November 9, 2006

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 8:00 a.m. at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Members present were Supervisors Dave Bracken, Bruce Baker, Bob Stephens 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:

Executive Sessions Held:
Chairman Bracken
announced, since the last meeting, we held 3 Executive Sessions. On Thursday, November 2, 2006 from 9:00 am to 11:04 am we had a Police Policy & Procedures Manual session. On Thursday, November 2, 2006 from 1:00 pm to 2:10 pm. . . Chickaree Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club Lease Agreement. On Thursday, November 2, 2006 from 2:35 pm to 3:05 pm. . . Police Policy & Procedures Manual.

Manager Hirko said, we received another letter from the Miners Community Food Pantry requesting an additional donation. It says in here. . .with the cost of food increase and electric bill for the building which was $113.00 last month, we find ourselves in need of more money to operate. We have not received our Department of Agriculture Grant Money as of this date, which means one more month without funding. It takes more than $1,000 a month to operate and they feel that they should at least give three days supply of food or more and theyíre concerned over the upcoming holidays and providing food for the families.

Old Business:

Other New Business:
Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve additional contribution of $500.00 to the Miners Community Food Pantry to help carry them through the upcoming holidays this year. Supervisor Stephens said, I would suggest we get out and write to Blacklick Township, Nanty Glo and East Taylor and see if they would contribute. Solicitor Barbin said, copy them on the letter that sends them the check so they know exactly what the need is. Stephens replied, right. Theyíll know that we feel that they ought to help to participate in view of the fact with the holidays coming up and the dire consequences of the Food Pantry. Hirko said, East Taylor, Nanty Glo, Blacklick and probably Vintondale. Supervisor Baker added, whoever was mentioned in that news article because it said that none of the other municipalities they serve contribute. Weíre the only ones that ever have contributed. Stephens said, at one time some of them did and we could encourage them. Baker said, theyíre $500 back until they get their surplus check. This will help them out. Stephens added, it will help them get over the hump. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve sale of video camera from 1999 Crown Victoria Police Vehicle for the sum of $1,000.00 to Cresson Borough Police Department. Vote-3 yes.

Chairman Bracken read the bid results for the repair of the handicapped ramp at the Senior Center Building. The bid results were Oppy Construction - $24,385, William J. Williams Construction - $15,000 and Capitol Construction - $ 4,900 which was the low bid. Manager Hirko said Lehman Engineers drew up the bid package. Barbin asked, there was no changes? Hirko replied, no. Barbin said, you could award the bid provided all documentation is submitted within 5 working days. Bracken asked, were any of those bids on a complete re-build? Supervisor Baker asked, all three of those bids are three different projects. . are they not? Hirko answered, no. . . the package was the repair of the handicapped ramp. One contractor chose to submit their bid as a replacement because they felt that was cheaper than repairing it. Baker said, so weíre not comparing apples to apples. Hirko answered, they had the same package. Baker asked, what about the other two. . Williams & Capitol? Theyíre doing the exact same thing? Hirko said, Oppy and Capitol bid on repair. . . Williams bid on replacement on the ramp because they felt it was cheaper but they all had the same package. Barbin said, the general specifications say repair it and when you do you got to use cement, what kind of seal and they gave standards for the material to put in. . . .execution. . .cleaning of railing. . remove all loose paint and foreign matters and repair surface. . bare metal. . .railing removed and re-installed. . .use galvanized anchor bolts. . .application of primer and paint. . .repair of all cracks, surface preparation and resurfacing. . . application for stainless steel to the reinforced concrete ramp. . . vinyl patching compound. . masonry. . . .they did specify but thatís all it is. The guy whoís bidding $25,000. . .heís clearly not thinking of this. Supervisor Stephens said, Williams is the one who wanted to get out and replace everything. Heís neither the high or the low bid. Hirko said, Oppy bid on repair to my knowledge and yet theyíre still that high. Barbin said, it must be something because whatís described here is not $25,000. For $4,900. . . what we pay Capitol Construction. . are we going to be happy with their job? It looks like thereís specifications but itís a repair spec. . . not anything major. Stephens said, they were all provided with the same information and the low bidder, Capitol followed suit on it. Bracken asked, how do we know theyíre going to use the right concrete? Barbin said, itís specified. Hirko added, all the materials are specified in there. Barbin said, but it doesnít say where the concrete goes. . .it just says replacement concrete will meet these standards and it has some numbers there. Stephens said, we should have someone from the Township be a representative. Barbin said, maybe go over and talk through with them what he wants to do. You could make a motion to award it to Capitol Construction contingent upon submission of all documents within 5 days and satisfactory walk-through of the job with the Township Manager. . . and you should just walk through there and say because thereís so much difference, you want to know what theyíre planning on doing here. Stephens asked, is the Township Manager qualified to make this assessment? Barbin answered, he could call the Engineer out. Hirko asked, so I should have somebody from Lehmans come out. Barbin said, yes. . .heís the one whose authorized to make a decision on that. Bracken said, maybe Bob Bombach could do that. Baker said, Bobís a cement contractor but my question is, perhaps replacement of the ramp is better. What would Capitol have charged to do what Williams is proposing? Barbin said, we would have to rebid. Baker said, correct, but my point is putting a scab or a band-aid on it. Barbin said, thatís why I think you should have him tell you what he plans to do. . . so that when he asks for pay and we say no. . .you didnít do the job. I donít want to end up in a situation down the road where he says, I did the job and you say, no. . you havenít. Baker asked, and is he going to warrant that work for 5 years? Is he going to guarantee that the cement cap is not going to come off in six months? Barbin said, not if you didnít say it in the specs. Baker said, Iím not comfortable in awarding any of these bids. If we could table this and talk to the other guys, weíll do that but Iím not going to award pending. Barbin said, you can table it and talk but you can only award based on this bid. Baker said, I seriously doubt theyíre going to construct and do this repair work between now and the spring because the weatherís not going to permit. We might get a couple weeks of real nice weather, but this isnít something that has to be done by the end of the year either. Stephens said, we had the engineer get out and draw it up and he said this was a satisfactory repair. Bracken said, we had some problems when Capitol did the roof over there. Hirko said, they came in lower on the bid than the others though. Baker said, Iím just not in favor of awarding a bid until we get some more information. I donít have a problem with Capitol. . thereís just such a discrepancy in price here. Hirko added, I would say that Oppy has come in as the high bidder before. Motion Baker, second Stephens to table the motion to award the bid for repair of the handicapped ramp at the Senior Center for further review. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Chad Keilman and Doug Beri Jr. of Natural Biodiversity were on hand to discuss a proposed project for Leidy Park. Keilman said, as we met earlier about the project, we are interested in working with Jackson Township at Leidy Park. We wanted to know what the probability was of this project. . .we have a contract and we do require a 25% match. . . I believe this can also be covered by labor or machinery. . . .volunteer work. Thatís something that could be ironed out later. The project is a planting project at Leidy Park. Bruce and we went out there. . . we would like to come in and plant native plants in a small area out there. It would be approved by us and the National Wildlife Federation. Solicitor Barbin asked, how big of an area, what kind of plants? Keilman said, Weíre still in the early phase of this. . .we have to decide that. Barbin said, the goal of Natural Biodiversity planning is to provide habitat for wildlife. . .while bad things are happening all around them and theyíre getting out-competed by urban growth. . .thereís a nice little area to provide them safety. Keilman said, thatís how Biodiversity started. . to control invasive species such as knot weed. We actually have a project at 1889 Park in St. Michael where we put in native plants and created a habitat for wildlife. Supervisor Baker asked, considering the Park over there, what areas are you looking to plant? Keilman said, we donít have the map, but the west corner up by where the pine trees are. . . the playground area. . maybe with a childís interpretative area and post some signs. . . between the two fields maybe including some park benches and the other corner in back. Basically the areas weíd want to do this project in are areas that arenít going to be developed. Now towards the front where you are considering additional land going towards the road. . weíd probably stay away from that area. Chairman Bracken asked, when you plant. . how flowering?. . how big? Keilman replied, thatís something thatís decided by what kind of habitat we want. Bracken said, something else weíre going to be asked. . supposed we put a pavilion in there and somethings planted out there in the road. Keilman said, when we do this project, itís going to have to be thought out and we appreciate the land that youíre willing to set aside. Barbin said, we need to know how long. . I donít mean any offense to the project. Baker said, where these guys are looking at planting, itís not in any heavily traveled area. Barbin said, well. . is it perpetual or is it 25 . . the DCNR requires 25 years. . some private people say perpetual which is forever. If thatís coming up in the contract, we should know it now. Baker asked, is this a verbal agreement you want with us? Keilman answered, we actually have a contract. . our Director was supposed to be here but sheís very sick. Baker asked, the other concern I have is funds and matching funds. What kind of cost are we talking about? Keilman said, thatís hard to determine right now. . .weíll try to get an idea but itís 25%. . with plant materials. . a rough estimate. . weíre talking $5,000. Baker asked, for the Townshipís share? Keilman replied, no . . thatís total cost. . . and if you guys bring us volunteers, we can count that towards the 25%. Baker said, I think weíre all willing to work with you guys but we need three things. . one, where. . .two, how much. . three, how long. Stephens said, and the size of the area. Keilman said, we just wanted to see what you guys thought about the match money. Baker said, these areas we talked about could use some plantings because theyíre just barren. Manager Hirko said, if you have a copy of a potential contract, we could look at that ahead of time. Keilman replied, weíre just fine-tuning it right now but weíll get you a copy. Barbin said, whoeverís giving the bulk of the money does want something for their money. . thatís fair. . thatís reasonable. . but how far?. . somewhere between 25 and perpetual. Baker asked, who in the municipality at that project by South Fork are you working with? Keilman answered, Pete Bertolino. Barbin said, heís with the Adams-Croyle Recreation Authority. Keilman said, we actually work with both of them and Adams donated a backhoe for Ĺ a day and we really appreciate stuff like that. Baker said, thatís stuff we can provide too. Keilman said, it saves on equipment rentals and helps us on planting days instead of having people trying to wrestle with a 100 pound tree. . . tractors. . those kind of donations really help out. Baker asked, how long do you need to get this information for us? Youíre looking at a spring project? . . so we probably got the next couple months. Hirko asked, can you get back to us when you have those items. . they can review it and it can be on another agenda. When do you actually need a commitment from us? Keilman said, Chris is not here to discuss that. . I will talk to her either this week or next week and weíll get with you guys. Barbin said, weíll need a conceptual layout. I understand you wonít do the real design work until after you get the commitment. Keilman said, thatís fine. Hirko said, so as soon as we hear from you, weíll know what to do on our end.

Other New Business:
Stephens, second Baker that interviews for part-time Police be set up with the collective agreement of the Board of Supervisors, Township Manager and Chief of Police. Supervisor Stephens said, we have a habit here of rushing with less than 24 hours notice. There a number of things that concern me that we should consider. First of all, having one interview to hire one person is unsatisfactory in my opinion. Thatís happened a number of times in the past and that doesnít give us the ability to be selective as a Board. The other thing is the scheduling of these are done at the spur-of-the-moment and there isnít sufficient time ahead of time to review the applications. . . for instance. . . the one we just had this morning. . at the interview is the first I seen a copy and I was here yesterday around 1:30 in the afternoon and the application wasnít available at that time. We had three prior applications, Mr. Deffenaugh, Mr. Wyar and Mr. Westrick. None of those three were scheduled at this morningís meeting and another application was evidently turned in some time after. . I donít know. We werenít given sufficient time in my opinion to get out and review the application prior to the interview. We need to facilitate getting this done in a more amicable manner as a Board in conjunction with the Township Manager. . .setting up these interviews. . we should have a minimum time limit where we can review the applications and be prepared prior to going into the interview. . to call if so needed to facilitate getting any information we may need. Supervisor Baker said, I think itís reasonable. . sometimes what happens is weíre here every morning. . to me it didnít matter and I understand youíre not available on short notice. . .thatís fine. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Public Comments:
Tim Davis
commented, that handicapped ramp is terrible. There are things you need to consider. . so much drop per inch and then you have to deal with the fact realistically. . if itís snowing outside, nobodyís going to clean that ramp during the daylight hours and a steel grate may be better. Maybe you would want to change the location to in front of the building. What Iím saying is itís a good idea to talk about the whole issue. Chairman Bracken said, Brad Snyder shovels that into his truck. Davis said, you know with heavy snow. . you got to plow it. . you got to shovel it. . .you got to clean it . . you might want to look at putting it in another location. I also wanted to mention to you this Biodiversity Project. . Iíd like to see maybe moving it outside the fence a little bit in that beautiful pined area in the back. You could be able to put a little gate in the back. Supervisor Baker said, but thatís not our property. . we canít do that. Davis answered, I was concerned it would get torn apart. Bracken said, on the ramp, weíll get the Engineers to look at that and weíll go from there. Manager Hirko added, and theyíre working on the park up there and we could see how thatís working out. . itís already in progress. Supervisor Stephens said, you guys might consider labeling all these plants. Keilman replied, absolutely. Davis continued, that other thing with the Police. . you should set up your interviews and pick out your candidates from a pool of candidates if possible unless itís an emergency.

Chairman Bracken
announced that The Board of Supervisors next scheduled meeting will be held on Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to adjourn the meeting at 8:38 a.m. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary