October 30, 2003

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Jackson Township Senior Center. 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:
Eugene Kist said no resident of the Township would like to see pornography or adult entertainment in the Township. He said if Mr. Bracken & Mr. Baker would have looked at the big picture, they would have foresight to stop this from happening. He added that instead they found ways to tax and interfere with property rights of law-abiding citizens. He said the clergy was there and asked if they were allowed to ask the Board questions this evening. Chairman Bracken said this was a business meeting and his comments would be noted and if he wanted an answer the answer would come in writing. Kist said he had asked numerous times and never had an answer in writing yet. Bracken said he had never put a request in writing to receive a response.

Baker, second Bracken to approve the minutes of the September 25th and October 15th meetings. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-no because the minutes didnít reflect when Solicitor Barbin shut him off when he was answering a citizens question. He also said the minutes failed to reflect his response for voting no to adjourn the September 25th meeting.

Township Financial Report:







$    117,897.57

$ 57,955.08

$ 133,370.39

$      42,482.26


$ 1,169,557.21

$ 62,222.25

$    5,620.92

$ 1,226.158.54


$     28,693.18

$      21.41

$    7,400.81

$      21,313.78


$     36,027.55

$  2,398.56

$    3,620.95

$      34,805.16


General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$    133,370.39

$            7,400.81

$             3,620.95

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve the bills for the period of September 26 through October 30, 2003. Vote-3 yes.

Township Police Report
The September, 2003 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 323. Reportable Incidents were 34 broken down as follows: Burglary-7, Criminal Mischief-5, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-5, Disorderly Conduct-4, Harassment-3, Theft-3, Assault-2, Drugs-2, Arson-1, Cruelty to Animals-1 & Public Drunkenness-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-7. Traffic Citations Issued-27. Accidents Handled-9. Criminal Charges Filed were 18 broken down as follows: - DUI (Driving While Under the Influence-5, Disorderly Conduct-4, Burglary-2, Cruelty to Animals-2, Harassment-2, Public Drunkenness-2 & Assault-1.

Letter from Elmer Grove, Chief of the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company stating that several comments were made about the mishandling of the call to the Gillen residence on Swigle Mountain Road at the last monthly meeting. He stated the comments were untrue and went on to state exactly what happened. He stated in the letter that the firemen supplied a Haligan bar to open the door of the residence and added that Police pried several times and the door came unlatched. Grove stated that a State Police trooper pushed the door open a small amount to see if anyone was behind it and then tried to coax Erma Gillen out of the residence. He added that the resident had no visible physical injuries. The letter went on to say that no doors were smashed, or broken off hinges while the Fire Chief was on scene. According to Mr. Grove the residents were treated with respect and caring.

Letter from Rickey Price Jr. Of the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company requesting a donation to help defray the cost of treats and prizes associated with holding the annual Halloween Parade.

Letter from Richard Hakanen, President of the Nanty Glo Library Board requesting a donation for their Annual Fund Drive to help the Library with expenses.

Letter form Jeffrey Croft, Emergency Management Coordinator of Jackson Township addressing a letter to the Readers Forum of the Tribune-Democrat on October 6, 2003 from William Michaels. He said the letter stating that Supervisor Stephens did his homework by wanting to table the motion was incorrect. The letter states that Title 35, Consolidated Statues 7101, titled Pennsylvania Emergency Management Services Code requires all municipalities in Pennsylvania to appoint an Emergency Management Coordinator and have him successfully trained, have an up-to-date Emergency Operations Plan and designate an Emergency Operations Center. The letter states that in Cambria County all 63 municipalities were requested to update the plan to simplify forms and procedures in the event of an emergency. Croft went on to say that in most cases in Cambria County, including Jackson Township, the local Emergency Management Coordinator serves on a volunteer basis without compensation. Croft states that Emergency Operations Center staff is generally personnel from various agencies including; elected officials, fire chief, police chief, public works, etc. that serve the EOC without additional compensation. He adds the Emergency Operations Plan that Cambria County Dept. Of Emergency Services assisted in was based on guidance from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and said all municipalities in Cambria County use this format with the assistance of the Cambria County Dept. Of Emergency Services. Croft said the designation of an EOC provides a meeting place for staff and provides the county with notification numbers, contact information, and a location to utilize in the event of an emergency. Locations could include municipal offices, fire stations, and police stations that have adequate space and communications equipment such as radios and phones. He ended by saying that by passing the Emergency Operations Plan, appointing a coordinator, and designating an Emergency Operations Center, the Jackson Township Supervisors have acted responsibly and fulfilled the requirements of Title 35. He added that the foresight exhibited by the Supervisors is what the first phase of Emergency Management is all about - being prepared and said elected officials should be commended for their efforts in developing, maintaining and improving the Emergency Response Plan for our community.

Old Business:
Stephens to discuss the proposal he made at the September 25th meeting to conduct an investigation concerning the Rosemary Gillen and Irma Gillen residence, 2588 Swigle Mountain Road, Mineral Point, PA 15942. Motion died from lack of a second.

New Business:
Mr. Matthew J. Riley, Coordinator & Enforcement Officer for the Cambria County Solid Waste Authority
spoke on a new Illegal Dumping Enforcement Program. He said he was inviting individual municipalities to identify illegal dumpsites within their community. He said survey forms were available where each municipality could identify dumpsites and that eventually the Solid Waste Authority could monitor those sites to determine what effort might be necessary to clean up the sites. He added that they would be taking photographs of each site to monitor any new dumping taking place. He also said they were drafting a resolution to allow them to have enforcement capabilities with each individual municipality. Each municipality would be asked to pass a resolution and then some of the burden of enforcement would be shifted from the municipality to the Authority. He said he is working with the Fish & Boat Commission, Game Commission and Conservation Officers and they are more than willing to help with this program. His hope is that the program will help to curb illegal dumping and he would be happy to provide additional information to anyone who is interested.

Father Paul Robine representing the Jackson Township Alliance of Churches spoke on the subject of pornography. Father Robine said a nice thing was happening in the community as five churches in the community have come together on this issue. He said a national organization called Morality in Media have designated the last Sunday in October as "White Ribbon Sunday". The churches decided that it would be good to encourage people and inform them of the dangers of pornography. He said they were concerned about what was happening with the internet and making people aware of the impact upon society including addiction and even drugs at times. He added that the churches have discussed the possibility of an adult book store coming in along Route 22 and that they had hoped that an Ordinance would be passed by the Township making it illegal for a business to locate here. He said that with the Supervisors considering an Ordinance at this time, the churches wanted to show their support that they were grateful that this was being done. Petitions were distributed with people signing saying that they would agree that such an establishment should not be located in this community. He said in 1974 a book store came into the edge of the borough in Everett and there was no Ordinance or anything to stop them. He said he felt that with an Ordinance and the petitions with signatures, that if such an establishment would ever want to locate in Jackson Township, the Supervisors could say that we have an Ordinance that doesnít want you and here are signatures of people within our Township who donít want you and youíre not welcome. He said he realizes it could be challenged in court and he understands that everyone has rights but at the same time this would be a help to go to that individual and say that at sometime there may be a complaint against them. He then presented the petitions of over 500 signatures. Eugene Kist said that this has been tested in the courts and the Federal Government seems to go against this. He added Solicitor Barbin said there was no way to stop them. Barbin replied that wasnít true. He added that you canít prohibit an adult location from coming to the Township but you can place restrictions on where they can locate and right now they can only be located in Commercial Zones which eliminates 95% of the Township. The proposed Amendment would only allow them in an Industrial Zone and would require them to come to a Special Public Hearing for the permit to be approved. He said although the Courts say you canít restrict them from coming in, he would also say that no Supervisor would vote yes in a public forum and that arguments could be presented that would give the Township a chance to win in court rather than having no legal basis whatsoever to deny them. Kist asked what the odds were of winning in court. Barbin replied that by having the tools to say that we donít want you and if you try it will be a long, expensive fight to get it.

New Business:|
Stephens, second Baker to approve subdivision (side lot addition) of land from John Butala to Bill & Debbie Arkwright. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve subdivision of Ed Simmons. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to approve request by the Jackson Township Vol. Fire Company to add Terry Crouse, George Straub and Eric Yackulich as Fire Police. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to approve Resolution 12-03 accepting the dedication of Pennzoil Drive. Supervisor Stephens questioned whether there were three residences or businesses or combination to adopt the road. He asked Solicitor Barbin how many residences were on this road. Barbin said there were three including Warren Oil, ELT Inc. and an Internet Service Company. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve an Easement allowing the Cambria County Conservation & Recreation Authority to perform work to straighten Pergrin Run on Township property located along Loraine Road. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve request to reimburse Paulette Baker for registration fees and expenses associated with attending two seminars required to meet PA State Tax Collector Certification. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on transferring $ 1,200.00 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the Senior Center Fund - $1,200.00 to Kal Brothers for Security System. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on transferring $ 21,634.97 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $11,385.04 to Quaker Sales for road patching materials, $4,600.00 to Conseco for 2003 Contribution to Police Pension Plan, $1,356.86 to Cambria County for GIS Mapping Project, $1,588.07 to US Municipal Supply for Tractor Electronic Activator and Street Signs, $1,095.00 to AED Instructor Foundation for CPR Machine for Police, $735.00 to Cambria Tractor for Backhoe Bucket, $625.00 to M & M Uniforms for Bulletproof Vest and $250.00 for a contribution to the Home Nursing Agency. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on approving the time sheets from September 14, 2003 through September 27, 2003, September 28, 2003 through October 11, 2003 and October 12, 2003 through October 25, 2003. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:
Baker, second Stephens to contribute $500 to the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company for the annual Halloween Parade. There were no public comments. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to contribute $800 to the Nanty Glo Library. There were no public comments. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens to discuss the letter Mr. Hirko sent to Rosemary Gillen. Motion died from lack of a second.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to direct the Solicitor to start the process to recover any and all legal fees as a result of four lawsuits filed against this Township starting with EMC Insurance for $8000, Plunkett & Cooney for $17,405 for a total of $25,405 as of October 30, 2003. Being that the Federal Lawsuit that was pending with Mr. Stephens has been thrown out. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-abstained from voting due to possible conflict of interest.

Public Comments:
Joe Baxter
asked Mr. Stephens about a paper he got in the mail yesterday form Ben Kupchella, Ed Westrick and Guy Ellenberger. He said the paper was filled with lies. He said he had asked Mr. Stephens what he has done for the Township in the last 16 months as a Supervisor and never got an answer. He said he has found out himself over the last two years what he has done and thatís absolutely nothing. Solicitor Barbin reminded Mr. Baxter that public comment is for Township business only and the newsletter he was referring two was a political one. Baxter said if Mr. Stephens isnít going to do anything for the Township or come to the Recreation Meetings to help out, he should step down from his office and let someone else, for or against zoning it doesnít matter, who will work for the Township.

Bob Benedict said he had 50 acres and the tax reduction mentioned in the Township Newsletter is hardly enough to take his wife and family out to lunch. He also said he understands that you have someone representing you at the meetings who isnít a property owner. Barbin said if you are speaking about a campaign newsletter, this was not the forum to debate. Benedict said this person is telling people what they can do with their property and is not a property owner and he was appointed by your Supervisors and was that legal. Barbin asked who he was referring too and Benedict replied Knopsnyder. The discussion was stopped as this was to be public comment period and not debate.

Ronna Tracy said she does not own property in this Township but she is living with her Mother and helping her pay her taxes. She said she is also a very responsible voter and wanted to know if she was to sit in this forum and have to keep her mouth shut? Barbin said everybody who resides in the Township has all the rights of a citizen and that was decided by Andrew Jackson back in the 1800's.

Claire Kostora said she moved here and before buying in Jackson she was happy to see some sort of tools and regulations on properties. She said not everybody takes care of their properties. She said not everybody can or will. She went on to say that she understands that some people canít but thereís no excuse for people who can and donít. Kostora said there was pink trailer besides her home when she bought it and it was torn down and now there is a beautiful new home in its place. She then mentioned another trailer by Allbaugh Park going up towards Mile Hill Road and said she was appalled that it could be allowed to sit there deteriorating, probably filled with rats and she didnít understand the mentality of people who can and should be working to keep up their property and that was why we had to have zoning to show them the way.

Bob Albright said he would like to see all of the people of the Township pull together as one. He seen that Shade Township was offering free garbage. He was wondering if when people get their tax bill that a voucher couldnít be there for a free trip to the landfill instead of having to wait until Spring Clean-Up if you have an appliance or large item sitting around.

Gary Scaife said he wanted the people of the Township to know that the Township wasnít taking on a burden by the dedication of Pennzoil Drive. He said that up to $200,000 of State Infrastructure Money was available and that part of that could be used to upgrade the road with a top-coat and that they would have to go after the money available.

An announcement was made that the next Supervisors Meeting would be held on Thursday, November 20, 2003 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Baker, second Bracken to adjourn at 8:35 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary