Municipal Building
100 North Drive
Sewickley, PA 15143
Phone: 412-741-6555
Fax: 412-741-7062
info@aleppotownship.com
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Legislative Digest – December 17, 2018

Hi, Neighbors. We had an Aleppo Legislative Meeting before the holidays and I wanted to tell you what happened.

It was a long one, with lots of year-end business covered. If you want to watch the meeting from the beginning, click here. Otherwise, feel free to click the links below to jump to the portions of the meeting that are of particular interest to you.

Before we get started, allow me to share two opinions. I usually try to make these digests facts only, without editorialization. But there are two topics that warrant more emphasis.

First–as you’ll see below–part of December’s meeting was approving an on-time, balanced budget that does not include a tax increase. That development is one that all of us who live in Aleppo should celebrate. We remain the municipality with the second-lowest taxes in the Quaker Valley School District and we enjoy high-quality township services. We’ve all seen first-hand from our state and federal governments that on-time, balanced budgets cannot be taken for granted, and I’m proud that here in Aleppo, we consistently meet this standard. I hope you’re happy about that, too!

Second, during the December meeting, I presented a year-end review of the township’s status. I discussed our accomplishments in 2018, where I think Aleppo is strong, and where I think our weaknesses lie. While it is more than just a few minutes long (it is closer to 20 minutes), it is my effort to tell my neighbors the most important facts about their township’s health as we transition from one year to the next. Many residents will not be interested in this much detail, but if you want my unvarnished view of what’s going on in Aleppo, I only take this time out of our meetings once per year and I encourage you to give it a watch. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.)

OK … off my soapbox. Here’s what happened at the December meeting:

  • We held a zoning hearing to rule on the application of Northway Christian Church to occupy and operate out of the old printing press building on Deer Run Road that was previously owned by Vesuvius. We will be voting on this application at our January Legislative Meeting, so please let us know if you have any thoughts on the matter. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #PlanningZoning
  • Our Police Chief told us about police activity in the township. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Police
  • We heard about what our Public Works crews have been doing. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #PublicWorks
  • I read emails to the board from residents about the storm grate at the bottom of River Road and truck parking in a lot on Deer Run Road. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #RedgateRoad
  • Our treasurer told us how much money we have collected in taxes and how much money we have in the bank. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Treasurer
  • We voted (4-0) to exonerate two real estate taxpayers. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Taxes
  • We voted (4-0) to adopt our 2019 Real Estate Tax Rate Ordinance, which–once again–includes no tax increase for 2019. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Taxes, #Ordinanace
  • We voted (4-0) to adopt our 2019 Budget Ordinance, which includes an on-time, balanced budget. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Finance, #Ordinance, #Budget
  • We voted (4-0) to adopt our 2019 Water Rate Ordinance. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Authority, #Ordinance
  • We voted (4-0) to accept a proposal to revise the township’s sewage disposal plan with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Sewer, #DEP
  • We voted (4-0) to appoint Dan Darragh to the Aleppo Township Water Authority Board to fill the term of a board member who resigned. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Authority
  • Our solicitor updated us about the status of a potential plan to sell our interest in a lot near Weber Road (Lot 422-G-351). (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #WeberRoad
  • I laid out the first draft of our goals for 2019. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting and click here to see the list of potential goals.) #Goals
  • We heard from one of our residents about deer control and lyme disease, sewage and water rates, and commissioner service on the Authority board. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #CitizenParticipation

Our next meeting will be on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:00 PM.  If any of these issues are important to you, please feel free to join us. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, please feel free to share your thoughts with me by email and I will be sure to convey your feelings to the other commissioners.

As always, thanks for making Aleppo a great place to live. 2018 was a great year for our and the best is yet to come, so stay tuned for another great year in 2019.

Best wishes,

Matthew Doebler
Aleppo Township Commissioner

Legislative Digest – November 19, 2018

Hi, Neighbors. We had an Aleppo Legislative Meeting last week and I wanted to tell you what happened.

There was a great deal packed into this meeting with several important presentations. If you want to watch the meeting from the beginning, click here. Otherwise, feel free to click the links below to jump to the portions of the meeting that are of particular interest to you.

Here’s what happened:

  • Leadership from the Quaker Valley Ambulance Authority presented to us and explained the details of its service to Aleppo. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Ambulance
  • The coordinator of the proposed update to the Aleppo, Sewickley, Osborne Joint Comprehensive Plan presented to us and told us where the process stands. We are expecting a draft of the plan in December, followed by a 45 Day public outreach period. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #ASO

 

  • Our Police Chief told us what the police have been doing in Aleppo recently and we discussed a “No Knock List” concerning door-to-door solicitors. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Police
  • We voted (5-0) to approve the Act 172 Volunteer Tax Credit Program roster of eligible resident Aleppo Township Volunteer Fire Company volunteers. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Fire, #Taxes
  • We voted (5-0) to purchase a new Pickup/Utility Body Truck, Spreader, and Snowplow assembly from Woltz & Wind Ford for $80,640 in yellow. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #PublicWorks
  • Our Public Works Director told us what township crews have done in the last month, including a discussion of repairs to Sewickley Ridge Drive and drainage problems on School Street. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.)  #PublicWorks
  • With winter weather approaching, I reminded neighbors not to park on township roads during snow events or when snow is expected to make it safe for our plow trucks. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #WinterMaintenance

 

  • We voted (5-0) to to adopt our Stormwater Management Ordinance. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Ordinance, #Environment
  • We discussed the paving project on Sewickley Heights Drive and voted (5-0) to approve Pay Request No. 1 from Mele & Mele & Sons, Inc. in the amount of $404,463.94 and we took no action with respect to an additional proposed drain along the roadway. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #PublicWorks, #SewickleyHeightsDrive
  • I read emails from residents covering topics including development on Weber Road, truck parking along Deer Run Road, the proposed park between Weber Road and Ingleside Drive, and temporary Amazon signs. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Communications, #CitizenParticipation
  • We voted (5-0) to approve the Revised Landscape Plan from Masonic Village. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #MasoicVillage
  • We voted (5-0) to to approve Sewickley Heights Manor Land Development Plan for garage replacement with the following condition: the two lots upon which the garage will be located must be consolidated prior to final occupancy being granted. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #SewickleyHeightsManor
  • Our Township Manager told us how much money we have in the bank and how much we’ve collected in taxes. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Treasurer, #Taxes
  • I reported about the Quaker Valley Council of Governments’ Annual Dinner. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #QVCOG
  • We voted (5-0) to pay our bills. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Finance
  • We heard that the estimate to repair the basins that were damaged by the alleged caustic discharge into the Aleppo Township Authority sewer is about $60,000. We also heard that there is the potential of a sewer rate increase in 2019. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Authority
  • We learned of a vacancy on the Aleppo Township Authority board. Commissioner Darragh volunteered to serve on both the Township Board of Commissioners and the Aleppo Township Authority Board. A motion to appoint him was made, but we voted (4-0) to defer it for one month to get a sense of resident sentiment concerning this dual role. If you have thoughts about this, please let us know. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Authority
  • We discussed the lot across the street from the Township Building where trucks have been parking. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Ordinance
  • We voted (5-0) to adopt our Solicitation Ordinance Amendment. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Ordinance, #Soliciting
  • We discussed the ongoing complaints about Sewickley’s lot on Glen Mitchell Road. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #GlenMitchellRoad, #Ordinance
  • We discussed participation in a sale of lot 422-G-351 and deferred on the matter until we receive confirmation from Allegheny County that it is willing to facilitate the sale. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Parcels
  • We discussed potential Ingleside Park plans and agreed to undertake public outreach on this subject. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #InglesideDrive
  • We voted (5-0) to send a letter to PennDOT regarding Redgate Road landslides. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #RedgateRoad, #Landslides
  • We received a draft of the 2019 Budget and heard a summary of the highlights. This draft of the budget does not include a tax increase for 2019. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting and click here to read a summary of the 2019 draft budget.) #Budget
  • We heard a presentation from Columbia Gas about its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs–if you know of anybody who needs assistance with their gas bill, the materials discussed in the presentation are available at the Township Building. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #ColumbiaGas

Our next Workshop meeting will be on Monday, December 10, 2018 at 7:00 PM. If any of these issues are important to you, please feel free to join us. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, please feel free to share your thoughts with me by email and I will be sure to convey your feelings to the other commissioners.

As always, thanks for making Aleppo a great place to live.

Best wishes,

Matthew Doebler
Aleppo Township Commissioner

June 18, 2018 – Legislative Digest

Hi, Neighbors. We had an Aleppo Legislative Meeting last week and I wanted to tell you what happened.

If you want to watch the meeting from the beginning, click here. Otherwise, feel free to click the links below to jump to the portions of the meeting that are of particular interest to you.

Here’s what happened:

  • We continued and concluded Masonic Village’s Conditional Use Hearing concerning its plans to build additional villas. The hearing culminated in a trio of motions, all of which we voted (5-0) to approve. All of the motions required Masonic Village to comply with written conditions. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting and click here to read the conditions.) #MasonicVillage, #Villas
  • Our Township Auditor presented a draft of the 2017 Audit Report. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting. #Audit
  • Our police chief told us about police activity in the township, including a resurgence of the popular “Grandmother Scam”, which he suggested everyone know how to recognize. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting and click here to review our video about Fraud Schemes Commonly Seen in Aleppo–look for the “Family Member in Distress” portion. The police report also referenced the rules for door-to-door solicitation in Aleppo … click here to review our video on Solicitation Awareness.) #Police, #Soliciting #Ordinance
  • Our Township Manager told what our public works crews have been up to for the past month. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #PublicWorks
  • Our Township Engineer updated us on the progress of the summer’s road paving projects, including the hope that the paving of Sewickley Heights Drive in The Manor would take place sometime in mid-July and would last for about a week to 10 days. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Roads, #Paving, #SewickleyHeightsDrive, #Roads
  • I read several emails from residents, including a note in support of renewing our contract with the Ohio Township Police Department and one expressing concern about the possibility of an Amazon facility moving into the old FedEx building. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Communications
  • Our Treasurer told us how much money we have collected in taxes and how much we have in the bank. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Treasurer
  • We voted (5-0) to exonerate 3 real estate taxpayers. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Taxes
  • I reminded residents that the Quaker Valley Council of Governments will hold a recycling event on 30 June 2018 at the Quaker Valley High School. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting and click here for a flier with more details on the recycling event.) #Trash
  • However, I also reminded residents that many of the items being collected at the COG recycling event can also be picked up for free at your door under our existing contract with Waste Management. (Click here for information about curbside collection of special materials through the AtYourDoor program.) We pay for this program, so you should use it! #Trash
  • I read an email from the Executive Director of the QVCOG about Sewickley’s intention to leave the COG at the end of the year. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #QVCOG
  • We voted (5-0) to ratify the sale of the old dump truck bed to John Fulmer for $1,750.00 through Municibid with the proceeds to be deposited into the Truck Fund. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #PublicWorks
  • We voted (5-0) to renew our contract with Ohio Township for police services. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Police
  • We voted (5-0) to adopt the amendment to the Ordinance Regulating Junk Yards and Storage Lots. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Ordinance
  • We voted (5-0) to approve the Perciavalle-Chandler Lot Line Revision Plan. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #PlanningZoning
  • We discussed a draft of a Street Opening Ordinance and agreed to discuss this matter further at additional meetings. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Ordinance
  • We talked about fracking ordinances and–again–agreed to discuss this matter further at additional meetings. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Fracking
  • During Citizen Participation, a resident further discussed the possibility of an Amazon facility moving into the old FedEx building. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #CitizenParticipation

Our next Workshop meeting will be on Monday, July 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM. If any of these issues are important to you, please feel free to join us. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, please feel free to share your thoughts with me by email and I will be sure to convey your feelings to the other commissioners.

As always, thanks for making Aleppo a great place to live.

Best wishes,

Matthew Doebler
Aleppo Township Commissioner

May 14, 2018 – Workshop Digest

Hi, Neighbors. We had an Aleppo Workshop Meeting on Monday night and I wanted to tell you what happened.
Our recording started slightly into the meeting, so the first few minutes weren’t recorded and–for some reason–we captured audio only. (I know I keep saying this, but help is on the way as far as the quality of our recordings go … we placed an order today for new gear that should make our recordings much better!) If you want to watch the meeting from the beginning, click here. Otherwise, feel free to click the links below to jump to the portions of the meeting that are of interest to you.Several of the items discussed below will be voted on at our next meeting on Monday 21 May. Those items are specifically identified–please let us know if you have thoughts you want us to consider before we cast our votes.

OK, here’s what happened:

  • We discussed renewal of our contract with the Ohio Township Police Department. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Police
  • Jacob Viola made a presentation about a program to study Aleppo Township’s sustainability. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #ResidentRequests
  • The Quaker Valley COG Executive Director told us more about COG-wide GIS and a motion was made to accept the proposal from the QVCOG for GIS services. We will be voting on this motion on Monday–please let me know if you have any thoughts about this issue. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #QVCOG #GIS
  • The QVCOG Executive Director told us about a COG Emergency Management Study and a motion was made to adopt a resolution to participate in this study. We will be voting on this motion on Monday–please let me know if you have any thoughts about this issue. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #QVCOG #EmergencyManagement
  • We discussed a vacancy on the Aleppo Township Authority Board. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Authority
  • We talked more about making a donation to the Memorial Day parade in Sewickley and a motion was made to contribute $250 to this fund. We will be voting on this motion on Monday–please let me know if you have any thoughts about this issue. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #CommunityEvents
  • I told everybody where we stand on the updates to our meeting room (which includes the new gear I mentioned earlier to improve the quality of our meeting recordings). (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #TownshipBuilding
  • We discussed an ordinance increasing the fee for a license to operate a storage lot. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Ordinance
  • We discussed a request from Glenfield Borough to store road salt in our salt shed. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #PublicWorks
  • A motion was made to make payment of $4,620 into court to finalize condemnation awards for easements related to the sewer project. We will be voting on this motion on Monday–please let me know if you have any thoughts about this issue. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Sewer

One final note of some excitement!–Aleppo Township got a surprise callout yesterday on “The Pittsburgh Local News” podcast talking about our system of streaming our meetings on YouTube. It was very cool! While I caution everybody that this podcast occasionally contains adult language, to hear what they had to say about us, go to: https://samleonardlocal.com/podcast then listen to the episode dated 17 May 2018 and scroll to 23:23 to hear the story we’re on!

Our next Legislative meeting will be on Monday 21 May 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Township Building. If any of these issues are important to you, please feel free to join us and voice your opinion. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, please feel free to share your thoughts with me by email and I will be sure to convey your feelings to the other commissioners.

Thanks!
Best wishes,

Matthew Doebler
Aleppo Township Commissioner

April 16, 2018 – Legislative Digest

Hi, Neighbors. We had an Aleppo Legislative Meeting last month and I wanted to tell you what happened.

It was a fairly lengthy meeting. If you want to watch the meeting from the beginning, click here. Otherwise, feel free to click the links below to jump to the portions of the meeting that are of particular interest to you.

Here’s what happened:

  • We held a Conditional Use Hearing relative to Masonic Village’s request to build new villas on its campus. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #MasonicVillage #Villas
  • We heard that our police chief is retiring and met the new chief of the OTPD. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Police
  • I updated everybody about our Annual Earth Day event: we picked up 44 bags of trash and 20 tires. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #CommunityEvents #EarthDay
  • We heard about a property issue regarding allegations of light pollution at St. Mary’s Church. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Ordinance
  • We heard how much revenue we’ve collected from taxes and how much we have in the bank. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Taxes #Treasurer
  • We discussed new bylaws for the QVCOG. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #QVCOG
  • We voted (5-0) to enter into an agreement with ONSOLVE, LLC for a 1-year subscription to the CodeRED emergency notification system for a base price of $1,380.00 plus setup not to exceed $750. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Technology
  • We voted (5-0) to approve the 2018 Road Paving Cost Estimates. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #Roads #Paving
  • We discussed the amount of our annual donation to the Sewickley Memorial Day Committee and agreed to further discuss this topic next month. (Click here to watch this portion of the meeting.) #CommunityEvents

Our next Workshop meeting will be on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 7:00 PM.  If any of these issues are important to you, please feel free to join us. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, please feel free to share your thoughts with me by email and I will be sure to convey your feelings to the other commissioners.

As always, thanks for making Aleppo a great place to live.

Best wishes,
Matthew Doebler
Aleppo Township Commissioner