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HLRA
Wednesday, January 20 2021

HORSHAM LAND REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

MEETING MINUTES

WEDNESDAY • JANUARY 20, 2021 • 3:30 PM

 

In Attendance:

Authority Board

W. William Whiteside, III, Chair      

Eric Coombs

Mark McCouch (by Zoom)                            

Joseph Wade

 

Not Present:

Joanna M. Furia Esq., Vice Chair

 

HLRA Staff

Michael J. McGee

Tom Ames

Larry Burns

William Gildea-Walker

Mary Eberle, Esquire (by Zoom)

 

 

Chairman Whiteside called the meeting to order at 3:30 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. 

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 the Election of Officers for 2021. It was moved by Mr. Wade, seconded by Mr. Coombs to nominate William Whiteside as Chair, Joanna Furia for Vice-Chair and William Gildea-Walker as Secretary/Treasurer for 2021. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding minutes of the HLRA meeting on October 21, 2020. It was moved by Mr. Coombs, second by Mr. Wade to approve the minutes for the October 21, 2020 HLRA meeting. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside asked Mr. McGee for the Executive Director’s Report.

Mr. McGee noted that he had provided Board members with the financial update prior to the meeting.  Since the inception of the Horsham local redevelopment authority, approximately $4.83M has been spent, most of the funds provided through grants funded by the Office of Economic Adjustment; local effort has funded about $350K.  Mr. McGee noted that Congress has authorized a name change for OEA; their new name is the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation.  OEA/OLDCC continues to support the HLRA, as we continue to be a location where no surplus federal property has been transferred from the main base.

Mr. McGee provided the following updates:

SE Clear Zone:  The Navy has transferred the property to the US Department of the Interior (National Park Service).  The Navy has prepared a draft deed.  Our BRAC Special Counsel has recommended three minor changes in the deed of which two were approved by the Navy; the National Park Service is reviewing those recommended changes.  It is possible that the property could be transferred to Horsham Township within the next 2-3 months.

Master Developer Candidate:  The HLRA staff continues to hold regular discussions with Catellus.

Navy:  The Navy continues to work on environmental issues.  Their initial groundwater pump & treat pilot plant continues to operate; over 8 million gallons of groundwater have been treated.  The pilot plant treats incoming flows which contain 10,000 – 46,000 parts per trillion of PFAS contamination and discharges it back on base.  Mr. Wade questioned if this step ‘re-contaminates the effluent.  Mr. Whiteside noted that this is the case but the current process is removing the worst contamination. Mr. McGee noted that a second pilot system is planned for this summer with future permanent systems planned which may pump up to 500 gallons per minute. Questions still unresolved include where the water will be discharged and how much impact this pumping will have on Horsham Water and Sewer Authority water supply wells.  NAS-JRB Willow Grove continues to be a test case nationwide on how the military will handle PFAS contamination.

Horsham Air Guard Station.  HAGS’s planned filtration system is still not operational.  HAGS is not using the local groundwater for drinking water purposes.  They still have not resolved the issue of how to treat the backwash water associated with the filters.  Neither HWSA nor PADEP supported their initial plan of sending the backwash water to HWSA’s treatment plant.

Future Property Transfers:  HLRA staff has been in contact with Navy BRAC PMO representatives on potential future property transfers, such as the property south of Maple Avenue.  The Navy is considering whether it is possible to “FOST” parcels in the near term.  The HLRA staff is hopeful that additional land will become available so we can move ahead with the redevelopment.

Mr. Whiteside asked Ms. Eberle for the Solicitor’s Report. Ms. Eberle noted that the Aldie Foundation and Warminster Township have resolved their differences regarding issues with the Shenandoah Woods property transfer.  Warminster Township will end up paying Aldie Foundation about 50% of what was owed.  The settlement requires HLRA sign-off.

Mr. Whiteside asked for the will of the Board regarding the list of checks. It was moved by Mr. Coombs, seconded by Mr. Wade, to approve the list of checks in the amount of $38,761.63 covering the period from October 22, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and the list of check for $11,639.66 for the period from January 1, 2021 to January 20, 2021. All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside asked Mr. McGee to provide background information on the Warminster-Aldie Foundation settlement.  Mr. McGee reported the following: The HLRA is involved with the former Shenandoah Woods family housing project in Bucks County as it was managed by NAS-JRB Willow Grove when the base closed.  The proposed redevelopment plan for Shenandoah Woods has not been able to be implemented due to a variety of reasons, primarily economic. The Navy still currently owns the property. When the redevelopment plan was finalized, the HLRA assigned all responsibilities to Warminster Township.  Aldie Foundation was a local homeless services provided who was included in the plan.  They were to receive either 20 housing units or $350,000.  Approximately two years ago, Warminster Township indicated that they were not going to pay Aldie Foundation any of the agreed upon amount.  Aldie Foundation filed a lawsuit to receive the funds.  A settlement was reached in late 2020 and required all parties to sign.  The HLRA was enjoined in the suit.    Mr. McGee signed for the HLRA in 2020 as he did not want to delay the settlement agreement (until the January 2021 HLRA meeting).  He noted that the settlement agreement does not obligate the HLRA financially nor does it concede any wrong doing on the part of the HLRA. Mr. McCouch moved to ratify the actions of the HLRA Executive Director in executing the Settlement and Release Agreement that served to resolve the Aldie Foundation litigation.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Coombs.  All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside indicated the next item on the agenda was the approval of the quarterly meeting schedule for 2021, a copy of which is attached. He noted that the HLRA Board has been meeting quarterly but if the pace of activity picks up, consideration will be given to meeting monthly. Mr. Wade moved to approve the HLRA quarterly meeting schedule as presented, providing for meetings at 3:30 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday in the months of April, July and October, 2021 and for January, 2022. The move was seconded by Mr. Coombs.  All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Whiteside stated the next item on the agenda was the approval of HLRA’s annual budget for 2021. Mr. McGee noted that the proposed budget amounts are sufficient for what will actually be spent. Depending on the ability of the Navy to identify additional parcels which could be transferred in the near term, additional work will be needed (such as re-evaluation of the real estate market conditions or determining if the runway materials could be reclaimed for use in road construction).  There are many unknowns but he believed that the budget will be adequate for what will likely be accomplished. Mr. Coombs moved to approve HLRA Budget Resolution #2021-01 setting forth the proposed budget for 2021. The motion was seconded by Mr. Wade. A roll call vote was taken:

Mr. McCouch: Aye

Mr. Coombs:  Aye

Mr. Wade: Aye

Mr. Whiteside: Aye

The vote was 4-0 in favor, the Budget Resolution #2021-01 passed unanimously.  

Mr. Whiteside confirmed that the next item on the agenda involved approving a policy detailing retention and disposition of records. Mr. McGee stated that the HLRA annually approves a resolution on our record retention policy which is consistent with procedures established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and followed by many municipalities. Mr. Wade moved to approve the HLRA Disposition of Records Resolution #2021-2 which adopts the procedures for the disposition of records as set for in the Retention and Disposition Schedule for Records of Pennsylvania Municipalities issued on December 16, 2008 and further approves the disposition of appropriate HLRA records that may be disposed of at this time, in accordance with those procedures. The motion was seconded by Mr. Coombs.  A roll call vote was taken:

Mr. McCouch: Aye

Mr. Coombs:  Aye

Mr. Wade: Aye

Mr. Whiteside: Aye

The vote was 4-0 in favor, the Budget Resolution #2021-02 passed unanimously.  

Mr. Whiteside confirm the next agenda item was for the reappointment of the HLRA solicitor.   Mr. Coombs moved to approve the reappointment of Ms. Eberle and the law firm of Grim, Biehn & Thatcher as Solicitor of the HLRA for 2021.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Wade.  All in favor, motion passed unanimously.

The proposal for auditing services for the year end December 31, 2020 was next discussed. Mr. McGee confirmed that we solicited at least 3 bids for our audit. The staff recommendation is to award the work to Maillie, LLP with in accordance with their proposal for a fee of $5,000. It was moved by Mr. Wade, seconded by Mr. McCouch, to retain and engage Maillie, LLP to provide audit services for the HLRA for the year ended December 31, 2020.  All voted in favor, motion passed unanimously.

The next item discussed was the proposed gate relocation at the Horsham Air Guard Station (HAGS).  Mr. McGee briefly explained that the current set-up for entry into HAGS required two entrances since one does not provide adequate space for trucks.  HAGS is seeking input from the HLRA on a proposal to create a new entrance which would be designed for both trucks and cars.  An initial concept plan would have the new entrance entering County Line Road at the existing traffic signal at the shopping center in Warwick Township.  Another concept would have the new entrance to HAGS connect with Titus Avenue.  The Board discussed the advantageous of having the entrance at the Titus Avenue location as it gives better access to Route 611 and to Street Road.  Mr. Gildea-Walker noted that Horsham Township is supportive of the gate relocation project and prefers the Titus Avenue connection location.  Mr. Wade questioned whether traffic studies have been done; Mr. Whiteside explained that the studies would be done later in the project but that the Titus Avenue connector would likely aid in dispersing traffic easier.  Mr. Gildea-Walker noted that the Township would be at the table during the design stage.  Mr. McGee noted that the information provided by HAGS also indicated that a portion of the current HAGS base along Route 611 would become surplus after the entrance gate is relocated. He briefed the Board on the advantages of including that portion into the NAS-JRB Willow Grove redevelopment, particularly the potential widening of Route 611.  Board members expressed support of the proposed gate relocation project favoring the Titus Avenue connection location.

Mr. Whiteside announced that the next Horsham Land Redevelopment Authority meeting would be on April 21, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. in the Horsham Township Municipal Building. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:23 p.m.

           

         

_____________________

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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