December 30, 2004

The Jackson Township Supervisors held their regular meeting at 7:04 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.

Executive Sessions Held:
An announcement was made by Chairman Bracken that an Executive Session was held on the morning of Thursday, December 30, 2004 to discuss contract negotiations with the Jackson Township Police Association.

Public Comments Concerning Agenda Items:
Will Michaels
commented on line painting and said that he thought it was supposed to be a set-up with the State and that there was machinery lent and different things done for the State and that the State was supposed to do this as a trade-off and was wondering what was happening here. Chairman Bracken said we only had enough money from the State to do 8.4 miles and the total roads painted was about 19 miles so we had to contract to do the rest of them. Michaels said he was under the impression before that with the amount of stuff being done for the State that they would do it. Bracken said again that they could only do 8.4 miles in the agreement and the rest had to be contracted out. Michaels said it didn’t add up to him.

Stephens, second Baker to approve the minutes of the November 18, 2004 meeting. Vote-3 yes.

Township Financial Report:







$      10,629.99

$ 151,708.29

$    142,964.55

$     19,373.73


$  1,345,545.42

$ 120,165.71

$      80,479.87

$ 1,385,231.26


$        4,899.33

$        10.28

$               .00

$       4,909.61


$      28,214.83

$   2,413.47

$         3977.45

$      26,650.85

Baker, second Bracken to approve the bills for the period of November 19, 2004 through December 30, 2004.

General Fund

Highway Aid Fund

Senior Center Fund

$ 142,964.55

$          .00

$       3,977.45

A vote was then taken. Bracken & Baker-yes, Stephens-no due to the fact that in reviewing Mr. Barbins bills, there were numerous entries that do not reflect whether calls were from or to or reflect whom he talked with or the subject matter defined.

Township Police Report:
The November, 2004 Police Report submitted by Police Chief Bob Fatula was presented. The figures were as follows: 911 Calls dispatched to Police were 349. Reportable Incidents were 38 broken down as follows: Theft-10, Disorderly Conduct-6, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-6, Criminal Mischief-5, Harassment-3, Assault-2, Trespassing-2, Burglary-1, Eluding Police-1, Public Drunkenness-1 and Receiving Stolen Property-1. Non-Traffic Citations Issued-14. Traffic Citations Issued-35. Accidents Handled-23. Criminal Charges Filed were 30 broken down as follows: Disorderly Conduct-6, DUI (Driving While Under the Influence)-6, Trespassing-5, Theft-3, Assault-2, Burglary-2, Receiving Stolen Property-2, Criminal Mischief-1, Eluding Police-1, Harassment-1 and Public Drunkenness-1.

Manager Hirko
read a letter from Susan Makosky, Superintendent of Central Cambria School District thanking the Township for their assistance in the snow emergency on Monday when schools were dismissed early. The letter expressed being grateful for the cooperation and confidence in dealing with a difficult situation and they appreciated the care and concern for the safety of the students.

Another letter was read from Walt Ditchcreek, Chairman of the Jackson Township Water Authority. The letter stated that at their December 16, 2004 meeting, the Water Authority Board members unanimously made a decision to submit an application to the Dept. Of Environment Protection for a new Water Allocation Permit to service approximately 18 prospective water customers in the Ogden Cemetery area of the Township. The letter went on to say that this service will be provided by a connection to the Ebensburg Water Authority water line now under construction from the Salt Lick Dam to Ebensburg and through the proposed construction of 1800 feet of 8 inch line plus 2 fire hydrants along Ogden Road. The letter stated that the new line would provide treated water to residents who now have questionable quality and supply of potable water, provide fire protection to residents of the area, allow for future expansion of new homes and provide the JTWA with expansion and service to a new area of the Township at the least cost. In addition by using the present contractor working on the Ebensburg line, JTWA would be taking advantage of today’s construction costs verses future increasing costs and that the contractor has made a reasonable construction cost proposal to JTWA. It went on to say that the Authority is at a present disadvantage on funding the total cost of the project due to outstanding expenditures of Authority monies awaiting refunding / reimbursement from PennDOT for the Route 22 waterline relocation project. The Authority estimates the cost of the new project to be $80,000 of which $35,000 will be in the form of a loan. In closing they requested that the Supervisors consider making a loan estimated in the amount of $35,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund at an interest rate to be determined by the Supervisors for a period of two years, to be paid monthly by JTWA.

Old Business:

New Business:
Stephens, second Baker to approve two subdivisions of John Sirko Jr. (side lot additions). Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve minor modification to stormwater management plan of John Halmula, upon conditions set forth in agreement and upon further condition that all site runoff is routed through the on site Underground Detention Pond Facility. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to approve loan and agreement with the Jackson Township Water Authority for $35,000 to help pay for a water line extension Ogden Road to serve 18 families. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to approve Resolution 13-04 adopting the 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 the police force in the proposed budget reflects approximately $195,000. He said according to the figures he had, this was more than double what it was five years ago. He said that this was completely out-of-line and in reviewing the facts and figures on what the Chief of Police in the proposed agreement is making and what the part-time police and the full-time police will get, it’s an over inflated budget and therefore he would like reconsideration. A vote was then taken. Vote-Baker & Bracken-yes, Stephens no.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve Resolution 14-04 setting the tax structure for 2005 as follows: Real Estate Tax-3˝ Mills, Fire Hydrant Tax-˝ Mill, Rescue Service Tax-1/4 Mill, Earned Income Tax-˝ %, Real Estate Transfer Tax-˝ %, Per Capita Tax-$5.00 and Emergency & Municipal Services Tax-$5.00. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Bracken to appoint Barnes, Saly & Company, Certified Public Accountants, to perform the audit of Township records for the calendar year, 2004. Supervisor Stephens commented that we had this done last year and we went over the records on what it cost having Barnes & Saly do it verses what it cost the Township Auditors and there wasn’t any difference in what Barnes & Saly determined in their findings verses what the Township Auditors found the previous years and therefore he thought it was money not necessarily spent wisely. He added that he felt the Auditors should do this and save the Township money. A vote was then taken. Baker & Bracken-yes. Stephens-no.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve compensation of $25.00 per regular meeting and $50.00 for any hearings for Zoning Hearing Board members. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to hire James Braunns as a part-time police officer effective January 1, 2005. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens to hire Scott Eger as a part-time police officer effective January 1, 2005. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker to approve three year agreement with the Jackson Township Police Association with the understanding that Chief Fatula’s entitled to four weeks vacation with his full-time and part-time service. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Baker, second Stephens on transferring $ 45,110.76 from the Capital Reserve Fund to the General Fund - $9,957.95 to U.S. Municipal Supply for plow, spreader and plow edges, $6,477.45 to P. Joseph Lehman Engineers for work on Comprehensive Plan & Stormwater Management, $5,889.40 to Williams & Willman for road line painting, $4,755.68 to Luther P. Miller for fuel and gas expense, $4,723.57 to Quaker Sales for road patching materials, $4,641.89 to Naugle Insurance for December installment, $3,768.61 to Attorney Ron Carnvali, $2,129.49 to Upbeat for trash receptacles for Veterans Memorial Park & Sr. Center Building, $786.91 to West Penn Hydraulics for motors for road equipment, $712.50 to Attorney Pat Kiniry, $649.80 to Ebensburg Office Supply for conference table & chairs for police station and $617.51 to Lynn Ruffley-Court Reporter. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens, second Baker on approving the time sheets from November 7, 2004 through November 20, 2004, November 21, 2004 through December 4, 2004 and December 5, 2004 through December 18, 2004. Vote-3 yes.

Other New Business:
Stephens, second Baker to instruct the Solicitor to take the necessary legal steps to draw up an ordinance for the Board’s approval to vote on that only the Board in a public meeting by a majority vote shall have the right to direct or instruct the Solicitor to formulate or write up any proposed ordinance, resolution or law governing Jackson Township. Supervisor Baker asked if he only meant the Board and Stephens said yes. The motion was opened up to public comment. Clair Michaels asked if the Board doesn’t, who can and then asked if somebody else could tell the solicitor like Dave Hirko to make a bill. Supervisor Stephens said this is what happened in the past. Manager Hirko said he is a member of the Board and asked if he meant Board of just Supervisors. Solicitor Barbin said that the Ordinance says you’re a member of the Board but felt that their clear meaning was Supervisors. Hirko said he thought that was what he meant. Stephens said the Second Class Township Code Book’s definition of the Board is 3 or 5 Supervisors comprising the Board. Michaels asked if anybody else could write them too or make any laws. Stephens replied not that he was aware of. Hirko added that he is a non-voting member but could have things for them to look at. Motion Baker, second Bracken to table the motion until he had more thought about it. Solicitor Barbin said that technically by making the motion to table that it would also serve as a second on the original motion. Supervisor Stephens said if he wanted further time to think about it, it was perfectly alright with him. A vote was then taken. Vote-3 yes.

Motion Stephens that the Board instruct and request the Township Manager to publish in the next Township Newsletter the names and locations of all buildings listed as shelters by the Cambria County Emergency Management Agency. The motion died from lack of a second.

Public Comments:
Tim Davis
commented on the Fire Hydrant Tax, Rescue Tax & Emergency Municipal Services Tax. He asked what the purpose of the Emergency Municipal Services Tax was. Solicitor Barbin said that was the old Occupational Privilege Tax and that on the news, it could go up to $52. He said when it was Occupational Privilege Tax it was $5.00 and part of the law says that the Occupational Privilege Tax is now the Emergency Municipal Services Tax and it automatically got renamed. Davis then questioned the Hydrant Tax and said that at the rate we’re going with fire hydrants, $10,000 isn’t going to make it. He said you’re adding 3 more hydrants on Ogden at $3,000 per hydrant and your $10,000 is gone. Supervisor Stephens said they have them pro-rated over a number of years. He said they come at you for money for hydrants and water line extensions without knowledge and now they want to borrow money from you and it seems to me like a budget management problem. He then asked about the Zoning Board being paid now and said he was under the impression that noone would be paid when he served on it. He said that he served on the Board as Secretary and he didn’t get paid and noone got paid or wanted paid. Stephens said that what it boils down to is that Ordinance # 118 has a provision in there for them to be paid and they elected to follow through on it with no pay but now they are requested to be paid. Davis asked if this would open Pandoras Box for all other Boards requesting to be paid too. Stephens said as Boards make requests, they would follow through on it. Davis said a lot of people give up a lot of time in this Township that are as deserving as the Zoning Boards time and I’m not speaking about myself but there’s a lot of other dedicated people who do a lot of things. Stephens said it was very unfortunate and that it needed to be rectified.

Clair Michaels asked where are the emergency buildings are in case of a natural disaster and asked where would we go. Chairman Bracken said at the time that happens and Brian Fiest said at a meeting when you were here that those places won’t be designated until the emergency happens and they’ll know where they’ll be at. Michaels said that isn’t a very good idea in my mind because nobody will know where to go unless they have a radio or tv on they would never know it. Supervisor Stephens said he felt it was logical and reasonable to take the position that if you have eight designated buildings, those buildings should be divided down reasonably into eight localities and the people in those localities should be assigned which building to go to in the case of an emergency. He said if that building was destroyed, an alternative building would be available to go to. He said he spoke with a number of people at the State & Federal level including a retired Major at Homeland Security and he thought it was apathetic that we would not know what building to go to and he asked me to contact PSATS. Stephens went on to say he contacted PSATS and he got no response back from them. He then said he went to the County Commissioners and talked to all three Commissioners personally and sent them letters to follow up on and they instructed him to send a letter to Mike who is in charge at Emergency Management. He then wrote a letter to Mike and said he previously sent a letter to the Emergency Management Group and he got a letter back from the second-in-command that Mike is the person who’s in charge. He added that he then sent Mike a personal letter and got a response back from the second person in charge who was the same person who said he didn’t want it done. Stephens said he had a letter from the Commissioners that said the Supervisors have the right to go over and above what the Emergency Management says and all three agreed with me and they couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t divulge the shelter locations but in writing they will not tell me why they won’t do it. He added that P.J. Stevens of the County Commissioners in writing advocated that we have the right as a Board to inform the people where those shelters are and even designate who was to go to what shelter in the event of an emergency. He felt it was "fool hearty" to have designated shelters that nobody knows exactly where to go and said it was beyond his comprehension. He said he was told by an Emergency Management person that they were afraid terrorists would destroy those facilities in the event of an emergency. He then said that they have access to the same information that we have and it’s all a matter of public record and anybody can go up there and request it under the Freedom of Information Act and learn themselves where they’re at so that would not prevent a terrorist. Bracken said we could hash this out all night but the Emergency Management Director explained why that was done. He said Brian Fiest is the Emergency Management Director and you could take this issue up with him.

An announcement was made that The Board of Supervisors Reorganization Meeting will be held on Monday, January 3, 2005 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Township Municipal Building.

Baker, second Stephens to adjourn the meeting at 7:35 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
David M. Hirko, Secretary