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Buckingham Township

Township Office
4613 Hughesian Drive
P.O. Box 413
Buckingham, PA 18912

Phone : (215) 794-8834
Fax : (215) 794-8837
contact@buckinghampa.org

Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30 AM-4:00 PM

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Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30 AM-4:00 PM

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Meeting Minutes And Agendas

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Board of Supervisors Work Session
10/25/2017 6:00 PM

Minutes

 

The work session of the Buckingham Township Board of Supervisors was held October 25, 2017 in the Township Building, 4613 Hughesian Drive, Buckingham, Pennsylvania.

 

Present:        Maggie Rash                            Chairman

                        Paul Calderaio                         Vice-Chairman

                        Jon Forest                                 Member

                        Dana Cozza                               Township Manager

                        Dan Gray                                   Township Engineer

                        Craig A. Smith, Esquire          Township Solicitor

 

Not Present:    Tom Kelso                               Township Water/Wastewater Consultant

 

The work session commenced at 6:00 p.m.

 

Budget – Water and Wastewater Department

 

Mr. Graham Orton, Water and Wastewater Department Director, and Mrs. Pistory, Director of Finance Department, were present. Mrs. Pistory distributed Water and Wastewater Department budget spreadsheets.

 

Capital Plan - Water

 

Mr. Orton discussed the following specific items:

- CS4 Arsenic Treatment. Mr. Orton said this is in the engineering and wetlands permits phase, and then the project will proceed.

- Water Meter Replacement Program.  Mr. Orton said this is progressing less quickly than he had hoped, but more quickly than if involving separate plumbers.

- Furlong Private Well Contamination / Extending Water Line.  Mr. Orton said there will be a contribution from each township towards this project. Mrs. Cozza said the local municipalities have been meeting to determine how best to benefit the entire system and divide costs.

- Water and Wastewater Operations Center. Mrs. Pistory said monies for renovation of the Lindquist Property have been budgeted. Mrs. Cozza said she has schematics of the proposed renovation and construction to show this evening, adding they include renovations to the existing farmhouse for use as offices, and building a garage that will look like a barn.

 

Mr. Forest noted the funds for the water and wastewater accounts come from people who pay for the services. Mrs. Pistory noted the water rates have not changed since their inception in 1981.

 

Capital Plan - Wastewater

 

Mr. Orton said 2018 will be expensive because many projects and plans are coming to fruition.

 

Mrs. Cozza noted there are over 20 pump stations in the wastewater system, and over the last few years the township has been updating them by installing generators in each of them and upgrading mechanical operations. Mr. Orton said pump stations 7 & 9 will be focused on in 2018. Mr. Orton said a big problem they are having is with sanitary wipes being flushed down the toilets. He said the American Water Works Association is working with the manufacturers to make them more degradable.

 

Mrs. Cozza said a big-ticket item is development of the new Fieldstone Wastewater Spray Site (Church School and Fell Roads). Mr. Orton said it is broken down into two phases, general and electrical, with the bids due by year end 2017.

 

Mr. Orton said the Buckingham Village Wastewater Treatment Plan, built in 1986-1988, is scheduled for updates and corrections that will last for 30 years.

 

Mrs. Rash questioned the Mill Creek Shortfall. Mrs. Pistory said it is common for the township to have an arrangement with the developer that if it costs more to run the facility than we receive from the customers, the developer pays that amount.  Mr. Orton said he believed all the lots have sold, but are not yet built.

 

Mrs. Pistory noted that there are eight customers who owe the township over $20,000 due to not paying their bills. Mrs. Pistory said the township does lien them, however that is not a cure. The Board agreed that a legal procedure for shutting off the service should be researched, as it has worked well since implemented in the water department.

 

Mrs. Cozza presented drawings of the proposed upgrades to the Lindquist property for the water and wastewater operations center. She said the township owns the 110-acre parcel, which contains the historic house that will be renovated as office space. Mrs. Cozza noted the existing barn will be retained. She said there may be a 10-bay heated equipment garage built, including bathrooms. Mrs. Cozza said the employees had requested a locker room, so the options were to squeeze it into the existing farmhouse, build a new addition onto the farmhouse, or put it in the large garage (which needs water anyway) so they could get cleaned up before coming into the office area. Mrs. Cozza said a smaller garage was also proposed for cold storage.

 

PA Biotechnology Center, 3805 North Easton Road, LD 2017-02, TMP 6-4-10-1 &

6-4-10-1-OC1

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, Wisler Pearlstine, LLC and Mr. Greg Glitzer, Gilmore & Associates, were present to discuss a revision to the previously submitted Land Development plan for the PA Biotechnology Center on Old Easton Road. Mr. Murphy summarized they had presented a sketch plan to the Board last year to discuss requests for zoning relief, went to the Zoning Hearing Board and received the relief and submitted a Land Development plan to the township. He said the plan was put on hold due to concern whether the expansion was large enough to accommodate the continued growth of the center. In the meantime, the Biotech Center put under agreement of sale subject to subdivision approval 4 acres of the adjacent 8-acre property. Mr. Murphy said Gilmore & Associates prepared a new plan, which will require zoning relief both to support the proposed plan and also due to the proposed subdivision making the remaining 4-acre standalone lot nonconforming with the Zoning Ordinance.  Mrs. Cozza said in the Zoning Officer’s review of the Zoning Hearing Board application, he noted there needs to be a request for relief of the impervious surface nonconformity on the remaining parcel. Mr. Murphy agreed. Mr. Gray noted dimensional requirements must be compliant with the particular uses on the original parcel.

 

Mr. Glitzer explained the original expansion plan received recommendation for preliminary/final land development approval from the Buckingham Township Planning Commission. He said the revised plan continues to propose the construction of a 37,500 square-foot building, 2 floors containing mixed office and lab space with the new space to connect the existing two primary buildings. However, there will be no basement as was previously proposed. Mr. Glitzer said there will continue to be 150 parking spaces planned, due to the building’s size. He said the additional acreage provides freedom to be used for earthwork disturbance, expansion of the detention basin and the provision of more infiltration areas balancing the stormwater management throughout the site. Mr. Glitzer said the new building will not have the green roof as previously designed, but will continue to have a raingarden on the site.

 

Mr. Glitzer explained the Zoning Hearing Board application includes requests for zoning relief to accommodate possible future improvements such as a 19,000-square foot free standing building along Old Easton Road, and a 15,000-square foot addition off the current Biotech Center. He said these were also included in the revised Land Development Plan including the Lot Line Change merging the 4-acre acquired adjoining property with the biotech property, and in the overall stormwater management plan. He said the construction is intended to be modular and incremental as needed.   

 

Mrs. Cozza suggested an extension to the review period would be needed for the Board’s December meeting as it is set to expire the end of December. Mr. Murphy said they would grant an extension. Mr. Glitzer said due to the extensive changes, the revised plan will be submitted to the Planning Commission for review.

 

Schechter Property, 5119 New Hope Road, TMP 6-21-82-3

 

Mr. Edward Murphy, Wisler Pearlstine, LLC, Mr. Greg Glitzer, Gilmore & Associates, and Mr. Rich Zaveta, Zaveta Custom Homes, were present to discuss a situation involving proposed construction within the buffer area at 5119 New Hope Road. Mr. Murphy explained the history of the parcel, noting Mr. Zaveta built a custom home on the lot several years ago. Following that the Schechter’s, the lot’s owners, applied for and were granted a lot line change adding a strip of ground in the rear of the property to accommodate horses. When the lot line change was approved an unintended consequence was that it imposed new buffers and resource restrictions on the property. When the Schechters determined to build a pool house and pool that had previously been planned and which would have been compliant prior to the new restrictions triggered by the lot line change, they found they needed ordinance relief.

 

Mr. Glitzer added the pool house is required to be within the primary building envelope on the site, while the pool itself has some flexibility. However, now the pool house cannot be built in that space without encroaching into the new side yard buffer. Mr. Zaveta concurred that when the home was delivered in 2013, they also designed the pool house and pool in the same area currently proposed and there were no encroachments at that time.

 

Mrs. Rash asked if any of the neighbors had voiced objection to the plan. Mr. Murphy said the Schechters had talked with some of their neighbors, however the formal Zoning Hearing Board notice had not been mailed to the surrounding properties as of this date.

 

Mr. Forest said he felt the Schechters should not be penalized just because they increased the size of the lot, when the pool and pool house fit in the same area without transgressing township land use ordinances prior to the lot line change. Mrs. Rash noted as long as it is within the prior approved building envelope, she had no issue with it. Mr. Calderaio agreed.

 

7:30 p.m. The Work Session was adjourned.

9:10 p.m. The Work Session resumed.

 

Covenant Church, Phase 2A (Parking), LD 2001-02A

 

Mr. Smith advised the Board that he continues to work with Covenant Church towards resolving outstanding insurance matters prior to the township releasing plans to be recorded for the parking area, however they remain unresolved. Mr. Smith said Covenant asked whether the Township would accept a policy that was not endorsed to be primary and noncontributory to any insurance of or claims against the township as they have agreed to indemnify the Township and that indemnity is an “insured contract” under Covenant’s policy, meaning it would be paid by the insurance company. Mr. Smith explained that while this is true, the coverage may not extend to the Township if the Township were alleged to be solely negligent because of some ambiguity in the insurance contract. The Board inquired whether what is being asked of Covenant was the same asked of other landowners and confirmed that it was. The Board did not approve of the request to solely accept the indemnification, because it could put the township at risk. The Board directed Mr. Smith to see whether the lawyers and/or insurance company could clarify the indemnity language to be plain it covered the Township’s sole negligence.

 

 9:15 p.m. The Board retired into Executive Session to discuss land preservation matters (the potential purchase of an easement on the Williams tract) and legal issues (litigation against sewer customers who do not pay bills).

9:30 p.m. The Work Session resumed.

 

Histand Tract (aka Sycamore Hollow Farm), SA 2010-01

 

Mr. Gray explained the Corsini’s have requested to place a mechanical filter in the pond immediately behind their home in lieu of planting the stormwater management wetland plantings as approved on the record plan. They say the pond will be more attractive this way. Mr. Gray said the township will need to update the stormwater maintenance agreement for this feature, which will require the Board’s approval. The Board approved the request as specified subject to an amended stormwater maintenance agreement.

 

Board of Supervisor’s December Meeting Date

 

Mrs. Cozza requested the Board change the December meeting date from December 20th to December 19th. The Board agreed to the change.

 

Township Employee Holiday Party

 

Mrs. Cozza asked when the Board wished to schedule the annual employee holiday party, and the Board agreed December 9th, noting the Forests have graciously agreed to host the party at their home.

 

9:55 p.m.  Mr. Smith and Mr. Gray were excused.

 

Budget – General Fund - Summary

 

Mrs. Pistory distributed the General Fund summary spreadsheet.

 

Mrs. Cozza noted the following items:

- Park fund. Holicong Park, Phase 2 funding is budgeted, as well as possible additions to Phase 1 such as the small playground near the fields.  Also budgeted is a transfer from the park fund (general) to the wastewater fund to reimburse the wastewater fund for that part of the Diamond tract no longer planned to be used for wastewater purposes, but for park purposes.

- Open space sinking fund increased. Mrs. Pistory explained this provides a buffer to pay open space debt.

- Health Insurance. Mrs. Cozza said they budgeted a 15% increase as an estimate as the actual cost is unknown at this time.

 

Mrs. Cozza said this brings the general fund to a healthy balance of just under $4 million. She said the police budget is $4 million plus, making the total budget before transfers approximately $8,063,000. She noted the police make up a little more than half of the budget, as they have for a few years, noting the police department has 21 employees out of 50 total township staff. Mrs. Cozza said after transfers the budget will total $9,747,600, showing a 3.63% raise from 2017.

 

Destruction of Firearms

 

Mrs. Cozza reported the township received the order to destroy approximately 200 firearms being held as evidence by the Police Department. She said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes and takes care of this matter.

 

10:20 p.m. The Work Session was adjourned.

 

Approved by the Board of Supervisors on the 15th day of November, 2017.

                                                                                                                Buckingham Township Board of Supervisors

          

                                                                                                                ______________________________________

                                                                                                                Maggie Rash, Chairman

                                                           

                                                                                                                ______________________________________

                                                                                                                Paul Calderaio, Vice-Chairman

 

                                                                                                               ______________________________________ 

                                                                                                               Jon Forest, Member

 

Attest:

 

_____________________________

Dana S. Cozza, Secretary

 

Minutes respectfully submitted by Lori Wicen.

 

View Meeting Minutes prior to June 23, 2009