Meeting Minutes

Supervisor Meeting Minutes – September 17, 2019

The Morris Township Board of Supervisors met at the township office for their regular scheduled meeting.  Present were Supervisors Rob Sanders, Dave Dietrich, Doug Smith, Zoning Officer Bob Sanders, Doug and Maryann Stockdale, Dave, a Caterpillar representative from Cleveland Brothers and Barry Martin.

Chairman Sanders called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.  Minutes of the previous meeting were read.  Motion by Sanders, second by Smith to approve the minutes as read.

Chairman Sanders went into new business first.  Barry Martin had a complaint about an ongoing issue with trucks hauling lowboy trailers or tractor trailers turning right onto Plum Sock Road from Pie Ridge Road or turning left onto Pie Ridge from the bridge on Plum Sock Road and tearing up the corner bank of his property.  He believes the traffic is mostly for the Strawn Impoundment or a pipeline project.  Barry Martin stated he has not had issues with water tankers or stone trucks.  He is concerned that the bank will erode to the point that the electric pole stability will be a problem.  A representative from Range Resources told Martin they can tell the truck drivers not to tear up his property, but they cannot stop them from doing so.  Barry Martin would like to have such truck traffic prohibited.  Dietrich stated he will speak with Matt Fortney of Range Resources.  Smith wondered if an agreement could be reached to have some sort of barriers erected to protect the bank.  Discussion ensued.

Maryann Stockdale stated she had a couple of proposals on ways the township can use the Act 13 funds towards tax reduction including homestead inclusion. She proposes that the Supervisors give senior citizens, 65 years and older that earn $35,000.00 or less and do not receive any gas royalty money, $2,000.00 to put toward their school taxes.  She believes there are around 100 senior citizens that would fall into that criteria.  Smith stated that he sees a lot of red flags over such a proposal.  First, the township supervisor’s control only township tax, not school tax.  The cost per year would be $200,000.00.  The supervisors are not permitted to know resident’s income.  It wouldn’t benefit all residents.  Dietrich and Sanders had similar concerns.  Maryann Stockdale’s second proposal was for the township to pay $4,000 to McGuffey Middle/High School cafeteria for student’s lunches and $2,000 to each grade school for student lunches.  Supervisors felt that does not fall within the parameters of permitted uses of Act 13 funds.  Smith stated that although those are good goals, there is no way for those ideas to work out. 

Chairman Sanders stated that the township road crew had tried out three different skid steer loaders. Each one for several days to see which machine was the best fit for the township.  1.  JCB, around $64,000.00.  2.  Kabota, around $69,000.00.  3.  Caterpillar $69,300.00.  After working with each one, Sanders said the overall best machine was the Caterpillar.  It handled better and had a wider base and much easier access to the engine.  Smith stated that seemed like a lot of money for a small machine and asked about specs of the machine for a bidding process.  Sanders stated that the machine has already been pre-bid as it is under state contract with COSTARS. After discussing the multiple uses of the machine, a motion by Sanders, second by Smith to purchase the Caterpillar 289 D-L skid steer loader for $69,300.00 from the Act 13 Fund. All agreed.

Sanders stated that the fence line that borders the township cinder shed property has weeds and small sapling trees growing up through it.  Mike Elliott of Morris Township gave a quote to clear out all the brush and small trees growing in the fence line and cut all brush around the fence line for $300.00.  Motion by Sanders, second by Smith to hire Mike Elliott for the fence line clearing project, subject to Mr. Elliott providing Morris Township with a copy of his liability insurance. 

Secretary Lesnock told the board that the township received $14,358.20 in state aid for the township’s retirement contribution for the township employees.  The projected contribution amount for 2020 is $15,991.20.

Chairman Sanders then went into old business.  The car owned by the Watts is still on township property.  Dietrich stated the Watts are waiting for a man that will purchase the car to come and pick it up. 

Supervisors acknowledged that Consol will be constructing a powerline within 100 feet of Penn Hill and will also cross over a portion of Penn Hill.  Secretary to send letter acknowledging this to Joanna Niecgorski. 

Motion by Dietrich, second by Sanders to review and pay bills.  Motion by Sanders, second by Dietrich to adjourn.  Meeting adjourned at 9:19 P.M. 

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Lesnock, Secretary