November 18, 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.

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:

Stephens, second Baker to approve the minutes of the October 28, 2004 meeting. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$          14,270.80

$  124,604.23

$    128,245.04

$       10,629.99


$      1,465,265.24

$        312.54

$    120,032.36

$   1,345,545.42


$          10,257.23

$          20.54

$       5,378.44

$         4,899.33


$          26,160.45

$     3,749.32

$       1,694.94

$       28,214.83

Baker, second Bracken to approve the bills for the period of October 29, 2004 through November 18, 2004. Supervisor Stephens commented that prior to the meeting on September 30, 2004 he made attempts to have Solicitor Barbinís bills reflect whether the calls as billed were to or from. the person being talked with and the subject matter of the conversation where actions were billed to the Township. He added that at the September 30th meeting of 2004 he pointed out that Solicitor Barbinís bill failed to do so in some cases. Prior to last months meeting, he stated that he complimented Mr. Barbin on the improvement of his billing information but pointed out to him that at least several did not reflect if the calls were to or from , who he talked with and the subject matter of the conversation. Supervisor Baker asked if this would be considered a personnel matter being youíre an employee. Barbin replied that he is a contractor. Stephens went on to say that this months bill reflects that the situation hasnít been corrected and he urged the Board not to pay this bill until the bill reflects who the call was to or from, whom Mr. Barbin talked, what action was taken and the subject matter of the call or action. Barbin said that he believed the Board would find his bills more detailed than any Municipal Solicitor in the County and if the Board as a whole would pass a motion that directed him to change his billing procedures he either would or he would leave. He went on to say that he didnít believe you would find another municipality in the County that has more detailed bills and if you want to look back on your old bills from prior Solicitors, youíll see how theirs compare in detail to his. Barbin added that his bills have 10 times the amount of detail of any other one and that he didnít want to write essays each time he made a short phone call as it would take spending more time. A vote was then taken. Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-no

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$  128,245.04

$      5,378.44

$      1,694.94

Township Police Report:
The October, 2004 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 375. Reportable Incidents were 37 broken down as follows: Criminal Mischief-11, Theft-7, Harassment-4, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-3, Disorderly Conduct-2, Vehicle Theft-2, Assault-1, Burglary-1, Drugs-1, False Information to Police-1, Littering-1, Public Drunkenness-1, Receiving Stolen Property-1 and Resisting Arrest-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-11. Traffic Citations Issued-48. Accidents Handled-16. Criminal Charges Filed were 20 broken down as follows: Harassment-4, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-3, Theft-3, Criminal Mischief-2, Disorderly Conduct-2, Drugs-1, False Information to Police-1, Littering-1, Public Drunkenness-1, Receiving Stolen Property-1 and Resisting Arrest-1.


Old Business:

New Business:
Baker, second Bracken to approve additional cost of $27,104.60 to Kukurin Contracting Inc. for 10 new fire hydrants installed on the Salt Lick - Ebensburg Water Line in Jackson Township. Supervisor Stephens commented that two months ago it came before the Board and we approved to pay $750 for each hydrant. He said it was his understanding that the hydrants have been installed but when we received the bill, it was $3,460.46 for each hydrant that we approved in two months ago bills that cost us $750. He said he didnít feel this was proper and it needed explained and we just got a grand total here of $27,000 and it should have been 10 times $750 or $7,500 based on what we approved two months ago. A Vote was then taken. Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-no

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize advertisement of bids for garbage collection to establish new contract to replace the current one that expires December 31, 2004. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to enter into GIS Data Sharing and Release Agreement with Cambria County. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to adopt proposed budget for Jackson Township for 2005 as follows: General Fund $ 906,745.00, State Fund $ 140,000.00, Fire Hydrant Fund $ 10,000.00, Rescue Fund $ 9,000.00, Capital Reserve Fund $ 1,750,995.24, Senior Center Fund $ 56,000.00; Total of All Funds $ 2,872,740.24. Supervisor Stephens commented that he wanted to go over one aspect of the Proposed Budget concerning the Police Agreement and the proposed Police Budget. He said in just the last few years and it was brought up at last years meeting that the Police Budget increased approximately 50% from the year before and it was 25% more than that and now the Proposed Budget is increasing an additional 25% up from $154,850 to $194,800 and that is in increase proposed of $39,950 according to his figures and it was a 25.7% increase. He said in view of the fact that cost of living only went up 2.8 to 3% based on Federal figures and comparable budgets in the area went up 3% it is only fitting that this particular aspect of our Proposed Budget reflect the 3% increase and not 25.7%. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on transferring $ 157,530.96 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $81,636.36 to David Rickabaugh, Attorney for purchase of the NAPA Property from Ben Kupchella, $34,604.60 to Kukurin Contracting Inc. for purchase and installation of 10 new fire hydrants, $28,500.00 to J & J Truck Bodies for "dump body" for new truck, $4,461.89 to Naugle Insurance for November Insurance Premium, $2,146.00 to H. A. Thompson Company for 2005 Treasurer Bond, $1,835.19 to US Municipal Supply for Reflective Sheeting and Signs, $1,627.92 to Lehman Engineers for Stormwater Management Work, $1,171.00 to Fi-Hoff Concrete for Drainage Culverts, $800.00 for contribution to the Nanty Glo Public Library and $748.00 to Centre Communications for police vehicle light bar. Supervisor Stephens commented that he made a notation of the Kupchella Property and what he felt was an inflated price and also he made a record of the 10 fire hydrants that were costing us $750 and now there was an inflated price and on that basis he would let it go to vote. A vote was then taken. Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens-no

Motion Stephens, second Baker on approving the time sheets from October 24, 2004 through November 6, 2004. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:
Baker, second Bracken to authorize the Solicitor to amend Ordinance # 89 to have the Manager approve the police scheduling. Supervisor Stephens said to Solicitor Barbin it was his understanding that the Second Class Township Code and State Law provides Township Supervisors to have jurisdiction over the policemen and asked if the Board was within their confines to relinquish their authority defined by State Law to someone else. Solicitor Barbin said you can delegate your responsibilities and you never relinquish them but always keep them but itís not you individually but as a Board. He added that you always keep your power as the three together but you authorize Dave Hirko as one person as the Township Manager to exercise it between meetings. Stephens asked Barbin that in his opinion, was this legal. Barbin replied yes. Supervisor Baker said thatís what our intent is and if the police have a schedule set for the week and for some reason there was a change in a shift or how itís scheduled, it would be difficult for the three of us to call a special meeting for that purpose. Barbin said that would be very cumbersome. Stephens said he realized that and that he was going back a ways. Barbin said this would apply to other matters too and not just this. The motion was then opened up for public comment. Clair Michaels asked if this was only for Dave Hirko or is that for somebody else and asked what if Dave decides to quit or retire. Clair then said he had a right to speak and said thatís what you got to put in there too because if Dave retires or quits then you got to go through the whole thing all over. Baker said itís the Manager position and Barbin & Hirko agreed. Baker added that the Manager Position, not an individual, is what Ordinance # 89 deals with. Michaels said it needs to be made clear. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to have the Solicitor draw up a policy to handle internal and external complaints dealing with the Police Department. Solicitor Barbin said that about two months ago after a previous meeting, he obtained from our Insurance Carrier a Policy but he had to figure out where the decision making goes in the Policy and thatís so much a part of the Policy. He said in the Sewage Ordinance you can call the Sewage Officer and get specific numbers to verify something and then asked who sits and deals with the issue that came up with the complaint we received. Supervisor Stephens said he didnít know there was a complaint. Barbin replied that he knew because she was here at a public meeting and added it was concerning Eugene Kist. Stephens recalled the complaint. Barbin said thatís why he got the Policy from the Insurance Company. Stephens said he meant a written complaint. Barbin stated that she did make a written complaint and we donít have any policy and itís easy to say the Chief handles a complaint made against an Officer with the "chain of command" but concerning the Chief would be another matter. He added that he thought this could be done pretty quick and would be ready for the Board to look at. Manager Dave Hirko added that the written complaint was exactly what was in the letter she read at the meeting and the letter itself served as the written complaint. Barbin said his thought would be to have the Manager dispose of those kind of complaints just on a written basis. He said it would involve accepting a written complaint, passing it on and asking for a written response and making a decision based solely on the writing and then let the person take that decision on to the Board of Supervisors. He said this preserves the Boards ability to make a decision without polluting your thoughts with prejudging and advised that this would be a good way to set it up. He added that if approved heíll go ahead and finish the Policy that way. There were no public comments on this motion. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens that the Township not pay any bill from the Township Solicitor that does not include on each and every entry of the bill the date of the action, the time that the action commenced, the length and time of the action, who perpetuated the action, the person or persons involved in the action and the subject matter of the action. The motion died from lack of a second.

Chairman Dave Bracken asked the Solicitor to give some guidance on another matter involving the water line from Pike Road to Ogden Road. Solicitor Barbin said the Water Authority contacted us last week and said while the fire hydrants were going in, they talked to Kukurin, contractor for the Ebensburg Municipal Authority on the water line going up to Ogden Road and coming out to Route 22. He said Kukurin offered to build the waterline extension on Pike Road somewhere in the vicinity of the Jehovahís Witness Church down to Ogden Road which involves about 20 or so customers for $79,500 and it comes out to a little over $3,000 a customer which is real cheap. He said based on the bid prices in the Ebensburg Borough Municipal Authority Contract, Ebensburg Borough Municipal Authority would do a "Change Order" to their Contract to add in the water line on Pike Road and we would enter into a short agreement with the Ebensburg Borough Municipal Authority to reimburse them all costs and that would be the cost of the contractor and the cost of the engineer to prepare it and to prepare easements for two private properties. He added that Kukurin said to Karl Smith that this would only be good while they were still working and they only have a week or two to go. He then said DEP raised some questions about doing this without a permit and you cannot connect this line to the Ebensburg Water Line without a special additional permit because that would involve brining a new source of water into the Jackson Township Water System and that would require a Water Allocation Permit but you can put an extension on the Jackson Line and take this line close to the Ebensburg Line without a permit and if you stay off 22 you donít need a special Highway Occupancy Permit. He said you could stay on Sloan Drive right-of-way and connect Pike Road with Ogden and that would require two easements. He then said the DEP raised a question that if they issued a permit they would need approval of plans because a change order on a Pennvest project requires DEP approval but thatís because Pennvest is paying for a change order but in this case Pennvest wouldnít be paying for it. Barbin added that the DEP person in Pittsburgh agreed and you would have to get clearance from Pennvest. Barbin said he talked to Pennvest yesterday and they got back to him this morning and they said they had to get clearance from their attorneys but it looks positive but they wonít say yes until they have it cleared. Barbin said the problem is by your next meeting, Kukurin will be packed up and gone and all the equipment will be gone and you wonít be able a new deal then. He said they expect to be done in a couple of weeks and we have to be ready to go at that time. He said you would have the engineer for the Ebensburg Borough Municipal Authority draw up the easements but the Water Authority would have to sign. Barbin said you could have a motion authorizing to proceed and a special meeting would have to be called to approve the contract with the Ebensburg Borough Municipal Authority as we donít want to get caught again with price changes. He said in reference to the hydrants, we paid the $27,000 additional and the hydrants are a reasonable price and the price in the project bid and Dave Hirko and I checked with other places as to what fire hydrants cost and stated the prices were reasonable but we donít want that situation to happen again. He said he would suggest we call a special meeting when weíre actually ready to do the contract for a set dollar amount and approve and hopefully we could have a decision on all this by the middle or end of next week with a special meeting called for the following Monday. Supervisor Stephens said that in other words if we donít do it now, it would end up costing more later on. Barbin said we wonít get this "per foot" bid price as this is a four million dollar project.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to authorize proceeding with Pike Road Water Line Extension Project and incurring any cost with the Ebensburg Borough Authorityís engineer and coming back with a special meeting to authorize a firm dollar and cents contract. The motion was opened to public comment. George Burkey asked that if youíre going to hook up to the Townships original water line, how could this be a change order for the Ebensburg Water Line. He added that he was interested being that he is a member of the Sewer Authority in case something happens and was just wondering. Barbin said itís their contract bid price weíre using and their contractor bids so many dollars per foot on an 8" line and weíre adding it on there and we are taking it down to their line for an eventual connection but we canít connect now and say weíre connecting because that would take a permit from the DEP and would take months to get and there arenít months. He then said weíll just take the line close to it and then the Water Authority can worry about doing the final couple of feet later when they have a real permit. Dick McDowell said he had been under the impression there was going to be a connection made between those systems in the vicinity of Burkharts Crossing where they come very close together now and wondered if that was true. Barbin said he didnít know for a fact but Jackson Township Water Authority has a contract with Nanty Glo that says all the water comes from Nanty Glo so while they can make a connection, they canít actually draw water from Ebensburg without Nanty Gloís permission. McDowell said he understood it would be for only emergency conditions but youíre talking about the possibility of making a connection here and he was stating that they came very close together at Burkharts and he was under the impression that maybe they were going to provide for a connection between the 2 systems. He also said he understood that we also have one over at East Taylor close to the East Taylor line about 100 feet and we could make a connection there with Johnstown. Stephens said it was his understanding based on what he read in the paper that this Salt Lick Water Line is coming through and going to Ebensburg and will actually curl and go down Beulah Road, out Allie Buck Road and go into the Nanty Glo line. Barbin said he heard something like that laso that itís out Beulah Roadway. Stephens said these are the things we need to get out and be aware of ahead of time so we keep progressing on whatís actually going on and be prepared to try to save ourselves some money. Bracken said he thought in the event of the possibility of a problem with Nanty Glo Reservoir being contaminated water, then this would give us a line where we could supply our customers with water in an emergency situation. McDowell said he wasnít against it all but that we were talking about another source of water and he thought there were provisions being made at Burkharts. Barbin said he didnít know one way or the other. Supervisor Baker said there was talk about that but it never materialized. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Public Comments:
Kay Hochstein
commented on a barking dog or kennel ordinance. Chairman Dave Bracken said we had no Kennel Ordinance. Hochstein asked if we had a barking dog ordinance. Bracken said that would be a complaint and youíd have to call the Police Department. Supervisor Baker asked Solicitor Barbin if he remembered this conversation from before. Barbin said he did and he knew what happened and he sent a letter. Barbin then said the Police Chief does try to use his police powers to enforce barking dogs but itís got to be against something specific and he told us you didnít want us to talk to anyone specifically. Hochstein agreed. Barbin said he recalled her mentioning the neighbor that was 30 feet away but then found out that she didnít want us talking to the neighbor. Hochstein said she didnít want him talking to the neighbors and would wait to see what the Township has to say. Barbin said he is our means for dog laws. Hochstein said he told her he was the Township. Barbin said that was correct and for that purpose he is the Township. Hochstein asked if there was a problem with getting a barking dog ordinance through. She said they had this problem for years and so have other people in Jackson Township but weíre always told that the only thing they can do something about is if theyíre barking at night. She said she wanted an ordinance that addresses barking dogs no matter what time of day and people donít work or are retired and you have older people confined to their homes and yet you have to put up with the barking dogs. Barbin said as discussed at the last meeting, the first response you want to make is to go and talk to the people to see if there is a way to solve the problem first before we start violations and all that stuff. He said the way we handle things in this Township is the Police Chief goes out and talks and tries to find a way to solve the problem or make it quieter but you asked us not to do that and thatís are mechanism to solve the problem. Barbin asked if we should tell the Chief to go out and talk to the neighbor about the dog barking noises. He said he wrote a letter back and said if she would put a specific complaint in writing we would deal with this. Hochstein said she received the letter and filled the form out. Manager Dave Hirko said she turned it in and it was laying on the table before the meeting. Barbin said we still have to send him to somebody and designate some dog or point out some dogs and heíll look to see if itís reasonable or not reasonable and talk to the person. Hochstein said she wanted to just ask a general question as to whether the Township had a barking dog ordinance. Barbin said one never existed in our Township. Hochstein asked if one could be drawn up. Barbin said anything can be written but everybody loves their dogs and we have enough problems right now with ordinances and regulations. Hochstein said she had this problem for years. Barbin said the Police Officer can cite someone for disorderly conduct if a dog is continually annoying people and heíll file a citation under the Crimes Code Act. He said if youíve been living with something bad for years, heíll look at it and talk to the people and identify the problem and if we went through that and it didnít work, then the Township should consider whether there should be more or not but we should first try the soft approach. Hochstein asked what comes under the Nuisance Law. Barbin said our Nuisance is extremely limited and is mostly garbage and refuse. Hirko said our Nuisance is just for pornography. Barbin said that is not an enforceable ordinance. Hochstein asked what disturbing the peace was. Barbin said itís disorderly conduct and thatís a summary offense under the Crimes Code. He understood that the Police Chief has used that in the past and if a dog barks non-stop and continually near somebodys house, it is disturbing the peace. He said a dog barking while hunting or on a farm isnít the same. If a dog is close to you and barks constantly and you canít sleep or think, thatís something that needs addressed and the Police Chief will go out and do it and if that doesnít work then you may need something with an ordinance or regulation. Barbin added thatís it reasonable to let the Chief go first. Supervisor Stephens said you can set noise levels. Barbin said you can set decibels and Township Governments have a lot of power to set regulations but you only want to use what is necessary to accomplish the goal. Hochstein said the woman beside her told her there was nothing she could do about it. Barbin said to let us try in the normal way and see how it works out. He added that you can adopt an ordinance and put noise requirements or time requirements where if a dog barks over a certain amount of time, and a lot of places have them but we should try the soft way first letting the police talk to them. Barbin said people tend to take a policeman seriously and it usually makes a difference. Barbin asked Hochstien if that would be ok to do. Hochstein said she would think about it. Barbin told her to call Dave and heíll have the Police Chief come out. Hochstein said she would if she made up her mind.

An announcement was made that the next Supervisors Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 30, 2004 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Stephens, second Baker to adjourn the meeting at 7:48 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary