HORSHAM LAND REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
WEDNESDAY •MARCH 16, 2016 • 3:30 PM
W. William Whiteside, III, Chair (Absent)
Joanna M. Furia, Vice Chair
Dr. Curtis Griffin
Michael J. McGee
Mary Eberle, Esquire (Absent)
Vice Chair Furia called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m. in the Horsham Township Building at 1025 Horsham Road, Horsham PA 19044 and led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Mrs. Furia started the meeting by asking if there were any questions or comments from the public, Bill Randle, 105 Gerstley Rd. Hatboro, PA provided comments to the Board against the current NAS-JRB Willow Grove Redevelopment Plan and suggested that the site should be used for a federal fairground and federal cemetery. He noted that he had provided his thoughts to the Board in the past and was now in the process of meeting with elected officials. He also suggested that a public referendum be held on the Plan. Ms. Furia asked Mr. Randle if he was aware of the numerous public meetings held in developing the current plan; Mr. Randle stated that he had attended many of those meetings.
Mrs. Furia asked for the will of the Board regarding minutes of the HLRA meeting on January 20, 2016. It was moved by Mr. Donnelly, second by Mr. Griffin to approve the minutes for the January 20, 2016 HLRA meeting. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Furia asked Mr. McGee for the Executive Director’s Report. Mr. McGee noted that delays upon the base have caused the HLRA to spend more money than anticipated. The HLRA is funded ninety percent on a Federal Grant from OEA and the other ten percent from Horsham Township. The ten percent contribution from Horsham Township includes in-kind services from employees of the Township, and the HLRA rent for office space in the Township Building. The HLRA has requested additional funds from OEA to cover on-going expenses. Mr. McGee stated that the HLRA has submitted a new grant application and request for reallocation to the Department of Defense (DOD) and is waiting on their response.
Mr. McGee shared with the Board that the HLRA is still working with their partner Catellus Development Corporation to secure a Master Development Agreement (MDA) but it cannot be completed until the unknowns of the property have been answered by the Navy and EPA. Mr. McGee noted that the Navy has been very active with the finding a solution for the conditions of base. Mr. McGee pointed out Greg Preston, head of the Navy’s BRAC Program Management Office East, was in the audience and asked that he give a summary of the current situation with the base. Mr. Preston spoke to the Board on several topics including the Navy’s on-going program in response to the discovery of groundwater contamination by perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), the timetable for property transfer and the need to develop a consensus solution to the situation with EPA and PADEP. Mr. Preston complimented the local community, specifically the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority, in their quick response to the PFC contamination by shutting down supply wells and doing additional testing. He stated that HWSA’s water is safe to drink. Currently the Navy is collecting more data by drilling 32 additional monitoring wells on base with a goal of making an informed decision later in 2016. Based on current estimates, his best guess on transfer of up to 700 acres of the base to the HLRA will be no later than September 2018.
Mrs. Furia asked for the Solicitor’s Report. Mr. McGee shared that Ms. Eberle could not be present for this meeting. Mr. McGee spoke on her behalf that the HLRA has been working diligently on the current negotiations with both parties; the US Navy and Catellus.
Mrs. Furia asked for the will of the Board regarding the list of checks. It was moved by Mr. Donnelly, seconded by Mr. McCouch, to approve the list of checks in the amount of $57,330.42. All in favor, motion passed unanimously.
Mrs. Furia announced that the next Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority meeting would be on April 20, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. in the Horsham Township Municipal Building. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:05 pm.
William T. Walker