zoning Officer to attend a one day Building Code Official Course sponsored by PSATS on Thursday, October 21, 2004 at the Ramada Inn in State College, PA at a cost of $150 plus reimbursement for mileage expense. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to accept compromise on appeal filed by Waste Management to have their real estate taxes reduced. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to set police hours as follows: 2 Full-Time Officers at working 40 hours per week, 5 Part-Time Officers working 32 hours per week, Shifts will be as follows: 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm and 11:00 pm to 7:00 am, All overtime must be approved by both a Supervisor and the Township Manager or in the event of the Managers absence, 2 Supervisors, All shifts primary focus is to be the patrolling of the Township and all shifts must be covered by an officer on duty. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to adopt Resolution # 11-04 authorizing the submission of an application for a Recreation Planning Grant to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize the advertisement for bids for two new backstops at Mitchell Park using the Cambria County Community Initiative Matching Grant Program. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve Resolution # 12-04 approving participation and cooperation with the Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County in the filing of a Grant application through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and its Community Conservation Partnership Program for funds to purchase new playground equipment for Leidy Park. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to appoint Ashley Baxter to the Jackson Township Recreation Commission to fulfill the unexpired term of Keith Eichensehr which expires in December 31, 2007. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to appoint Jacqueline Crusan to the Jackson Township Recreation Commission to fulfill an open position with a term expiring in December 31, 2005. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to approve installation of 10 fire hydrants as recommended by the Jackson Township Water Authority at a cost of $750.00 per hydrant as part of the Salt Lick - Ebensburg Water Line Project. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to enter into agreement and approve the purchase of the NAPA property on Pike Road from Bernard Kupchella for the sum of $80,000.00 and to engage Attorney David Rickabaugh to provide a Title Certification and closing services for a cost of $400.00. Supervisor Stephens commented that he recalled there was more than one estimate as to the value of this Kupchella Property and questioned why weren’t the estimates averaged. He asked why we are paying top dollar. He said Mr. Kupchella told him and another individual that he would accept $65,000 in a lump-sum payment and asked why are we offering more. He recommended that we postpone this for another month to try to strike a better deal. He added that he was in favor of buying it but buying it at the right price. A vote was then taken. Vote-Bracken & Baker-yes, Stephens-no.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to approve Resolution # 13-04 accepting the dedication of Raymond Drive & Eagle Drive. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize contribution of $ 300.00 to the Home Nursing Agency. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize 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 Baker, second Stephens on transferring $ 49,197.27 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $39,464.50 to Russell Standard for seal-coating of roads, $4,761.89 to Naugle Insurance for September insurance premium, $1,795.88 to Tri-County Motor Sales for truck repairs and replacement parts, $1,375.00 to GCI Construction for concrete pad under recycling bin, $1,000.00 for a contribution to the Miners Community Food Pantry and $800.00 to Creative Signs & Graphics for police vehicle decals and graphics. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken on transferring $ 2,000.00 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the Senior Center Fund - $2,000.00 to Thomas Rummel & Sons Construction for replacing concrete pad by side entranceway. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens abstained.

Motion Baker, second Bracken on approving the time sheets from August 15, 2004 through August 28, 2004, August 29, 2004 through September 11, 2004 and September 12, 2004 through September 25, 2004. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-no.

Other New Business:

Public Comments:
Ed Nischalke
asked if the Supervisors looked into providing garbage service for those on Sharkey Road. Supervisor Bruce Baker responded that he had a conversation with Charlene of Waste Management and she and the landfill felt that there was no reason why there shouldn’t be and when he last talked to her on Tuesday, she was supposed to email us with the confirmation of the start date but she felt there should be no problem.

Joe Baxter commented on non-productive comments. He said at previous meetings, statements were made by Mr. Stephens about being able to use the parks land for grants which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. He asked that before someone starts flapping at the gums or making comments that are derogative or non-informational and only self-serving, that they should do a little research and try to work as one. He added that these comments only infuriate the public and make some people look like they’re not doing their job. He said it’s not needed and not necessary and that Mr. Stephens made quite a few of them that are totally off-board. He said before you make any more you should do your homework and be a little more precise about your figures, your agenda or where we’re going with what we’re doing. He said Recreation has done a heck of a job so far and they try to do within their means of what they have available and also the people involved and we’re not passing any grants up at all. He said before we start making comments that there is too much work out there for one guy to do and we’re not seeking grants, you should sit down in our shoes and pay attention to what we’re doing. Supervisor Stephens said he was told by PSATS that there was matching grants available for donated land and that we’ve had three parcels donated in our Township. He said he didn’t know if the grants at that time were available when that land was donated but DCNR established that there are matching grants available for donated land but it must be done in certain sequences. He said all he wanted to do was to bring it to your attention Mr. Baxter that there was and he didn’t make the statement, but you made the statement that you’re too busy.

Betty Lou Shoup questioned whether there was anything in our Zoning Ordinance that would protect us against potential windmill farms and if not, should there be. She asked if someone wanted to come in the future and build a windmill farm, what would happen in our Township. She also mentioned about the gentleman who talked about garbage and said that in the spring when you have Spring Clean-Up she sees people who have oodles and oodles of stuff out there that can easily amount to a truckload. She asked if you ever thought that instead of having one clean-up a year, have two and that way it might be easier for the men and wouldn’t take so long to collect it and she wouldn’t have to store the stuff in her house. She said suppose the clean-up is tomorrow and the thing breaks down the next day, she has to store that for a whole year and with two clean-ups a year you wouldn’t have to do that.

Clair Michaels said on this Kupchella Property and Al Slippy making comments about having meetings in that room. He asked if it would cost the Township way too much money to re-do that building to make it ok for public use. He said it may be way too expensive to even consider using that building for public use and maybe we should tear it down and go for something else. He commented on everything you have to do to make it ok for public use and bring it up for compliance.

Supervisor Bob Stephens said he would like to respond to Mr. Bakers letter who is Chairman of the Jackson Township Planning Commission, that was read earlier here today. He said that Mr. Baker’s statement "that it would appear that those who wanted a change did not read the Ordinance" was a cheap shot at others that should not come from representing Government Officials. He said Mr. Baker is part of participating in enactment of Ordinance # 118 and should have known it’s contents, he seconded the motion for amending the Ordinance as proposed and then voted for it and then found fault with others for wanting it and publicly chastising them. He said Mr. Baker sounds to me that you didn’t know your job and you want to find fault with others. He said that if Mr. Baker would have read a little further in Section H, Animal carcases, body parts, tissues, organs, blood, body fluids and or remains. He said to him this could have been contradictory and to avoid any misunderstandings, a separate statement that the Township permitted hunting could be beneficial in the event of differences of opinion, ending up in court. He said your statement that this should reiterate the fact that hunting always was and always will be permitted in Jackson Township defies your perception as how do you know hunting will always be permitted. He asked if he spoke for those not yet elected. He said we just want it in "black and white". Supervisor Baker responded that he wasn’t going to get into a "pissing match" with him but if you’re going take a poke at me in public, do a little better job of it next time, because you are wrong.

An announcement was made that the next Supervisors Meeting will be held on Thursday, October 28, 2004 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Baker, second Stephens to adjourn the meeting at 8:07 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary