November 13, 2008

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 and John Wallet along with Secretary-Treasurer / Manager Dave Hirko and Solicitor Bill Barbin. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Bruce Baker with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Board Roll Call was taken with all three Supervisors present.

Executive Sessions Held:

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:


Old Business:

New Business:
Bracken, second Wallet to approve Resolution 10-08 which adopts the Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan as part of the Central Cambria Coalition comprised of Cambria Township, Ebensburg Borough and Jackson Township. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:
Wallet, second Bracken to direct the Solicitor to draw up sales agreement between Jackson Township and Wenturine Brothers Lumber Company for 150 acres of ground at the appraised price of $1200.00 per acre. There was no public comment on the motion. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes. Solicitor Barbin said, this is to trade with the State for the land on top of Chickaree. They want an acre for acre trade.

Public Comments:
Steve Yurasek
said, we just turned down another little business. . . a machine shop that wanted to go in at the bottom of Mackall Brothers. Now. . we turned down a little engine repair up here that would have went into Herb Wilson's property. We turned down a little medical thing where people need rehabilitation. . .he was operating over there by Leidy Lane. All these little businesses. . they're not businesses that go in industrial parks. . . .they're businesses that fit in. That fellow that was going to do the machine shop. . .he wasn't going to do anything outside. . .he wanted to live by the noise ordinance and everything but him and his wife sitting here. . .they were treated like common criminals here the other night. Now. . there's something wrong fellows. . there's something wrong. But what's going on down here. .these people. . .there's nothing in the bottom of Mackall's store. The man had a beautiful business plan laid out but yet, a couple said. . well. . we don't want anything in our community. What do you mean, we don't want nothing? Don't we want people to work? I mean. .that health thing over there on Leidy Lane. . the man wasn't doing anything except training people that had disabilities and physical impairments. Solicitor Barbin replied, that was granted.. Chairman Baker said, yeah. . he's still doing that. Barbin added, he can only have 4 people there at a time. Yurasek continued, yeah, he's approved but he's not allowed to go down on the walking trail. . it's like saying. . yes, my dear. . you can go swimming but don't go near the water. That's what you're saying. But somewhere along the line. . .Dino Persio made the statement. . . the Supervisors have the power to rezone that without the Zoning Commission. Barbin said, yes. . the Supervisors can amend the Zoning Ordinance unless it's spot zoning and that argument could have potential problems with his neighbors there. Yurasek said, so why can't the Supervisors say, hey. .we want to take a look at this like to put a machine shop down there. We already have a noise ordinance. . we already have these other ordinances to control him, so if stuff is going to be military. . it's going to be toxic. . so there's nothing being done outside. Barbin said, we don't have a noise ordinance Steve. Baker said, there's nothing to regulate noise. Barbin said, they're looking at a nuisance ordinance now but it may be several months away. Yurasek said, it seems like every time a little business wants to do something, we're saying no. . we don't want you here. It's setting a pattern now. Now, I think it needs to be addressed and you need to put your heads together and say hey, we need to do something here to have a little business within the Township. Barbin said, the machine shop was a change from Commercial to Industrial. . that's generally considered a pretty big change. Yurasek said, the thing about it is, this is not a big operation. . . this is not doing nothing outside. Barbin said, it's the Zoning Board and not the Supervisors who give variances. The Supervisors can rezone that whole section as Industrial then that guy could go in, but then the whole area is Industrial. Yurasek said, I don't think anybody wants that. Barbin said, well. . that's what power they have. Baker added, you can't spot zone. Yurasek said, but the Supervisors are running the Township. . .the Planning Commission is more or less an advisory thing. . the Supervisors are running the Township. What's your advice? Barbin replied, but the Zoning Hearing Board is an independent judicial board that we're not supposed to influence. They're supposed to make independent judgements on the Zoning Ordinance. The problem when you compare our Zoning Hearing Board to somebody else's Zoning Hearing Board is our Zoning Hearing Board looks at the Zoning Ordinance very seriously. A lot of other people will say, who cares. . we like the business. . .just approve it. Our Zoning Hearing Board doesn't do that. . they look at the Ordinance. . .they look at all the factors. . you see how detailed those decisions are. They take it real seriously. Yurasek asked, do you remember when Dino built the shopping center in East Taylor Township? He went to them and said, you got to zone the Township. . . all he was doing was protecting his investment. Those people. . they live in the Township. . they have a home on Benshoff Hill. . I think they should have been treated with some kind of respect. Barbin said, there's no question. . every citizen of the Township should be treated with some sort of respect every time. Everybody has the right to respect. . .everybody has a right to talk to government. . everybody has a right to receive a respectful answer back, even if it's not the one they like.

Robert Ford complained, I live at 318 Loraine Road and there's a trailer right across the road from my home. . 327 Loraine Road and this thing is in deplorable condition. I took the liberty to take pictures of it. . .this trailer is not even considered livable. . there's windows busted out of it and everything. This trailer. . if you would check the police reports. . the police have responded to this trailer over the past year, a lot. The people who lived there. . they were renters. . they moved out but this place here has windows knocked out and it's bad. We have to look and the worst part is being a taxpayer. . I think I pay a considerable amount of taxes on my home. . ok. . .I try to keep my place up. Last year I had two strokes, but I still keep my place up. I have another property in Carrolltown which is a mobile home too. . .I could show you pictures of that and it's very nice but this right here . . I don't know what can be done if anything but I actually had an appraisal done on my house. . I lost $20,000. on my appraisal on my house because whenever the appraiser was there, he couldn't take pictures of my house because they had the police next door doing whatever. . I had no idea. I wrote up a complaint and I would appreciate any and all help that I could get on this to either have it improved or removed. . preferably. . . because this thing. . they don't even cut the grass. We have friends and relatives visit our home and when the renters lived there, you'd see police coming in there. Anybody that looked at this place, you're going to get nothing the way it is right now. . . except lower end people to move in here. The people who own the property and even the trailer do not reside in the Township. Solicitor Barbin asked, who are those people? I'll need to look up the deed myself if you can give me a name. Ford said, the lady that owns the property. . her name is Helen Kelly. . I wrote it on the complaint form and also her daughter. . Sandy Croft. The trailer . . I'm pretty sure it's owned by Steve Croft. . actually his brother lives in New Mexico. .he actually bought the trailer. . his name was Terry Croft. . but I think that he transferred the title of the trailer to his brother Steve. Steve lived in it for awhile. I would appreciate if I could get a little bit of help to at least improve the place. Right now. . with the windows busted out and everything. . you're going to have animals in there. I am retired and when walking in the woods archery hunting. . you can hear animals in there banging around and stuff in there. The whole thing is open and a lot of times. .the door is even open. I actually had to go to Mr. Croft about a month ago because the renters he had in there. . they had trash piled up. . .like a half of porch full of trash. Whenever you have trash, you're going to have rodents and the rodents are going to go from across the street and try to get in my place. I don't know if we have any laws that pertain. . or if anything can be done for something like this to make these people at least improve the place or make it look a little bit presentable. Barbin said, we do have a rubbish and garbage ordinance and if a place is so bad. . we did cite a guy for a trailer over there that had broken out windows. . at this point it's no longer a trailer. . it's a piece of garbage. We can send a letter out. . there can be a debate. . they have a right to fix up their property to maintain value. . if they refuse to fix it up, then we can be a little more aggressive with it. . it may take a few months. Ford said, I would appreciate any and all help you can give me to at least address this problem. It is bad and it's only going to get worse. I think you very much for your time.

Chairman Baker
announced, The Board of Supervisors next scheduled meeting will be held on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. Jackson Township will hold itís 3rd Annual Light-Up Night at Veterans Park on Sunday, November 30, 2009 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. There will be over 15,000 lights, trees decorated by businesses, organizations, churches and families, model train display, refreshments, caroling and a special visit from Santa.

Motion Wallet, second Bracken to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 a.m. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary