December 16, 2020 – UNT Supervisor’s Meeting
Courtesy of the Floor
Jason Mohap asked several questions all of which Gary Asteak, township solicitor, instructed the supervisors not to answer citing pending litigation.
- What is the difference between a ‘report’ and a ‘determination?’
- To Mike Rinker – why did you vote ‘no’ on approving Project Tadmor?
- What was said in an off-the-record discussion among supervisors concerning a Right-to-Know request about Project Tadmor?
I asked about where to find the draft of the minutes from the last meeting and the Treasurer’s Report. They were not easy to locate – they’d been put into a drop down menu on the Webinar and only became available when the meeting opened. Editor’s Note: Under this method, attendees will have, at most, a few minutes to read the documents before Supervisors vote on them.
Pollution Reduction Plan Presentation
Mike Schallock said the DEP had rejected the previous plan. The new plan will add a vegetative swale at Sycamore. If only outside contractors are used, the cost for the basins will run between $131K – $207K. Using UNT workers would drop the price. Mike Schallock said the whole project could run $750K.
- Mike Rinker suggested the township start budgeting for this expense now.
At the Nov. 18th meeting, the Supervisors held a discussion about the Library Tax Levy. Tax Collector Tracy Adamski said that mortgage companies won’t pay this tax so the bill would have to include two invoices- one for real estate taxes, one for the Library.
Scott Sylvanius said he had done some research and that mortgage companies will pay these taxes if they are a line item on the bill. He also said that it was important to find a less expensive way to collect the tax and in a way that isn’t confusing to the taxpayers. With the issue back on the agenda, Tracy protested that she hadn’t asked for this to be brought up again for discussion.
Tracy said that most mortgage companies use third party companies to collect the taxes and UNT should not ‘hide’ the library tax in the bill.
Donna Hirst said the issue was reportability to the Library—the tax has to be auditable. Scott argued that the tax can be pulled out of an inclusive bill using math.
Library Referendum approved by voters in the 2020 primary: Shall Upper Nazareth Township establish a Special Library Tax to provide for the operation and maintenance of a local library at the rate of 0.6 mills on the dollar of assessed value of all taxable real estate within Upper Nazareth Township?
The Supervisors voted to include two invoices in the Real Estate Tax bill. (Donna Hirst, Rob Disbrow and Mike Rinker voted for the two bills, Scott Sylvanius and Kristin Mullen voted for 1 bill).
Planning & Zoning
The plans for Project Tadmor have changed. Instead of two buildings, the plan is for one slightly larger building positioned further away from Gun Club Road.
Gary Asteak said the Board of Supervisors had received final review letters from the fire department, Keystone Engineering, etc.
Nicole from Project Tadmor presented several requests for waivers, all of which the Supervisors granted.
- A request to waive curbing requirements along Daniel’s Road
- A request to waive curbing along the private street
- A waiver for curbing along the North side of Driveway 1 (This motion passed 4 to 1 with Mullens voting against
- A waiver to install sidewalks along Driveway 1
- A relief for the placement of berms for where the Penn East pipeline is slated to be installed.
- A change to the slops of the bottoms of basins
- A deferral on Driveway 1. A sidewalk will be added if a bus stop is installed
Preliminary Plan Approved 4 to 1 (Mullen voted against)
Discussion before vote
- Rob Disbrow asked about runoff from the new plan, pointing out that the last couple of storms have overflowed the existing basins
- Sean Dooley said the plans are designed for 100 year storms and claimed the overall flow rate should be less
- Public Comment
- I pointed out that Tropical Storm Isaias was a 200 year event and many of the systems in the area could not handle the amount of water produced. Engineering for a 100 year event may no longer be adequate
- Shannon Mohap asked the supervisors why they were willing to approve this plan.
- There was some mumbling from the supervisors about this (or maybe the audio just cut out). The answer had something to do with “meets requirements”
- She also asked if the letter from the Zoning Officer could be classified as a ‘report’ or a ‘determination’
- Gary Asteak refused her question, citing pending litigation
- Rob pointed out that people’s homes are in the way of this and, if the engineering is wrong, the flooding will cause real damage
Becky Bartlett covers these meetings because residents have a right to know what their government is doing