March 4, 2019
The Supervisor called the reorganization and regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors to order at 5:00 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Those present at the meeting were as follows:
Kevin Carter, Chairman
Randall Parrett, Supervisor
Greg Geyer, Supervisor
Misty Dittman, Sec/Treas
Dave Neill, The EADS Group
Mr. Parrett made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular meeting held February 4, 2019. Mr. Geyer seconded the motion; motion carried, 3-0.
Mr. Geyer made a motion to accept the report of the Treasurer, transfer funds to Payroll and pay the bills as listed. Mr. Parrett seconded the motion; motion carried, 3-0.
Mr. Ron Bell discussed the proposed low-moderate income housing. Mr. Bell wanted to know how the housing would benefit the community and he presented numerous studies showing the contrary. The studies showed that type of housing promotes poverty, lowers educational standards and leads to drops in property values. Because of the government control, it is difficult to remove bad tenants. Section 8 housing concentrates poverty in an already struggling area. Mr. Carter announced that the Township had met with the school, County, Clarion/Forest Housing and BGCN regarding developing housing in the Township and possibly offering tax abatements. At that time, Section 8 housing was not discussed. At the next meeting in February, Forest Area School representatives, Forest County, Clarion/Forest Housing Authority, Hudson Companies and the Township discussed developing in Jenks Township. Section 8 was discussed at that time. Mr. Carter reported that in the meeting an application by the developer would be submitted and would be scored based on the community. Things such as grocery stores, sidewalks, school scores, etc. would be taken into account. Clarion Housing would manage and maintain the property. Mr. Carter stated qualifying is unlikely but any investor could come into the area and develop. There are 22 houses currently in Jenks Township that are Section 8. At this time, the Township is just gathering information. There won’t be free sewage as is the rumor.
Mr. Neill, The EADS Group, presented a report discussing updates on current projects.
Mr. Stoner reported more building permits are starting to come in.
Mr. Gawelski discussed maintenance and other work completed.
Mr. Carter discussed the Clarion Hospital EMS. They might pull the ambulance service out of Marienville due to costs. As per the Township solicitor, the Township can give a once a year donation to help with expenses. Also, if the membership drive brought in more, that would help.
The Notice of payment for Liquid Fuels for 2019 was received. A letter regarding the updated ISO rating was reviewed.
The Supervisors discussed the ATV connector trail from the center of town to the existing trails. The Board met with Rob Fallon and discussed the trail. The ANF is looking for grant money as the trail will cost about $350,000. A meeting may be scheduled for mid-April for the public to review the layout. The hope is to start construction in 2020.
Mr. Carter made a motion to approve excess maintenance agreements. Mr. Parrett seconded the motion; motion carried, 3-0.
Mr. Geyer made a motion to approve the Fire Protection agreement for 2019. Mr. Parrett seconded the motion; motion carried, 3-0.
Mr. Geyer made a motion to approve the tax data processing agreement with Forest County. Mr. Parrett seconded the motion; motion carried, 3-0.
Mr. Carter made a motion to approve the Cummins WWTP equipment maintenance agreement. Mr. Parrett seconded the motion; motion carried, 3-0.
The January 2019 WWTP report was reviewed.
The road employees will attend a Dirt & Gravel Roads workshop on March 21 in Brookville.
Ms. Brenda Carbaugh asked if the Township talked to PennDot about the storm water problem in her yard. PennDot says it is not theirs. The Township is trying to help by updating the storm water on Maple Street, but insist she may need to do yard excavation and house improvements to fix the problem.
Ms. Sandra Diehl asked what besides recreation can be done to bring businesses to Marienville. Are there any incentives? Mr. Carter said tax abatement can be offered and the he hopes the trail will bring new stores to town, such as a bicycle store. Ms. Diehl stated that other businesses needed to be attracted to town. Mr. Geyer stated transportation of goods is a problem with such a rural area.
Ms. Charmaine Calfo stated many low income people don’t have cars and would need buses that are unavailable in the area.
Mr. Ed Hoffmann asked where the previous Township minutes could be found. They will be on the website. Mr. Hoffmann asked about the ATV connector trail out Greeley Farm road.
Ms. Claudia Cecchetti stated that for many years, she worked with Armstrong County Housing Authority and has seen first-hand how Section 8 housing can ruin a town. Her daughter was a success story in using the housing, but it is a very rare case. She stated there is much more negative with this housing than positive. The problems aren’t with the elderly housing, mostly just the family units. It brings drug problems and can take years to remove criminals and/or problem tenants. If there aren’t enough local residents to fill the apartments, they will find people from other areas to fill it. Ms. Cecchetti also stated welfare to work does not generally work.
Ms. Kimberly Carey asked about paving the trail. Stated there is grass growing on the TSA that was already put down.
Mr. Bryan Carey asked if there was any new news on BVK fixing the storm water problem. PennDot is hoping to help with some of the problem when they redo Route 66.
Mr. Tim Holman asked why the meeting hadn’t been moved to a larger building when the Supervisors should have known how many people would be attending. He asked if they could take that into consideration next time.
Mr. Chara Ayars just bought a house that would be close to the proposed Section 8 area and he is not happy about that. He and his family chose to live in Marienville for good reasons and are afraid the housing would pull the property value down among other things.
Mr. Michael Dechant stated people move to this area to get away from crime and drugs and feels the housing would bring more of that to the area.
Ms. Rosie Everett stated she is not for or against but that not all people that live in Section 8 housing are bad. She and her kids would have qualified and she does not consider herself or her family scum. Ms. Everett feels that we don’t have what is needed for it to qualify anyway.
Mr. John Shriver, whom also has worked in the housing, discussed many issues such as having a hard time with the upkeep of the properties once the developer is gone. Individual Section 8 houses are usually better than the apartments or townhouses. The family units have more problems.
Mr. Travis Millward stated there may be 22 here already, but that doesn’t mean we should invite more.
Mr. Michael Turek asked who would be responsible when there are problems, the State Police? He has seen where they start with one family and soon all the family members are living there and it turns into a slum.
Ms. Lisa Morris asked what other information the Township is gathering. Are they actively looking for a grocery store, buses, etc.? Mr. Carter stated he would love Baughman’s to rebuild their grocery store. Is the Township looking for grants or actively having conversations to bring things into town? Mr. Carter discussed maybe selling the parking lot behind the Quick & Easy for them to expand their business. Mr. Neill stated it is very difficult to get a grant in a for profit business.
It was discussed that the Marienville Fire Company had the land for sale. The Supervisors stated the fire company is not part of the Township, but the Township is responsible to provide fire protection. Mr. Carter stated the Tour de Forest also helps bring people to Marienville.
Mr. Raymond Gerst stated he has 23 years of community service to Marienville. He does not want to see the problems here that he has seen in Pittsburgh growing up there. He is dead set against the housing and sees no reason for it here. There are many single family homes that people could live in.
Mr. Tyler Blair discussed people need to clean up and not litter. It seems to be worse than it was.
Ms. Deborah Lipchey discussed working at the prison and how it already limits her activities. Paroled families would stay here and that would limit her even more. It would be a dangerous situation. The housing in Mt. Jewett was nice, but not now.
Mr. David Payne stated not everyone was able to attend the meeting because there was not enough room. Please move it to MACA next time and suggested doing a sign-up sheet ahead of the meeting to see if it was necessary.
Mr. John Habjan asked if they couldn’t pass an Ordinance prohibiting the housing from being built or restrict it.
Mr. Ed Stoner stated the EMS is already in jeopardy and the housing would further burden it. People want to be proactive in cleaning their properties, not reactive. They don’t want to lose property value. Can the current sewer system handle this much more housing? Section 8 residents would likely not contribute or volunteer for the fire company. Mr. Stoner stated the Memorial Day yard sales are being organized and there will be another clean up your property contest. June 1 is the tentative spring clean-up day.
Mr. Jeff Lyons is new to the area. He stressed points made earlier by people against the housing. Thinks recreation should be made bigger. Wants to know why the trail can’t be used for snowmobiles to Bish’s business. Mr. Carter stated the south RR trail can’t be used for that as there are no connecting trails.
Ms. Sandra Bard reiterated points made by Mr. Bell. Feels the housing would be a negative to the community.
Ms. Jennifer Reed is against the housing.
Mr. Jerry Thornton thanked the Township for the grant support letter. He discussed the pipes for the trail and stated the Supervisors had been very patient listening to everyone.
Ms. Amber Deltorre asked who would benefit from the Section 8 housing. She feels it would drop the property values.
Mr. Carter stated there are tax free incentives and tax credits for low income. He thinks the Township needs to build new footprints and not only for Section 8 housing.
The Treasurer provided the following balances:
Trust Fund- Northwest Savings Bank – $ 869,766.39
General Fund – 131,496.28
Payroll Account – 24,925.01
Sinking Fund – 1,621,793.55
State Checking Account – 500.97
State Savings Account – 1,344.97
Fire Protection Account – 1,332.23
The Chairman adjourned the meeting at 8:00 pm.
Misty D. Dittman, Secretary/ Treasurer