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HLRA
Wednesday, October 21 2020

HORSHAM LAND REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

MEETING MINUTES

WEDNESDAY • OCTOBER 21, 2020 • 3:30 PM

 

In Attendance:

Authority Board

W. William Whiteside, III, Chair      

Joanna M. Furia Esq., Vice Chair      

Eric Coombs

Mark McCouch                                  

Joseph Wade

 

 

HLRA Staff

Michael J. McGee

Tom Ames

Larry Burns

William Gildea-Walker

Mary Eberle, Esquire

 

Chairman Whiteside called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. and led the participants in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. 

Mr. Whiteside asked if there were any questions or comments from the public, there were none.

Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding minutes of the HLRA meeting on July 15, 2020. It was moved by Mr. McCouch, second by Ms. Furia to approve the minutes for the July 15, 2020 HLRA meeting. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside asked Mr. McGee for the Financial Report. Mr. McGee noted that the most recent HLRA Financial Report was emailed to the Board Members. The HLRA has received grants from OEA for the past eleven years. He also noted that the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) continues to be supportive despite pressure from the Department of Defense to conclude support to communities impacted by BRAC 2005; the HLRA is one of a very few local reuse authorities still receiving grants relating to the BRAC program.

Mr. McGee stated that the HLRA staff has on-going discussions with Catellus Development Corporation regarding the redevelopment of the former NAS-JRB Willow Grove.  He introduced Mr. Greg Weaver, Executive Vice President of Catellus who joined the meeting via a Zoom call.  Mr. Weaver noted that it had been some time since he had a chance to be in front of the HLRA Board and he wanted to provide the Board with its new members with a Catellus Overview and its interest in the project.  Mr. Weaver gave a slide presentation on Catellus emphasizing key aspects of their development strategy including self-financing of projects, patience, long term staff and experience with similar projects.  He highlighted Catellus projects in Austin, TX, Alameda, CA, Los Angeles, CA and Glenview, IL.  He reminded the Board that Catellus was patiently waiting for the U.S. Navy and the EPA to approve a remediation plan and that Catellus was “here for the long term’.  Mr. Whiteside thanked Mr. Weaver for the presentation and asked the Board if there were any questions.  There were none.

Mr. McGee then updated the Board on the status of the Navy’s efforts to remediate two former landfills on the former base. He reported that Horsham Township requested an extension of the public comment period due to the poor attendance during the virtual meeting. The Navy has  extended the public comment period for an additional thirty days until November 25, 2020. He asked Tom Ames, HLRA Deputy Director, to review the Navy’s proposed plans for Sites 3 and 12.  Mr. Ames gave a slide presentation giving background on the CERCLA process, the history of the two landfills and all of the investigative work performed to date.  The Navy has identified alternatives to address the risks to human health and environment posed by the landfills and is proposing to install soil covers over the landfill wastes and contaminated soils at each site.  The Navy also identified other possible alternatives including removal of the wastes and contaminated soils from the base and disposing them in a proper landfill. The CERCLA process encourages public comments on these types of proposed plans; the Navy held a virtual public meeting at the end of September 2020.  Mr. McGee noted that the soil cover alternative would likely impact the HLRA’s approved redevelopment plan; he asked Board members to review draft letters recommending complete removal of the wastes and contaminated soils at each site. He advised the Board that the letters would be sent the following week.  Mr. Whiteside asked Mr. McGee for the Executive Director’s Report. Mr. McGee noted that the Navy has issued a Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) on the eight-acre parcel, known as the Southeast Clear Zone, located east of Easton Road and transferred the parcel to the National Park Service at the end of September 2020.  The National Park Service will transfer the parcel to Horsham Township via a public benefit conveyance for use as a park, hopefully by the end of the year.  Horsham Township plans to add that parcel to the adjacent Township park.  Mr. McGee noted that without a local reuse authority this transfer and the Hallowell School property may not have occurred.

Mr. McGee also noted that the Delaware Valley Historic Aircraft Association (DVHAA) has been given approval by the Navy to conduct escorted tours to their newly relocated P-3 aircraft at the DVHAA’s Museum site along Easton Road.

Mr. Whiteside asked Ms. Eberle for her report.  Ms. Eberle noted that she continues to support the HLRA staff and she also participated in the Navy’s virtual public meeting on Sites 3 and 12; she stated that it was difficult to determine the number of other public members engaged during the call.

Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding the list of checks. It was moved by Mr. McCouch, seconded by Mr. Coombs, to approve the list of checks in the amount of $66,671.07 covering the period from July 16, 2020 to October 21, 2020. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside announced that the next Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority meeting would be on January 20, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. scheduled to be at the Horsham Township Building. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:31 pm.

           

         

_______/S/__________

William T. Gildea-Walker

HLRA Secretary

HLRA – Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority

1025 Horsham Road, Horsham PA 19044 | Telephone: (215) 643-3131 | Fax: (215) 643-0448 | mail@hlra.org

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