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Chestnuthill Township looking into refinancing bonds

Published August 12. 2011 05:02PM

At the July 5 meeting of the Chestnuthill Township supervisors' meeting, Scott Schearer from Public Financial Management, Inc. (PFM) discussed the possibility of refinancing the township's 2006 bonds. The township had done this last year with its 2003 bonds and saw a one-time net savings of approximately $129,000. Mr. Schearer said the market is fluctuating and if the township decided to pursue it, PFM could prepare a parameters ordinance giving PFM the authorization to refinance the bonds as soon as the rate dropped to a point where the township would realize its target savings.

The board discussed approving this at the Aug. 2 meeting, if the township could recognize at least a $45,000 savings. The board approved, 3-0, to advertise for a parameters ordinance hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.

Donald Zipp, township emergency services coordinator, reported that the West End Ambulance responded to 147 calls and the West End Vol. Fire Co. responded to 108 calls during the month of July.

Supervisor Dave Fleetwood said the next Chestnuthill Township Historical Society will be on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Chestnuthill Twp. Park building.

It was reported that Cathy Martinelli, township office manager, Dave Albright, township manager and Chris McDermott, township engineer, met with four property owners on Bonser Dr. to discuss possible solutions for the flooding that occurs on their property and went over any questions they had. They also went over the hold harmless agreement that Joseph McDonald prepared for them to sign, which would give permission for the township to be on their property to study the area for solutions for the flooding. Albright said that there would be no quick or easy solution but the township is trying to come up with a resolution.

The board approved 3-0:

*to award the bid received from Richard Pierce Builder, Inc. for reroofing, replacing first floor porch roof/ceiling, second floor porch floor structure and replace columns and reroof left side porch of the Merwinsburg Hotel at a cost of $39,978.45.

The township received two bids for the roofing job and awarded it to the lowest bidder.

*to award the base bid received from Leon Clapper for removing and disposing of the existing heating system at the Merwinsburg Hotel and to install a chimney, new boiler and controls, and a hydronics system at a cost of $24,750. It was the only bid received.

The township received a $70,000 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development to do this work. The completion dates are Oct. 15 for the heating and Dec. 15 for the roofing components.

The board was prepared to approve the proposed Indian Mountain Lakes road maintenance agreement for Valley View Drive to be named as an emergency access road that was constructed by PPL. Resident Stuart Thody made a request that the board reconsider and reject this proposal. After some discussion, the board decided to ask Indian Mountain Lakes Civic Association and Top-of-the-World Terrace Birch Hollow Estates to meet for a work session to see if they could come to some sort of a solution.

Approval was granted, 3-0:

*to advertise for bids to repair the Warner Drive Bridge, located between Sugar Hollow Road and Long Woods Drive.

*to make donations to Monroe County Field Day for $1,000; $2,000 to the Litter Control Beautification Program; $100 to the Western Pocono Jaycees for an ad in the Pleasant Valley fall sports program.

*to submit a financial-assistance program grant application to the Monroe County Open Space Program. Dave Albright said the township has used this before and received a $10,000 grant that was used for hiring a consultant to work with the four municipalities (Chestnuthill, Jackson, Eldred and Ross townships) who worked together and adopted the CJER Regional Comprehensive Plan. This money would be used for drafting ordinances which would be in concert with Plan recommendations as well as working on consistent zoning definitions within the region. If CJER applies to the County as a region they are eligible for a 75 percent match. Individually, they would only be eligible for a 50 percent match. The program will be opening applications on Sept. 1 and is a first-come first-serve application.

It was learned that Weis Markets located between Rt. 209 and Weir Lake Road, has applied for a liquor license for a restaurant inside the store. The township has some questions about how many customers the restaurant can seat and whether or not the store's current septic can handle more flow. Since nothing has come before the board as of yet, no action was taken.

Resident Stuart Thody asked if anything has been done about the eyesore at the location of the Effort Diner along Rt. 115. Walter Hansen, Chestnuthill zoning officer stated that the owner has been served with notification for violations of township zoning ordinances.

Thody stated that the former site of the Golden Key Diner on Rt. 715, Mt. Effort is a wonderful improvement, the location of the new CVS in comparison to the eyesore across the street (referencing the Mt. Effort Plaza.

He says he has observed that the traffic light sequence seems changed and not for the better. The green light on State Road is not long enough. He asked that the township contact PennDOT. Supervisor Chairman Gould asked Albright to check with the township engineer.

Resident Leon Clark broached several questions and made several comments throughout the evening's meeting, including that the board does not show him respect.

Resident Nancy Parks said she thanked the board for showing patience in dealing with Mr. Clark and then addressed Clark with "You accuse the board of not showing respect to you. I don't think you address the board with respect and you address them with sarcasm."

Roger Kutzler asked the board if there could be a time limit on people addressing the board.

Chairman Gould said up to now he has tried to not put a restriction of a resident's time to address concerns at the meetings but he might reconsider it.

When Mr. Clark again stated he wasn't being treated with respect and kept talking over the discussion, Chairman Gould raised his voice to say, "Enough! I'm tired of wasting the taxpayers' money with the time you take up at these meetings. This all began when you were late for an auditors' meeting in January and after a conversation in the parking lot you told me there was going to be hell to pay and that's what has been going on for the last eight months. I'm done. This is the end."

During the Public Comment time at the end of the meeting, Mr. Clark apologized if someone interprets his style as condescending and that his only agenda is to leave this world better than when he came in.

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