Hampden Township Sewer Authority
Regular Meeting Minutes
February 21, 2017- 7:00 P.M.
Sewer Auth. Members: Chairman Thomas (via telephone) Mr. Todaro, Mr. Gaspich, Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Knight
Consultants: Solicitors Cooper and Coyne
Commissioners’ Liaison: Commissioner Thomas
Township Staff: Manager Metts, Public Works Director Miller and Stormwater Division Superintendent Gralski
Call To Order
Vice-Chairman Todaro called the stormwater portion of the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m. upon conclusion of sanitary agenda items. Proof of Publication was available for public inspection.
Junior Commissioner Harshan Sivaraju attended to observe the meeting and noted that he had no stormwater-related issues to bring before the members. Chairman Thomas asked if he had written an article for the Cumberland Valley School District’s school newspaper; Mr. Sivaraju said he is not involved with the school’s paper.
MOTION: by Ms. Knight accepting the Treasurer’s Report for the period ending January 31, 2017, as presented. The motion, seconded by Mr. Sullivan, carried unanimously.
Approval of Minutes
MOTION: by Mr. Gaspich approving the minutes of the January 17, 2017 Regular Meeting. The motion, seconded by Ms. Knight, carried unanimously.
Approval of Administrative Payments
Check No. 1347 – ARCADIS – Professional Services – $18,391.03
Check No. 1348 – Goldberg Katzman, P.C. – Professional Services – $195.00
Check No. 1349 – Coyne & Coyne, P.C. – Professional Services – $210.00
MOTION: by Mr. Gaspich approving the above-described payments. The motion, seconded by Ms. Knight, carried unanimously.
Right-of-Way Solicitor’s Report
Solicitor Cooper said he had nothing to report at this time.
Solicitor Coyne said he had nothing to report at this time.
Commissioners’ Liaison Report
Commissioner Thomas and Commissioner Gaspich said they had nothing to report at this time.
Township Manager’s Report
The below-listed transfers were requested by Manager Metts:
Expense reimbursement to Hampden Township – $35,982.97
Transfer from Hampden Township – $288,674.86
MOTION: by Mr. Gaspich approving the above-listed transfers as requested by Manager Metts. The motion, seconded by Ms. Knight, carried unanimously.
Manager Metts said the meeting packets this evening included responses to the Request for Proposals in connection with the Joint Land Use Study. He said the initial anticipated award was scheduled for March 2; but he will be asking the firms who submitted proposals to grant an extension to April 27, 2017 to provide sufficient review time by the Board, Authority and staff.
Public Works Department Report
Stormwater Superintendent Gralski referred the members to the monthly report included in their meeting packets. He said staff continues to perform inspections and/or train property owners for inspections of their Best Management Practices. He said work also continues on the specifications of the upcoming road project as it relates to the stormwater infrastructure.
Mr. Gralski said ARCADIS submitted its initial draft of the operation and maintenance plan, along with a request for additional information. Mr. Miller said the total schedule for the project is nine months and work has been on going for approximately two to three months.
Mr. Miller shared with the members correspondence sent to the Navy prepared by Special Counsel Hann. He said Special Counsel Hann shared with him that he will be traveling to Washington for meetings with members of Congress to discuss stormwater issues on a broad scale. Mr. Miller further reported there has been no change in the status regarding the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Mr. Miller also reported that a number of municipalities have asked if the Authority is billing PennDOT and, if so, have payments been received.
Manager Metts provided a summary of a meeting held recently with Chairman Thomas, Senator Regan, Representative Rothman, Special Counsel Hann and Township staff to discuss PennDOT’s stance. He said both of the legislators, while engaged in the conversation, were not committed to the idea of amending the Municipal Authorities Act or even recommending an amendment to the Act to address the Township’s issues with PennDOT. He said staff made it clear that PennDOT’s interpretation of the fee being a tax was inappropriate.
Chairman Thomas said it was his impression that the legislators, while agreeing with the Township that the fee is not a tax, concern was the availability of funding. He said he, at that meeting, recommended the State consider canceling its stormwater grant program and earmark those funds to pay stormwater fees assessed by municipal authorities; he said he offered to assist in anyway possible. Manager Metts said to date he has not heard from either legislator. Chairman Thomas said he said he would follow-up with both Senator Regan and Representative Rothman.
Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Update – Mr. Miller reported that draft responses to a handful of the legal questions posed sometime ago have been provided by Special Counsel Hann and work continues on those questions. Mr. Miller said he hopes to have finalized answers by the March meeting.
Simie Street Grant Application – Mr. Miller said staff worked with Gannett Fleming to complete a grant application to the Department of Environmental Protection for the Sim Street Project. He said if awarded, the Township will take the lead on the road project with the Authority supplementing the Best Management Practices portion of the Project.
Equipment Update – Mr. Miller said he recently provided the Board of Commissioners with a presentation regarding equipment for the Public Works Department. He said the Department is proposing the purchase of a swap loader which is a single-axle truck with an interchangeable bed which could replace four to five pieces of current equipment at a savings of over $200,000.00. He said a large of portion of this cost; approximately $130,000.00, is anticipated to be allocated from stormwater funding. He noted the new equipment can be used for street sweeping operations, leaf collection, cleaning storm p;ipes and inlets, and has a vacuum component. He said actual costs would not be known until the equipment is priced out but noted one of the Township’s current sweepers is beyond repair.
Mr. Miller also said staff will be performing site visits to surrounding municipalities who have the equipment. Chairman Thomas questioned ownership of the equipment; Mr. Miller said it would be owned by the Township. Chairman Thomas then asked if the Authority would be making a contribution to the Township and how this would be treated during the audit. Mr. Miller said the agreement between the Township and Authority provides for approval of expenses by the Township; the Township requests the Authority to approve the transfer of funds for exepenses but it does not obligate the Authority’s approval of transfers.
Ms. Knight asked if the Authority currently pays for equipment; Manager Metts said the Township submits requests for reimbursement for labor, materials, parts and fuel associated with leaf collection. He said this would be somewhat similar to Wastewater vehicles, which are titled in the Township’s name, and the cost for that equipment is allocated to the Township’s Wastewater Fund. He suggested additional discussions be held with the auditors. Mr. Gaspich suggested staff be charged with performing an analysis of equipment costs for routine stormwater activities to determine if the Authority should be reimbursing the Township for those costs. Chairman Thomas agreed with that suggestion and suggested discussions be held with the auditor.
National Fish and Wildlife Federation Grant – Mr. Miller said the Capital Area Council of Governments (COG) was successful in receiving a grant to establish standards relative to the Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan as well as standards for MCMs plans for use by COG members. He said he hopes to have more information available by the next Authority meeting.
MOTION: by Mr. Gaspich adjourning the Regular Meeting at approximately 7:50 p.m. The motion, seconded by Ms. Knight, carried unanimously.
Judy K. Robinson