November 20, 2008

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:00 p.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 Bruce Baker, Chairman with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Board Roll Call was taken with all three Supervisors present.

Executive Sessions:

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:
Steve Yurasek said, what are we going to do with Sutter? Are we going to give him an open thing?. . now. . I know youíre going to laugh. Solicitor Barbin replied, oh no. . I just knew you were going to say it. . I was just waiting for you to say it. . thatís all. Yurasek continued, times ainít gettin any better. I specifically sit there and listened to that man say, this will not cost the Township more than $5000.00. That got his foot in the door and this is gonna continue when he gets $24,000.00 each year. . next year it will be $30,000.00. Are we working by the hour. . are we working by the job or what? Whatís he doing here to earn his money? Barbin replied, itís hourly, not to exceed. Yurasek said, thatís a lot of money. Chairman Baker replied, it is, but I guess itís a necessary evil. Yurasek said, I donít know, but I think you should be doin some explaining. . .what heís doin for all this money cause it donít seem to me like heís doin. . . .we donít have our map yet so we donít know what zone weíre in yet and he should have had this done a long time ago but he always has an excuse every time he comes personally.

Wallet, second Bracken to approve the minutes of the Board of Supervisors Meetings held on October 30, 2008 and November 13, 2008. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$   128,406.86

$  71,174.43

$     119,373.61

$     80,207.68


$ 1,449,734.67

$    3,957.41

$       14,761.69

$ 1,438,930.39


$     17,739.08

$        35.17

$         5,061.17

$     12,713.08


$     30,443.22

$    2,675.77

$         2,365.56

$     30,753.43


$     61,932.92

$      122.78

$                .00

$     62,055.70

Manager Hirko commented, the Capital Reserve Fund does not reflect this monthís payment from Waste Management. . that will show up next month.

Bracken, second Wallet to approve the bills for the period of October 31, 2008 through November 20, 2008. Vote-3 yes.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$    119,373.61

$        5,061.17

$      2,365.56

Township Police Report
The October, 2008 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures for October, 2008 were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police: 288 Reportable Part I Crimes: 7 broken down as follows: Larceny-4 and Burglaries-3. Reportable Part II Crimes: 23 broken down as follows: DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-5, Vandalism-5, Fraud-3, Receiving Stolen Property-3, Drugs-1, Embezzlement-1, Family Offenses-1 and all others-4. Calls Resulting in Cases: 16, Total Arrestees: 8, Total Suspects: 1, Total Victims: 8, DUI Arrests: 5, Traffic Citations: 34, Non-Traffic Citations: 1, Total Warnings: 1.

Manager Hirko
said, we received a letter from the Nanty Glo Public Library and theyíre conducting their Annual Fund Drive and they say we have about 700 people from the Township who use the Library. Last year we donated $1000.00.

Old Business:

New Business:
Wallet, second Bracken to approve the subdivision of Dale & Margaret Wyse on condition that they attach the Zoning Hearing Board conditions to the mylar when itís recorded. Manager Hirko asked, so itís a conditional approval? Solicitor Barbin replied, yes. Supervisor Wallet added, but thatís just a technicality. Barbin replied, yes. . itís approved. . they just have to bring it back and show us that they recorded it. We also have to see that the conditions are recorded too. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Bracken, second Wallet to approve Resolution 11-08 setting the tax structure for 2009 as follows: Real Estate Tax-3Ĺ Mills, Fire Hydrant Tax-Ĺ Mill, Rescue Service Tax-1/4 Mill, Earned Income Tax-Ĺ %, Real Estate Transfer Tax-Ĺ %, Per Capita Tax-$5.00 and Local Municipal Services Tax-$5.00. Manager Hirko said, there are no increases from last year. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Bracken, second Wallet to appoint Barnes, Saly & Company, Certified Public Accountants, to perform the audit of Township records for the calendar year, 2008. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Bracken to approve contribution of $1,000.00 to the Nanty Glo Public Library towards their Annual Fund Drive. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Bracken, second Wallet to approve contract with Richard Sutter & Associates to perform Planning & Consulting Services for the calender year 2009 not to exceed the amount of $24,500.00. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Bracken on transferring $ 14,761.69 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund: $5,764.82 to Naugle Insurance for December Installment, $5,436.87 to Luther P. Miller for fuel & heating oil, $2,180.00 to Snyder Excavating for concrete wall for Pennway Drive drainage and $1,380.00 to JEMCOR for asbestos testing at NAPA Building. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Wallet, second Bracken on approving the time sheets from October 19, 2008 through November 1, 2008 and November 2, 2008 through November 15, 2008. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:

Public Comments:
Steve Yurasek asked, has the dump started to decrease what the Township gets now here? Manager Hirko replied, yes. Yurasek said, Davidsvilleís down by half what they used to get. Hirko said, Iíd say itís close to a third. Will Michaels said, you mean down a third? Yurasek said, you ought to start watching the dollar before you look like Franklin Borough. Iím serious. . you start watchin the dollar because Franklin Borough thought there was no end to the cow. . .well, when Bethlehem left, you see what they got now and we could end up the same way. Now. . what are you gonna do? . are you gonna raise the taxes on the people that are living on fixed incomes so they canít live in their homes? Itís so easy to just keep passing money out. Will Michaels said, Steve. Nobody listened to me anyhow. . I wanted to do something about that 17 years ago and they wonít listen so the people in the Township are gonna learn one of these days. Yurasek said, that golden goose is gonna go. . trust me. . itís gonna go. . you donít have to be a Philadelphia engineer. . just go down to Franklin in the morning and watch the train goin through full of garbage. Go down about 7 or 8 oíclock in the evening and watch the train goin through again full of garbage. Itís goin to Ohio. You know what theyíre dumpin in Ohio for?. . .$12.00 a ton. Chairman Baker said, the State of Pennsylvania is greedy on their taxes . . on their charges. Yurasek said, I just lost a job down at the Planing Mill because Earth Movers is takin the stuff to Ohio rather than up here to the landfill . . $12.00 a ton is what theyíre chargin. . . .well sure. . .how are you gonna compete with $60.00 a ton? You canít do it.

Clair Michaels said, the people down on Wagner Road and Chickaree Hill Road. . how can we get our property taxes lowered for this garbage dump? Weíve been payin the same taxes ever since it went in but the valuation to our property has went down since the garbage dump went in. Iíll tell ya what. . weíve been stupid for not askin why we canít get a lower property tax. You let the garbage dump have a lower tax about 4 years ago. . maybe 5. Will Michaels added, you let them get their taxes reduced. . how can we get ours reduced down there? Solicitor Barbin said, you have to file. . the procedure is, the taxes come out. . .when the assessment comes out each year in April, you have until August to file an appeal at the County Assessment Office. Thereís a Board. . thereís three guys who sit on the Board of Appeals. You really wonít win unless you bring an Appraiser. . you multiply your property value times 3.2 for your assessment. . . times 3.2 . . thatís your market value and if you have an Appraiser that says no. . my market value not equal to that. . my market value is $10,000.00 less. You can bring an Appraiser in to testify. . .itís less than 3.2 times your value then theyíll lower it to what he says. Clair Michaels said, how comes you voted to let the Township. . I mean the Township voted to reduce the property taxes on the garbage dump. Hirko said, probably Waste Management appealed it to the County. Barbin answered, we donít actually consent on that. . we might choose not to fight something. . I donít remember that one to be honest Clair. Clair Michaels said, but I do. Barbin said, itís just that I donít remember what the circumstances were. . .we could choose not to fight because when somebody appeals their taxes, they send a notice to the Township and to the School District saying so and so thinks their taxes should be lowered. If you care, show up at the hearing to argue against it. Clair Michaels asked, could we go as a group to do it rather than one. One person, youíre gonna lose. Barbin said, the County does it one by one. .thatís the only way they do it. Clair Michaels said, we should be able to do it as a group because we would have a better chance. Will Michaels said, Iíd like to say something on that. I donít know how many years ago, I filed an appeal and I went up there and there was more than 3 settin there and basically what I had said to them is that I know my property is gonna get less and less value. Thereís no sense of me doin much to my property because it isnít gonna be worth anything but Iím not movin. Thatís where I stand. Iím gonna be stayin there. It doesnít make any difference but why should I pay a tax. . . .as a matter of fact, when I built the garage that I work out of right now, thatís when I went up and appealed and they told me what they do. . . they go somewhere else and look at similarities and it wasnít even done. Barbin said, comparable sales. Will Michaels continued, and they said you were right there. . another thing they told me is to get an Attorney. Barbin said, you can win an appeal without an Attorney as long as you have an Appraiser. You canít win without an Appraiser. Will Michaels said, I said to them. . ok. . they have people in that Courthouse that do appraisals. . that should be their job and this is what I even said . . and naturally you know I didnít win. Barbin said, the County wants to keep your taxes up. Will Michaels said, still at the same time, down there in Johnstown I can tell you that down there with that Ideal Market where they were gonna do some building and stuff like that how many years ago. That was right around the same time when it was in the paper. . .location, location, location. . . and I told them, Iím just the opposite of them. They said, they were gonna give them how much more money because of the location and what they were evaluated at and their property was how much more money because of location and I said, Iím just the opposite. . Iím in a different location dump and I can walk right out and look at the dump. I asked him about them comin down and looking at it. Barbin replied, they wonít do it. . they wonít change your assessment without filing an appeal. Their view is to file an appeal, itís your obligation. Will Michaels added, and then what I didnít like about it either. . . when they set you a date, thatís the day and time you gotta be there. They tell you right there, if youíre not there. . .and to me . . that is not a democracy or anything like that. Clair Michaels added, yeah. . thatís a dictator. Barbin said, thatís how they do it. . .people in Johnstown have been gettin their taxes lowered for a long time because taxes have been dropping in Johnstown for a long time. Clair Michaels said, they have appraisals up there. Barbin replied, but theyíre not certified. Clair Michaels said, ok, but they send their people out and they come down and they say. . ok. . weíre re-appraisin . . .ok. . and itís going up. Barbin said, based on your buildings or what you build. Clair Michaels said, that should work the opposite way too. Barbin said, the law says theyíre allowed to set it and if you donít like it, you have to bring somebody into contest it. Will Michaels said, basically you know what we said years ago. . I even said here. . I talked to Dave Bracken years ago outside here. . that was years ago. . .about help. . .it was Dan Albright. . about givin us some kind of help from the Township because weíre sittin down there . . basically we donít really get anything from that dump. Everything goes to Vinco. . Mitchell Field. . Leidy Field. Clair Michaels said, weíre sittin on a time bomb. . .itís gonna go off one of these days and weíre gonna be in trouble. Barbin replied, may I remind you that the Township put many years of money into the water line and it was a good project. Will Michaels said, you gotta remember one thing on that water line. .ok. . Iíve said this and said this before. . that water line should have come up from High Ridge. . it would have been a lot cheaper and they had. . . what was that. . four hundred and some thousand to bring the water line up and they would have covered everybody at that time and somebody said there wasnít a pump. . they needed a pump and they didníĎt include the pump. Well, you know and I know when they give you a contract, if they donít bid it there then they got to do what they need to do it. I mean, I understand why the water line went across there because of that Industrial Park. Barbin said, even $400,000.00 is a lot per person. . itís needed. . itís a good thing and nobodyís saying it wasnít. Itís a lot of money per house. When you divide it by the number of houses served. . but it was needed. Will Michaels said, Iíll agree with you. Barbin said, it was needed and you were in a special circumstance because of the landfill and everybody was happy and they made your road the highest priority. Will Michaels said, but it went how many years Bill? How many years? Barbin added, and nobody was happy about that. Will Michaels said, you know what I mean. . as far as Iím concerned, Larry Custerís the one that made the best deal on that one. Barbin said, itís done and thatís good and now hopefully a couple of other areas in the Township and get water lines.

Will Michaels said, I heard you talkin something about the gas wells. I seen somethin in the paper here a week ago. . Nanty Glo. Solicitor Barbin said, Loraine Park. . .about 100 acres. It appeared pretty clear that we own the gas rights under that 90 some acres which could be very valuable. Will Michaels replied, absolutely. . absolutely. Barbin said, and weíre not becoming partners with Nanty Glo or anything like that but when we go to lease it. . .they lease their adjoining land at the same time. . two separate leases. . we have a lease. . they have a lease. . now weíre talking about 160 acres and that makes it even more attractive. Will Michaels said, what kind of money are we talkin? Barbin said, the stuff in the paper is $2,000.00. . .Ebensburg. . there are other people talking about $2500.00. Theyíre going to put a request for proposals and weíre going to pay for half the advertisement. Will Michaels said, you remember we told you before at the meeting. . thatís money you need to jump on because itís there. Chairman Baker replied, itís a good thing we didnít jump on that a while ago because the prices have substantially risen. Will Michaels said, yeah. . but who would have known. . you know what Iím sayin? We thought you were at the top at $1150. . a thousand. . when you went form some people gettin $6.00 bucks an acre.

Chairman Baker
announced, The Board of Supervisors next regularly scheduled meetings will be held on Thursday, December 11, 2008, 2008 at 8:00 AM and Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building. The 3rd Annual Jackson Township Light-Up Night will be held on Sunday, November 30, 2008 from 5:30 - 8:30 at Veterans Park. The event will feature park a tree lighting ceremony, Festival of Trees, carolers, refreshments and a special visit from Santa Claus.

Wallet, second Bracken to adjourn the meeting at 7:22 pm. Vote-3 yes.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary