October 28, 2004

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:05 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.

Chairman Dave Bracken announced that an Executive Session was held prior to this meeting to discuss legal matters. The Executive Session was held from 6:55 p.m. to 7:04 p.m.

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:

Baker, second Stephens to approve the minutes of the September 30, 2004 meeting. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$       20,078.51

$    85,545.94

$       94,353.65

$       14,270.80


$   1,421,515.10

$    57,904.10

$       14,153.96

$   1,465,265.24


$       21.289.27

$          94.48

$       11,126.52

$        10,257.23


$       24,039.96

$      4,405.27

$         2,284.78

$        26,160.45

Stephens, second Baker to approve the bills for the period of October 1, 2004 through October 28, 2004. Vote-3 yes.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$      94,353.65

$       11,126.52

$        2,284.78

Township Police Report:
The September, 2004 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 378. Reportable Incidents were 32 broken down as follows: Burglary-6, Assault-4, Criminal Mischief-4, Theft-4, Harassment-3, Child Abuse-2, Disorderly Conduct-1, Dog Law-1, Drugs-1, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-1, Public Drunkenness-1, Receiving Stolen Property-1, Sex Offences-1, Underage Drinking-1 and Vehicle Theft-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-8. Traffic Citations Issued-22. Accidents Handled-2. Criminal Charges Filed were 16 broken down as follows: Dog Law-4, Burglary-2, Harassment-2, Theft-2, Assault-1, Disorderly Conduct-1, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-1, Public Drunkenness-1, Stolen Property-1 and Underage Drinking-1.

A letter from Don & Marlene Krens, owners of Direct Value Outlet concerning police protection was read by Manager Dave Hirko. The letter expressed their sincere gratitude to the Supervisors as well as the Jackson Township Police Department for the nightly checks of their business. They especially appreciate the "checked card" in the door nightly which gave them an extra sense of security. They went on to say that all too often good deeds go unnoticed or taken for granted and they wanted them to know that they have noticed and wanted to extend their thanks to the Supervisors and Police Department.

Another letter was read from the Nanty Glo Public Library requesting a donation for their annual Fund Drive which goes through the month of November. The letter states that the Library serves many residents in Jackson Township. The letter goes on to say that although the State funding was increased last year, they will still receive 23% less than they did in 2003. It was noted that last year they received $800.00.

Old Business:

New Business:
Baker, second Stephens to authorize Township Manager to write a letter to PennDOT District 9 requesting that they perform a Speed Limit Study on Swigle Mountain Road from Burkhartís Crossroad to the Croyle Township Line. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize contribution of $ 800.00 to the Nanty Glo Public Library. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to name the park area behind the Jackson Township Senior Center to the Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Park. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to have the Jackson Township Recreation Commission assume responsibility for the maintenance and development of Jackson Township Veterans Memorial Park. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize the Jackson Township Recreation Commission to establish and set up guidelines for a Memorial Fund. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to accept the low bid of $ 12,550.00 from Laurel Highlands Fence to install two new backstops at Mitchell Park. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on transferring $ 11,353.85 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $4,886.89 to Naugle Insurance for October insurance premium, $2,666.96 to Penelec for cable and materials needed to put up new streetlights, $1,750.00 to Dolans Welding & Steel for security bars on Police Building, $1,250.00 to Pashek & Associates for consulting work relating to Recreation Master Plan, $500.00 to Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company for contribution to help defray expenses for Halloween Parade and $300.00 contribution to the Home Nursing Agency. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on approving the time sheets from September 26, 2004 through October 9, 2004 and October 10, 2004 through October 23, 2004. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:

Public Comments:
Kay Hochstein
commented on dogs barking and kennels. She stated she lived on Benshoff Hill Road and wanted to know if the Township had a dog barking ordinance. She stated that she had problems with barking dogs on a neighboring property. Solicitor Bill Barbin responded that we donít have any kind of comprehensive nuisance ordinance that would address barking dogs. Steve Yurasek asked if we had that in the Zoning Ordinance where you could only have a certain level of noise. Barbin replied that you canít have unreasonable noise. Yurasek said that suppose his coon dog is chasing a coon up the hollow. He added that to some that may be unreasonable but to him, itís enjoyment. Hochstein said she could understand that but with her neighbors dogs barking all the time, itís sometime unbearable. Supervisor Bob Stephens said that early on in the proposed Zoning Ordinance he believed it was at 58 decibels and it was taken out because that would be about the tone of voice I am talking in now and that wasnít practical. Supervisor Baker said he thought there was something in the Police Code and he thought that they dealt with that a few times in the past. Barbin asked if the Board wanted him to find some Ordinances and send them up here for them to look at. The Board agreed. Barbin said he could find some from a couple of different municipalities. Barbin added that in a semi-rural community like Jackson Township you have to be careful how you do that. He said that for people that live close to each other there could be one way of looking at it and with people who live out with more space this would be an entirely different matter. He said you would have to make sure it wouldnít end up being used unfairly. Chairman Dave Bracken said he thought the Police only handled excessive barking. Yurasek said itís just like rabbit season coming in and itís nothing to see 5 or 6 people hunting below my place with dogs hunting all day. Baker said itís a lot different than the person who ties a dog outside and then goes to work and the dog barks from the time he leaves. Barbin said you could set a distance from another persons home such as 500 feet and anything over 500 feet from another home wouldnít be covered. He said that in some places there are laws covering a dog barking continually for more than 15 minutes. Stephens remembered that about 20 years ago he was at Magistrate Colemans in Vinco and there was a case there prior to the one he was at in which there was excessive dog barking so there must be some kind of law somewhere. Barbin said it could be disturbing the peace and if you have a dog that continually barks all the time, that could possibly be interpreted as disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct. He went on to say that there are times when his dogs bark and that he didnít want to say he had no sympathy because obviously if there are people living real close and somebody has a dog tied out in their back yard and it barks for a half hour straight, there is a problem. Hochstein said itís probably 30 feet or so from her house and she wasnít sure how many dogs they had. Baker said he thought the Police had addressed these issues before. Will Michaels made a suggestion that instead of trying to pass an Ordinance or something like that maybe you could just talk directly to the people to see if they could correct the problem. Barbin said that was an excellent idea. Hochstein said she already tried that. Barbin replied that sometimes when the Township does it and officially ask the person to be quiet they sort of think that itís better to do something about it than to risk something further on down the road and it does work sometimes. Baker said he knows that the Police have done that not with those people but with other ones. Stephens asked if we should have a written complaint. Barbin said that by bringing this up in public comments, it could serve as a formal complaint being it would be part of the official minutes. For the record Hochstein stated that her address was 2361 Benshoff Hill Road, Johnstown, PA 15909. The personís name with the barking dogs was not disclosed but it was determined that it was her neighbor.

An announcement was made that the next Supervisors Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Baker, second Stephens to adjourn the meeting at 7:20 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary