The Board of Supervisors of Sadsbury Township held a special meeting on January 23, 2017 commencing at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Hensel called the meeting to order. Present was Supervisor Mr. Schuibbeo and Mr. Taylor, Township Solicitor, Mr. O’Keefe and members of the community.
A moment of silence and Pledge of Allegiance were observed.
Mr. Hensel stated the Township has advertised and interviewed applicants for the position of Township Manager and their choice is Bryan Walters. Mr. Schuibbeo stated the ad was place on INDEED and received about a dozen applications. The final interview was between 3 candidates.
Mr. Hensel made a motion, seconded by Mr. Schuibbeo to adopt Resolution 2017-05 appointing Bryan Walters to the hold the position of Township Manager. With there being no questions from the public, the Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. O’Keefe stated the amount of $75,000 is a sufficient amount for a bond for the Township Manager.
Mr. Hensel made a motion, seconded by Mr. Schuibbeo, to adopt Resolution 2017-06 fixing the Township Manager bond at $75,000. With there being no questions from the public, the Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Hensel reported the back-up pump at the Pomeroy Pumping Station is not working properly and is not repairable and must be replaced at a cost of $16,500.
Mr. Hensel made a motion, seconded by Mr. Taylor, to replace the back-up sewer pump at the Pomeroy Pumping Station at a cost of $16,500. With there being no questions from the public, the Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Fronk, a resident of Sadsbury Township, asked how long the ad ran for Township Manager. Mr. Schuibbeo answered, it ran for 2 weeks.
Kim Gathercole, a resident of Quarry Ridge asked about his qualifications, and Mr. Walters stated he was never a Township Manager, however; in the private sector, he managed a restaurant and was also a Township Supervisor. He worked in the Chester County Prothonatary office and was a member of the Chester County Planning Commission. He served on a Home Owners Association, served on a Zoning Hearing Board, and worked with Emergency Services. He is a life-long resident of Chester County.
Mr. O’Keefe stated there will be a discussion concerning the Keystone Valley Fire District and each individual interested in making a comment shall have a maximum of two minutes to speak at a time. An individual shall be permitted to speak a second time only after all interested members of the public have had an opportunity to speak once.
Mr. Stackhouse from Keystone Valley was unable to attend the meeting tonight. Mr. Jennings from Keystone Valley introduced Tom Scott, also with Keystone Valley, who stated that whatever Sadsbury Township is going to do, to put the people first and the fire companies must work together. He does not like to see anger within the fire companies. Mr. Jennings thanked the Board of Supervisors for hosting the meeting tonight.
Dave Reynolds, Deputy Fire Chief of Sadsburyville Fire Company stated he is a 35 year member and lived in the Township his entire life. He sat in on the first three consolidation meetings and was unhappy with the proceedings and Sadsburyville withdrew from the meetings. Sadsburyville has 69 active members and now running 8 to 10 people per call.
Erik Brecht, Battalion Chief of Sadsburyville Fire Company does not like the hostile take-over tactics and will not join Keystone Valley. Mutual aid is agreed for everyone and Sadsburyville does not receive payment.
Dave Reynolds stated that when Keystone Valley came to the Township and said they would take over the whole Township for a certain amount of money, in his opinion, that is a hostile take-over.
Erik Brecht stated the Consolidation took over Martin’s Corner, which was on decline and Pomeroy and Atglen were not doing a lot of business. Sadsburyville Fire Compmay is solvent and doing very well. Sadsburyville gives mutual aid and does not charge a fee for it. The Consolidation was great for what it did, but Sadsburyville Fire Company does not belong to the Consolidation and in Mr. Brecht’s opinion, neither does Sadsbury Township.
Mr. Jennings from Keystone Valley stated they received a letter from Sadsbury Township exercising their right to withdraw from Keystone Valley. They would like to know if this will happen so they can prepare financially. Mr. Jennings also asked it the township received a letter from Kristin Camp dated December 22, 2016. Mr Schuibbeo questioned Mr. Jennings about the last sentence in the first paragraph where it states, “Please provide that definitive answer via a Board of Supervisor’s vote no later than January 4, 2017, otherwise the District will take the aforementioned notification as official notification of withdrawal, thus triggering several possible actions as noted below.” second paragraph, last sentence, “The Township’s action to withdraw from the District will void that contract for service, and thus any services rendered to Sadsbury by the Keystone Valley Fire Department may be billed directly to the residents and visitors of Sadsbury Township.” Mr.Schuibbeo also read the 4th paragraph, “In order to assure that Keystone Valley Fire Department’s potential changes in service to the residents of Sadsbury Township are communicated in a clear and concise manner, the District intends to send an informational mailer within the first quarter of 2017 to each resident of the municipality. The mailer will outline the Township’s notice to withdraw from the District, the resulting need to restructure the response model, and the manner in which potential calls for service will result in a bill being issued directly to the resident.” Mr. Jennings had no comment.
Mr. O’Keefe commented that contained in the letter from Kristin Camp that a No vote by the Board of Supervisors by January 4, 2017, the District will take as official nonfiction of withdraw.
Eric Schmelzer asked if Sadsburyville Fire Company has enough equipment to fight fires. Dave Reynolds said yes, they have the equipment and plan to expand as the Township expands. Mr. Reynolds stated they are in talks about a possible consolidation of their own with companies they cannot mention at this time.
Kim Gathercole stated she wants to be assured that if she needs an ambulance or fire truck at her house, she doesn’t have to wait to see who will come. She also stated that if you have an ambulance call on Old Mill Road, who would respond faster, Keystone Valley or Westwood. Mr. O’Keefe stated that services would be provided by Keystone Valley until November 2017.
There was a discussion of EMS and the Automatic Dispatch System being a great thing for this area. The ADL System will be available soon from the county.
Mr. Hoss, from Keystone Valley stated Sadsburyville Fire Company gave the Board of Supervisors a resolution for the Board to consider Sadsburyville for the whole Township.
Mr. O’Keefe stated two meetings ago, Sadsburyville Fire Company gave a resolution for consideration. The current agreement with Keystone Valley expires at the end of 2017 and Sadsbury Township will honor that obligation until that time.
Mr. Taylor stated he has heard talk of him being on the Board of Supervisors to help Keystone Valley Fire Department, and rumors of a conflict of interest. Mr. Taylor wants things to continue and no one cut from service. Everyone has to come together.
Mr. Schuibbeo thanked both Keystone Valley and Sadsburyville Fire Company for sharing their information as he doesn’t know a lot about the fire companies, but we appreciate what you do. The facts presented here tonight were educated and well spoken. We heard talk of safety and the welfare of the community. The CAD and ADL has been discussed. We are not here to play sides, but explore what we feel is in the best interest for Sadsbury Township.
Mr. Jennings stated the District is willing to give more time to make their decision, but it must be soon, and an extension must be discussed at their next meeting.
Mr. Schuibbeo stated that paragraph 14 of the Consolidation Agreement states there must be 1 year notice to withdraw, which we did; or be locked in for 5 years. Technology is always changing; how do we know what to commit to if we don’t know what is out there.
Mr. Hoss from Keystone Valley asked the Board if they want to be part of Keystone or not.
Erik Brecht stated the Supervisors have exercised their rights. Keystone Valley covers only 20% of the Township and receives more money from the Township than Sadsburyville Fire Company, which covers 80%. Mr. Brecht also made a comment that the official notification of withdrawal had occurred due to the January 4 date mentioned as the withdraw date.
Mr. O’Keefe stated he does not know if the Board is prepared to make a decision tonight. Mr. O’Keefe wrote a letter to let Keystone Valley know the Board’s intent to withdraw. The legal position is the Board could withdraw tonight.
Mr. Taylor stated that no one has made a decision on this. It is not a done deal. It is only a rumor that a decision has already been made.
Mr. Schuibbeo stated he is ready to make his decision tonight.
Mr. Hensel made a motion, seconded by Mr. Schuibbeo, to withdraw from Keystone Valley Fire Department. With there being no questions from the public, Mr. Taylor voting “nay”, the motion passed.
Mr. Hensel made a motion, seconded by Mr. Schuibbeo, to adopt Resolution 2017-07, Sadsbury Township withdrawing from the Keystone Valley Fire District. With there being no questions from the public, Mr. Taylor voting “nay”, the motion passed.
Mr. Reynolds asked Mr. Hensel if the meeting was still in session due to the room clearing out, because he has a question and wants it on the record. Mr. Hensel replied the meeting is still in session and if you want to ask a question of Keystone, you better catch them before they leave.
Mr. Reynolds asked would Keystone Valley handle mutual aid calls to Sadsbury Township? Fire Chief Robby Cazillo of Keystone Valley replied it would be entertained at their next meeting.
With there being no further business, Mr. Hensel made a motion, seconded by Mr. Schuibbeo, to adjourn the meeting. With there being no questions from the public, the
Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.