COUNCIL MEETING January 12, 2011 The regular meeting of the Rose Valley Borough Council was held on January 12, 2011 in the Borough Office, 9 Old Mill Lane, Rose Valley, Pa. President of Council Lynn Kelley called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. In addition to Ms. Kelley those Councilmembers present were: Dave Firn, Bob Giorgianni, Bill Hale and Al Meyer; Mayor Tim Plummer; Treasurer Jennifer Rimerman; Solicitor G. Guy Smith; and Secretary Paula Healy. Councilperson Penny Sass and Controller Don Boyd were absent. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the Minutes of the December 8, 2010 were approved on a motion made, seconded and unanimously passed. ENVIRONMENT & EAC Mr. Firn reported that the permit needed by Eccologix for the deer cull is still being processed by the State Game Commission. The cull in Rose Valley was to begin on January 31 and last for 30 days, but this may have to be delayed until the permit is received. After some discussion it was decided that the deer cull would begin shortly after the permit is received. It would last for 30 days. The hunters will be allowed to hunt Monday through Friday from1 hour before sunset until 2 hours after sunset. The residents will be notified ahead of time what the actual dates turn out to be. The cull can only be conducted on Borough owned land. Anne Murphy from CRC is working on obtaining a matching grant from PECO for the stream bank restoration grant it received from Boeing. PLANNING, LAND ACQUISITION & PRESERVATION Mr. Hale informed Council that the Rose Valley Folk held a Mote in which the membership approved the purchasing of part of the Stopford property. The Folk is working with their attorney, John Kell, on the agreement of sale. The agreement would also include an easement from the Stopford’s in favor of the Borough for the path along Vernon Run connecting the Valley Green to Old Mill Lane. It is expected that Mr. Stopford will submit his subdivision plan to the Planning Commission in February. Chip Vaughan is also expected to present his plans for developing the Belson property to the Planning Commission in February. PUBLIC SAFETY Mr. Giorgianni reviewed the Police and Fire Reports. The Police Report cited 3 false alarms, 1 traffic accident, 3 reports of criminal mischief and 1 theft from an auto. The Fire Report for November showed a house fire on 11/7/10 at 16 Long Point Lane and a response to a fire alarm tripped by cooking on 11/24/10 at 38 Todmorden Drive. The December Fire Report showed response to a fire alarm tripped by contractors on 12/14/10 at 119 West Rose Valley Road and a response to a fire alarm tripped by cooking at 116 West Rose Valley Road. Mr. Giorgianni reported that in 2010 there were 46 false alarms. The last time the Borough had this many false alarms was in 2000. The Town Watch program is proceeding as usual. Mayor Plummer reported that the speed device is working well. HIGHWAYS, INSURANCE & CABLEVISION Mr. Meyer reported that the snow removal for the storms so far has been good. Mr. Meyer plans on contacting Senator Pileggi about the prevailing wage act. Engineer Houtmann estimates that the Borough’s road repaving projects will cost 40% more because of having to meet the wage rates set in this act. The Workmen’s Compensation Insurance has been renewed for 2011. FINANCES Mr. Josbena reviewed the income reports for the month of December and the Status of Funds for December. He explained that we were able to pay back the loan from Capital Reserve to the General Fund that we incurred in 2010 because of the large snowplowing bills. Ms. Rimerman reviewed the Bills for Approval for January and answered questions. On a motion made, seconded and unanimously passed, the Bills for Approval in the amount of $27,665.64 from the General Fund were approved. GENERAL Resolution 1 – 2011 appointing Robert M. Healy to be Chairman of the Vacancy Board for a one year term was approved on a motion made, seconded and unanimously passed. MAYOR’S REPORT Mayor Plummer delivered the 2011 State of the Borough Address as follows: This is the start of our Borough’s 88th year. We are more than 1,000 strong and growing. On behalf of all my predecessors and myself, I am pleased to present to you my annual State of the Borough Address. Rose Valley is unique in many ways. It includes many caring people who value neighborly interaction in our small residential community, treasure our natural environment and perpetuate the traditions of our unique arts-and- crafts heritage. We have been blessed with many volunteers who, individually and collectively, have brought a wealth of talents and a spirit of public service to our Borough. HIGHLIGHTS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS DURING 2010 We have made remarkable progress toward achieving the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of 2010. Highlights of the outstanding work of Borough Council, under the able leadership of President Lynn Kelley, the Planning Commission chaired by Bill Hale, and Environmental Advisory Council chaired by Roger Latham are as follows: Budget. Closed the budget gap we had at the start of the year by reducing expenses in 28 categories, benefiting from the sale of the Borough’s Waste Water System, and obtaining grants. Deer. Created and implemented the first year of a Multi-year Comprehensive Plan to control our burgeoning deer population. Historic District. Created a Historic District within the Borough listed on the National Historic Registry by the US Department of Interior. Zoning. Updated the Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map by creating, overlaying, modernizing and consolidating a number of outdated regulations. Amended the Traymore Planned Residential Development. Invasive Plants. Conducted workshops to identify and control invasive plants within our wildlife sanctuaries. Replaced significant numbers of invasive plants with native species. Stream Bank Erosion. Obtained a grant to control stream bank erosion within the Saul Wildlife Sanctuary. Gate House Property. Landscaped and began beautification of the Gate House property at the entrance of Old Mill Lane. Website. Upgraded the Borough Website to make it more user-friendly and easier to update. Traffic. Continued to implement traffic calming strategies on Rose Valley Road. July 4th. Celebrated July 4th with the 13th annual parade, flag raising, pool party and picnic enjoyed by more than 250 participants. Each of these achievements was aided and supported by our outstanding Borough Manager, Paula Healy. Significant counsel and advice at each step of the way was made by our Borough Solicitor, G. Guy Smith who routinely rose above the call of duty to help us move forward for the betterment of the Borough. DETAILED SUMMARIES Budget We embarked on a three-year plan to balance the budget, preserve capital reserves and minimize long-term tax increases. The plan led to a 2010 budget that was approximately $150,000 lower than in 2009 due to the elimination of previous expenses associated with the sewer system and reductions in expenditures across 28 different expenditure categories. We were also successful in our grant applications for recycling, snow plowing relief, and preservation of the stream bank in the wildlife preserve. As a result, revenues were slightly higher than expenditures for 2010. Deer In 2010, after much debate and public input on an issue on which there were strong opinions on both sides, the Borough formulated and approved a long-range plan to control, but not eliminate the burgeoning deer population in the Borough's parklands. The Borough determined that the preservation of our woodlands in their natural state for the benefit of current and future Borough residents dictated that steps be taken to reduce the current deer population. In addition, deer are increasingly seeking food sources outside of the parklands, causing roadway accidents and increasing the transmission to humans of serious deer tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease. The plan required achieving a difficult balance between reducing the deer population in a safe, humane way and preserving access to the woodlands by residents and other visitors. Thus, a limited bow hunt was permitted during the fall of 2010 by a professional hunting group. Depending on the level of success, the plan provides for limited maintenance hunting and/or culls during 2011 and beyond. The plan also provides for steps to be taken by the Borough’s Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) to monitor the effects of the deer reduction efforts on the ability of the woodlands to regenerate native plant growth. Historic District After nearly three years’ of effort, the Rose Valley Historic District was approved by the US Department of Interior and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission’s proclamation of July 19, 2010 reads as follows: “Rose Valley Historic District has been entered in the National Register of Historic Places, our Nation’s official list of properties significant in American history, architecture and culture. These places contribute to our understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of the United States.” The creation of the Rose Valley Historic District is a national honor in recognition of Rose Valley’s unique historic legacy. The US Department of Interior has recognized Rose Valley as one of the premier arts-and-crafts communities in the United States. We should take great pride in this singular achievement. Our Historic District is a gift to our present and future generations of Rose Valley residents. The Rose Valley Historic District consists of 123 resources: 105 buildings, 7 sites, 10 structures and 1 object (the Minquas Path Historic Marker on Rose Valley Road). Zoning The Planning Commission modernized the Zoning Ordinance by updating the Borough Zoning Code of 1983 by establishing maximum building height requirements, maximum levels of impervious surfaces and regulations for flag lot subdivisions. The new ordinance also consolidated existing ordinances relating to the planned residential development overlay district, wireless communication facilities, and storm water requirements. The Ordinance also created an Open Space Preservation Zoning District for permanent protection of Borough-owned open space, an Institutional Overlay for non- residential uses within the Borough, and updated the Zoning Map and Sign Ordinance. Invasive Plants The Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) has made continuing progress toward restoring the woodlands to their natural balance through the invasive plant workshops that were conducted during the spring and fall of 2010. Volunteers, under the direction of Dr. Roger Latham, removed significant quantities of non-native invasive vegetation by hand pulling and cutting. Native plant species, acquired through grants provided by the Delaware County Conservation District, were planted to replace the removed invasive plants. In addition, the EAC oversaw the continued removal of invasive bamboo, Japanese knotweed and goutweed species through herbiciding programs funded by the Borough. Stream Bank Erosion The EAC, with assistance from the Chester-Ridley-Crum Watershed Association, received a grant from the Boeing Corporation to control sites of significant stream bank erosion within the Saul Wildlife Sanctuary. Gate House Property Masonry work was completed on the Gate House ruins to stabilize and protect the foundation walls and the Spring House brick barrel vault. Workers restored the walls of the old pump house and garage assisted by Eagle Scout Jacob Roberts. The flower beds near the Gate House ruins were also cleaned out and replanted. Website The Borough’s website was completely redesigned during 2010. It is now much easier to update and expand. As a result the Borough has an enhanced ability to provide additional information in a more timely manner. The website is averaging 10-12 visitors per day. Some of these “hits” are very quick looks - just to the home page and out. Some of our visitors browse around several pages and others go directly to an interior page, such as the Minutes of our previous Council Meeting. (The website can be accessed by Googleing, “Rose Valley Borough.”) Public Safety and Traffic Control The Borough’s Town Watch program, over sixty members strong, continued to provide an effective deterrent to criminal activity by conducting three radio-controlled patrols daily. The Borough's speed control device has proven to be effective in calming and recording the speed of vehicles along Rose Valley Road. The data accumulated by the device indicate that a significant number of drivers are traveling on Rose Valley within the posted 35mph speed limit and 98+% are traveling under 45 mph. Road Repair The Borough's ongoing responsibility to maintain Borough roads is likely to become substantially more expensive in the light of a judicial decision that mandates the Borough include "comparable wage" specifications in future Requests For Proposals for road paving. Comparable wage for these purposes means union wage. The Borough Engineer has estimated that this judicial interpretation will increase the cost of a paving job by approximately 40%. July 4th The Borough celebrated July 4th with its 13th annual parade, flag raising ceremony, pool party and picnic enjoyed by more than 250 participants. Hedgerow Players assisted in a skit that reenacted the events leading up to July 4th, 1776. Over 30 volunteers helped with the events that made it a flag-waving day of patriotism within the Borough. Some Reflections by Borough Solicitor, G. Guy Smith “I think an ongoing accomplishment during the past five years or so is the continuing improvement to the walking trails throughout the Borough. The addition of new Traymore trails along Rose Valley Road and the connector trail to the Saul Wildlife Preserve and the improvements to the existing trails, like the new bridge on the trolley- path trail that the Boy Scouts built, are all parts of what we all love about Rose Valley. The open spaces, the trails, the lands from Traymore that increased the Saul Wildlife Preserve by 50%, all work together to make Rose Valley unique in its concept of maintaining our communion with nature. And they are the result of a longstanding plan that is part of the ongoing commitment by Borough Council and the Mayor, not a closed plan, but a changing and encompassing concept, that we always seem to be ready to embrace for the improvement of what we already have. Traymore is a perfect example. The Scouts improving the bridge is another. The acquisition of the Borough Green another. Separate, yet working together and fitting together like pieces of a puzzle that make a wonderful picture when assembled. This year’s changes to the Zoning Code and the Zoning Map fit into this concept perfectly. They are another essential piece of the puzzle that adds to the finished picture. Add in the Gate House property acquisition, and our traffic calming speed sign on Rose Valley Road, and you see how it all fits together. Add to these pieces the creation of the Rose Valley Historic District during 2010 and you can see what this picture is starting to look like, not just for now but for the future. Rose Valley is a far different place than it was just a few short years ago. In the most difficult economic times since the great depression, our Borough government has managed to move the Borough forward in ways that no one, individually, not any one of us who sit at the Council table month after month, could have predicted as recently as five years ago. But, collectively, as a group, our public servants who sit at the table seem to work together like a choir or an orchestra, to bring these pieces of the puzzle together. Maybe not a perfect analogy, but you get the idea.” GOALS FOR 2011 Budget Our financial goals for 2011 include: (a) continue the 3-year process of achieving a balanced budget, (b) continue to apply for available grants, (c) continue to support responsible building projects that will increase the Borough’s tax base, and (d) develop a long-term budgetary plan for extraordinary expenditures related to street paving and support of local fire companies. Deer Continue to implement the long-range plan, modify as required. Historic District Conduct walks to acquaint our residents with historical aspects of our Borough. Planning Commission Review the plans to incorporate the Belson property into the Traymore Planned Residential Development to ensure the development adequately addresses Borough objectives, such as preserving additional open space, managing storm water runoff and enhancing the Borough trail network. Update the Borough Zoning Map to reflect the incorporation of the Belson property into the Traymore PRD and improve the accuracy of the map. Environmental Advisory Council Continue to implement the programs to remove invasive pants and replace them with native species in the wildlife sanctuaries and provide information to residents on how they can best do the same on their own properties. Stabilize the banks of Ridley Creek downstream of the old dam site. Investigate requirements for the repair of the dam and restoration of the wetlands in the small pond below the Traymore Bridge. Determine what would be required for the Borough to receive a “Tree City” designation. Gate House Property Improve the appearance of the property by adding flagstone, additional garden plantings and a bench. Plan for the site to include a Veterans Memorial. Road Repair Develop a plan for more frequent and smaller road paving projects to avoid the higher wage costs associated with larger projects. Meet with Senator Dominic Pileggi to address what could be done, including possible legislation that would exempt small municipalities like us from the comparable wage requirement. Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan (MMCP) Encourage cooperation among the municipalities in the MMCP planning area by sponsoring the third annual MMCP meeting. There being no further business, on a motion made, seconded and unanimously passed, the meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.