SUPERVISORíS MEETING
September 30, 2010

 

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

Board Roll Call was taken with all three Supervisors present.

Notification of Traffic Control & Warning Signs Placed Per Ordinance # 139:
Chairman Baker
announced, New School Bus Stop Ahead Signs were placed on each side of 398 Blackburn Road and a School Bus Stop Ahead Sign was placed on the westbound lane of Rt. 22 near Sunflower Lane.

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:
(None)

Minutes:
Motion
Westrick, second Wallet to approve the minutes of the Board of Supervisors Meeting held on August 26, 2010 and September 9, 2010. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:

FUND

Balance
8/26/10

Receipts

Disbursements

Balance
9/30/10

GENERAL

$ 135,089.13

$ 127,794.08

$       99,555.02

$ 163,328.19

CAPITAL RESERVE

$ 698,432.41

$  23,981.99

$ *    44,808.70

$ 677,605.70

HIGHWAY AID

$ 153,302.23

$        41.13

$        4,562.40

$ 148,780.96

SR. CENTER FUND

$   32,484.73

$    2,620.93

$        2,001.94

$   33,103.72

MITCHELL PARK

$      1799.95

$           .76

$                .00

$     1,800.71

* $12,284.00 payment to Keller Engineers for Business Park Phase I Archeological Study done by Christine Davis Consultants and grading plan done by Keller and $32,524.70 payment to Berkebile Brothers for completion of Mitchell Park Project.

Expenditures:
Motion
Westrick, second Wallet to approve the bills for the period of August 27, 2010 through September 30, 2010.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

Capital Reserve Fund

$     99,555.02

$       4,562.40

$       2,001.94

$        44,808.70

Township Police Report
The August, 2010 Police Report statistics were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police: 357 Reportable Part I Crimes: 2 broken down as follows: Larceny-2. Reportable Part II Crimes: 32 broken down as follows: Vandalism-8, Disorderly Conduct-2, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-2, Receiving Stolen Property-2, Family Offenses-1, Fraud-1, Public Drunkenness-1 and all others-15. Calls Resulting in Cases: 25, Total Arrestees: 10, Total Suspects: 0, Total Victims: 15, DUI Arrests: 2, Traffic Citations: 27, Non-Traffic Citations: 8, Total Warnings: 1

Correspondence:
Manager Hirko said, we received a letter from the Nanty Glo Public Library and theyíre doing their Annual Fund Drive and theyíre requesting a donation. Last year we gave them $500.

Old Business:
(None)

New Business:
Motion
Westrick, second Wallet to approve subdivision of Robert L. Walls, Gary N. Walls and Eileen Orner. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Westrick to approve agreement to deposit fill on the property of Ray Wyrwas located along Blackburn Road. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Westrick, second Wallet to approve one year extension of current garbage contract with Waste Management. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Westrick to appoint George Burkey as Zoning Officer for Jackson Township. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Westrick, second Wallet to approve purchase option at the cost of $100 to reserve the right to acquire approximately 33 acres land from Laurel Highlands Landfill, Inc. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Westrick to authorize Township Manager to place advertisement to appoint Barnes, Saly & Company), Certified Public Accountants to perform the 2010 Audit of Township Records in lieu of the Township Auditors. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Westrick, second Wallet to approve contribution to Nanty Glo Public Library for $500.00. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Westrick on approving the time sheets from August 22, 2010 through September 4, 2010 and September 5, 2010 and September 18, 2010. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:
(None)

Public Comments:
Steve Yurasek said, your sewer system failed again boys. I was down there when they brought the pump trucks in to handle the overflow. No supervisor showed up to look and see what the problem is but youíre using 3 trucks to just stay with the water down at the bottom of Singer Hill. Now. . we keep adding houses up here on the top and they keep puttin it down there when we canít handle what we got. Now somebody has got to be responsible enough to say, Iím gonna go look at this problem when itís pourin down rain, not sittin in an office but get down there and actually look. Now, whereís the problem?. . start pulling lids off of manholes and say, why is it when itís sun shining we got a half a pipe and when itís raining, we got a full pipe. Chairman Baker asked, what time did that happen today? Yurasek said, when that heavy rain came this afternoon. Baker said, I wasnít aware of that and I was down there 20 times today. Yurasek said, well, itís about 1:30 and my sisterís basement is full of sewage in plain English again, ok? Sheís so sick, she can hardly get out of bed and she has to contend with that. They ended up. . they put a plug in the line to stop the flow coming over. Now you mean to tell me, with all this so called engineers and so called planners and everything else, you canít solve that problem? Thereís something wrong. . . .thereís something drastically wrong now. This has went on since you built the sewer system. . . it just steady gettin worse. Now you guys need to get together. . you run the Township. George Burkey said, it starts out here at Station 12 . . you get a high alarm out here. . you get a heavy rain like that. . you get water into the system from either sump pumps, basement drains or the terra cotta pipe that was left in the lines when we started. When we started the system and completed, we didnít force people to pressure test the lines which weíre gonna have to start because this is gonna stop one way or the other. We have a solution for their problem. . .weíre going to put grinder pumps in her yard which should have been done by now but I donít know what happened. That would have stopped those two areas there, but this is an ongoing problem. . everybody has it. . .Cresson has it, Johnstown has it, everybody has it. Itís in-flow and we get fresh water into the system. Weíre working on it all the time. . .we have to because if we donít get it out of there. . Johnstown. . the Redevelopment Authority is going to surcharge us for every drop of water thatís in that system so people are gonna have to realize that and help us get the water out of the system. We donít know where this waterís coming from either. It takes a lot of work because the only time it happens is when itís pourin down rain and theyíre out there with the pump stations instead of going around to houses and checkin out viewports to see if thereís fresh water comin out of somebodyís house. Itís hard to find. . itís really hard to find but weíre trying. Weíre working on it. We did stop a lot of it out here. I talked to a man today who knows for a fact people who have sump pumps hooked into the system. He wouldnít tell me who but he knows that for a fact. Solicitor Barbin said, thatís whatís causin it. Burkey said, thatís all you can do. . you canít go in every house when itís pourin down rain and check their sump pump so weíre going to have to start smoke testing. . well. . pressure testing is the only way. Barbin said, yes. . the smoke and dye tests donít really find it. Burkey replied, it helps on your main lines but itís gonna happen to whoever has bad systems under their basement floors and that are gonna have to start digging them up. When we put the system in Brazil Lane & Cherrywood we pressure tested everybody. We had complaints. . my brother paid $4,000 to have his basement drain dug up and they put a new blinder in the pipe but thatís whatís gonna have to happen. Barbin said, that is the only solution and itís costly to every resident. Burkey said, thatís right. . itís not gonna cost the Sewer Authority but itís going to cost those people. Yurasek said, if you narrow it down to this manhole from this manhole. . if you go around when the weatherís nice and you check, youíll see the flow. . you kneel down. .you get each manholeís number. . .whatís the flow now? When it pours down rain, you go and check these manholes. . . if youíre getting a lot of water like a full pipe you know right away. . ok. . Iím getting infiltration within this area but somebody has to go out in the rain whether they want to or not and have to look at whatís going on. Baker said, you guys have been doing that all along, havenít you? Tom Dolan said, they checked mine and there was water in the end when they hooked it up and they didnít even know they hooked it up that way. . now we had to change it because these guys checked the viewport and they seen water on it and I wasnít even home. Burkey said, you can definitely see it in the viewports but you have to be out there when itís pourin down rain. Eugene Kist said, I was at a meeting at the Sewer Authority when they were puttin that line in. They put it in from Creekside Drive out to 271 by Letizias and I suggested to them that they put pumps in. I said you people are wasting your money and they said, are you an engineer? I said no, Iím not an engineer but I try to use a little common sense. I said, Iíll give you a right of way back through my property to go ahead and run gravity flow out to your system. They said, oh no. . weíre puttin grinder pumps in. I said, itís not gonna work and they put it in and itís still not workin and itís not gonna work. I said now, when youíre doing that, connect it with gravity from Mile Hill comin down Benshoff and hook it in. . youíll have all your pipes in. I said Iíll take my machine and Iíll dig it and put in free of charge to you people. They said are you an engineer? I said no but damn it, I try to use a little common sense and theyíd had that line in free and I would have dug it and it wouldnít have cost them a darn cent. Burkey replied, actually, thatís the only place we donít have a problem is where the grinder pumps are because they got backflow devices in them and it canít go back into the house and thatís what we were gonna do with these two once we had dry weather but it wasnít done. Barbin said, put a grinder pump on so theyíre protected. Yurasek said, I hope somebodyís gonna come down and clean up her mess. Baker said, Iím sure JETSAís going to do as much as possible. Kist asked, how many times has the Township had an offer for somebody to dig the line and everything free of charge? I offered that out of my own pocket. They said, you donít have a machine. I said I have two machines and it would have been dug free of charge and all they would have had to do is furnish the pipe. They said, am I an engineer? No, Iím not an engineer.

Elmer Grove asked, I was wondering why we donít have a Chief of Police any longer. Solicitor Barbin replied, when the Chief was laid off, he was given a letter and a motion was made. . he was laid off for economic reasons. When the Chief was leaving that day he threatened to sue the Township and given that heís threatened to sue the Township, I told the Township Supervisors they should not be responding to questions about this. Nothing good can come about for Jackson Township by the Supervisors responding to questions. This is not a question and answer period although some answers come back normally but in this case, this would not be one that would be good for the Township. Thereís no gain that the Township can make out of responding and putting down items on the record that we end up. . .people pouring over and end up suing . .sort of like testifying to comments. Dolan asked, are you gonna replace the Chief then with another Chief of Police? Barbin replied, oh no. Heís laid off because of economic reasons. Dolan asked, whoís runnin the Police Department? Barbin replied, heís not fired. It said right in the letter he got. . I donít know if he talked to you, but the letter said if the financial picture gets better, he could be brought back but the problem is the Townshipís lost a whole lot of money over the past two years. Clair Michaels said, if they had listened to me, theyíd still have a whole lot of money. Letís face the whole thing in a nut shell. I told them to put half of it away. . 20 years ago I told them to start it. . .they had never done it and they will never do it and now theyíre broke so now itís gonna come out of the Townshipís pocket. Barbin said, the Townshipís not broke but the receipts from the Landfill were $20,000 last month compared to 60 some thousand before. Michaels said, weíre spending more money than weíre takin in so weíre gonna be broke shortly if we donít do something but I told them to put the money away and they wouldnít so Iím the guy that gets the last laugh out of this whole deal. Dale Wyse said, you just made a comment that the Township wasnít broke so why was the Chief of Police laid off? Barbin replied, and again you heard me say weíre not going to do a question and answer on this. State law says every citizens has a right to make comments on how the Township is run. Your opinion is valued and you have a right to express your opinion but itís not a question and answer. Wyse said, well I feel we have the money to pay the Chief of Police and he shouldnít have been laid off in the first place. Gerry Dugan asked, is there going to be other layoffs? Eugene Kist said, itís better to have half a slice of bread than none at all and weíre gettin darn close to a half a slice of bread. Dolan asked, how many officer do we have on staff? Chairman Baker replied, five. Dolan asked, and the coverage we have is for how long? Is that a 24 hour period? Baker answered, correct. Weíve not lost any police protection. Betsy Fatula said, I just called 911 the other day and there was no officer on call. . the State Police was on call. Baker said, we have the same coverage now as we did then. The Board of Supervisors is managing the Police Department. We have a Supervisor who has a degree in Criminal Management so itís not an issue. Youíre safe in this Township. . as safe as you ever were. Kist said, years ago the population of Jackson Township was a lot higher and we only had 2 police officers. . it was a lot higher and itís decreased over a number of years. Now how many do we have on? Baker said, I think crooks may have gotten smarter over the years too. Kist said, we only had 2 for years. . I can remember. Dolan asked, why do they always pick on the Fire Department of Police Department as the first ones to get laid off? I really would like to know that reason. Barbin replied, and again, think about this. This will all go down in the minutes and Chief Fatula will come in and ask for whatever we said and try to look for contradictions. Betsy Fatula said, so what? Barbin said, your financial interest is certainly so what. Betsy Fatula said, Iím here as a citizen. Barbin said, you have a right to be a citizen and you have a right to comment. Elmer Grove said, Iíd like to know. . here you have a Police Chief with all those years of service. Betsy Fatula said, 37 years as a police officer. Kist said, I had 30 some years at Bethlehem and I lost everything. Grove said, you have money for a lot of other stuff. . you spend money down at the Sr. Center down there. I still donít think you should have laid the Police Chief off. Gerry Dugan said, I have a question. You say that the Supervisors are now running the Police Department. How much is that costing us because Iím sure that theyíre not doing it for free so whatís your cost savings if youíre paying Supervisors to do what the Police Chief did so whatís the savings there and how much are we going to pay the Supervisors to do the same thing? Baker asked, did you get paid for doing that? Supervisor Westrick replied, not one cent. Supervisor Wallet said, me neither. Michaels said, they get a flat salary per month. .whatever they do. .right? Baker said, they get a meeting attendance. Barbin said, itís a salary for general duties. Dugan asked, donít you get paid for road work? Baker answered, if youíre a Roadmaster and you work, yes. Kist said, I was a Supervisors one time in Conemaugh Township. . Supervisors donít make that darn much money and if they think they do, thereís somethin crazy about it. Baker replied, no they donít. Kist said, thatís a fact. . .Supervisors donít make that much money. Bob Albright said, you three gentlemen are elected by the people and the residents of the Township to run the Township, not Mr. Barbin to answer all these questions. Itís up to you fellas to answer to the public. I think itís a darn shame you laid off the Chief of Police in the Township who has done a lot of good in the Township for a lot of residents in this Township. Now, I think you three gentlemen ought to reconsider and get Mr. Fatula back on the police force. I have 3 other things here and then these people can go ahead. What is the update on Blackburn Road guardrails? Baker asked, didnít you just not see the agreement we entered into with Wyrwas on the Agenda? Albright asked, is that whatís it for. . it didnít explain anything about the guardrails in there. Baker replied, yes. . thatís what the purpose of it is for. Albright said, thatís all I wanted to know. Whatís this deal there on Old Nanty Glo Road. .the water is still washing out. . your guys cleaned out the ditch and I thank you for that but it still didnít solve the problem. Baker said, itís coming down the driveway. Albright said, also, whatís the update on the Sabo property there? The garbage is still piled against the garage. . the weeds are still growing up. You have ordinances, you have zoning, setbacks for fences. . thereís this. . thereís that and you canít clean up a property down there thatís been there with garbage. Manager Hirko said, the ownerís in North Carolina and he said he was going to come up and clean it up the one weekend. He never came up. . he didnít come in for a Landfill pass. I could try the phone number again but heís probably evading doing anything but he is in North Carolina. Albright asked, you have to put up with that because heís in North Carolina? Hirko said, thereís no address to send a letter to. Barbin said, you have to get service on people. Albright said, Iím not talking to you Mr. Barbin. Barbin replied, you just asked a legal question. To take action against the guy, you got to get service on him. You got to get somebody to serve him in North Carolina. . itís pretty expensive. It can be done, but itís pretty expensive. Albright said, sure itís expensive but isnít that the thing of running the Township. When the Landfill was up there and you were getting lots of money, everything was runnin smooth. All of a sudden, you got a budget crunch now and I think itís been a black eye in the Township for you Supervisors to get rid of the Chief of Police who has worked in this Township for that many years. I think itís a shame. You see some of these other companies. . when a guy is ready to retire and they lay him off with no benefits, I think that is really a black eye for the Township. Thatís what I have to say at this point in time. Kist said, they say about laying the Police Chief off. . .do you realize how many cities and towns in this Country donít even have a Police Chief. Do you realize that? Betsy Fatula said, Mr. Kist. . we know there is no love lost between you and the Chief of Police. Kist said, Iím not speaking to you. . Iím speaking to the Board of Supervisors. . I didnít mention any names. . I said thereís lots of cities and towns and somebody said I donít like somebody. I didnít mention any names. . I just mentioned cities and towns all over the United States. I didnít pick no individual out. . people are picking on me. If I would have mentioned a name, yes but I didnít. Michaels asked, are you gonna do any more mowin this year or is it done? Baker said, weíre gonna have a frost soon. . I believe itís about done. Michaels said, I just had to put something in there. . a little humor. Barry Rouzer said, I just wanted to comment on Bobís comment as far as finding somebody for service. . . Iím a Constable. . I do try to find people. If somebody doesnít want to be served, itís almost impossible for you to serve them and especially if somebodyís out of state. I just wanted to comment on that. Thatís a very big problem when you try to serve somebody. . if theyíre around and they donít want served, I canít legally force them to open the door and itís very difficult at best. Betsy Fatula said, I want it to be own that we donít have 24/7 Jackson Township Police coverage. When thereís no one that can come out, they put the State Police on call. . they do not cover. The State Police informed me that they handled 15 calls in September in Jackson Township so donít think that you have 24/7 coverage by Jackson Township Police Officers. .you do not. You havenít had 24/7 police coverage in quite a while. The State Police have handled quite a few calls in Jackson and thatís only if they get called out. That doesnít include any shifts that they donít know till they get a call. . 911 could tell you how many times the State Police have been on call. Kist said, I think we have good police coverage in this Township. . . look at your fines theyíve been getting and everything. You canít say theyíre not doin their jobs. Bethlehem Steel called me in and most of you people are associated with Bethlehem in one way or another. They said, thatís it. . weíre done. We lost our health benefits. .we lost everything else. If an individual is laid off he can sign up. . we only got 6 months at Bethlehem half the time when we signed up and half the time over two years we lost everything. People can sign up today. . they can sign up for 6 months. . they can apply for other jobs. Thereís other police jobs open in the Township. . I donít think youíre pickin on an individual. Youíre cutting budgets. For years in Jackson Township you only had two officers. . .thatís all they did and they were only part time. .there were no full time. . .itís been since 1934. . thatís when we bought property in this Township. Elmer Grove said, Bobís salary was budgeted for 2010. Why didnít you wait till the end of the year to lay him off? You already appropriated money for that salary of his for the full year so he should have been paid through the end of the year. That was figured in your budget. . it had to be.

Announcements:
Chairman Baker
announced, The Board of Supervisors next regularly scheduled meetings will be held on Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 8:00 AM and Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 5:30 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company will host an Open House at the Fire Hall on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 from 6 - 9 pm. There will be Fire Department tours and a chance to meet the firemen, check out the new truck and learn about fire fighting. Kids will be able to tour the smoke trailer or get a free fire truck ride. In addition there will be free refreshments and 911 house ID numbers. Everyone is encouraged to come out and show your support for the Fire Company. Trick or Treat Night will take place in Jackson Township on Thursday, October 28, 2010 from 6 to 8 pm. East Taylor Township will also hold their Trick or Treat Night the same date and time. Free reflective Trick or Treat bags are available at the Municipal Building, Water Authority, Sewer Authority, Fire Hall, Police Station and Senior Center. Anyone wishing to participate in Trick or Treat Night and welcome Trick or Treaters should leave their porch light on. Free treats will also be available at the Municipal Building from 6 to 8 pm on that evening.

Adjournment:
Motion
Westrick, second Wallet to adjourn the meeting at 7:30 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary

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