Delaware Township Won’t Roll the Dice on Satellite Casino
By Wayne Witkowski
DELAWARE TOWNSHIP – One-armed bandits won’t occupy Delaware Township any time soon.
That was affirmed at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting when its three members unanimously, and enthusiastically, approved drafting a resolution that would exclude a category 4 casino application from the township under a new law.
The board agreed to opt out of the Act 42, a casino gaming expansion law signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on October 31. Municipalities have until December 31 to decide whether to accept or reject gaming expansion.
It allows for municipalities within a 25-mile radius of an established gaming venue to have a “satellite casino.”
Supervisors approved a $2,500 donation to the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church food pantry in Dingmans Ferry for food purchases in November, particularly to meet the growing Thanksgiving holiday demand by families in need. With an average of 90 families served monthly, the pantry last year provided for Thanksgiving meals for 135 families and anticipates supplying 150 families in need this year. The church, in its request to the board for a donation, said that 50 percent of those families reside in the township.
The church also wrote that an addition to its office area for food storage and distribution is planned for next spring. It spent $8,000 on energy and medical expenses in 2016.
Township Administrator Krista Predmore indicated at the meeting there is $6,000 set aside in the General Fund for donations, and Supervisor Ron Hough pointed out that the township has donated to the food pantry in the past.
“I am comfortable with this request,” said interim Supervisor Jane Neufeld (she was elected to a full term in the recent General Election) before the approval vote. She has worked with Predmore on the township budget. “It (funds) is something we have available and helping them helps the Delaware Township people.”
Supervisors also revisited Safe Haven’s request for a donation, which they said would be discussed further at a future meeting over the next few weeks.
The board has rescheduled its regular meeting on November 22 a week earlier to Wednesday this week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Instead of the usual workshop session before the meeting, the board will have a workshop for the 2018 budget. Neufeld has been upbeat about progress of the upcoming budget, which may not need a tax increase for 2018. A final budget will go for vote at a December meeting date to be determined after a final draft is approved and the 20-day period for public scrutiny is met.
The township budget also will get an additional $10,000 after a settlement was reached with JPA Masonry of Mount Pocono with regards to the construction of a new salt shed. The township had contracted with JPA Masonry, the lowest bidder, for the job with a holding bond at 10 percent of the estimated cost of the job. But JPA came back and said it could not perform the job, which meant the township was entitled to keep the bond. Although the bond came out to a little more than $13,000, both sides agreed to a $10,000 settlement.
Building a new salt shed will be revisited and put out to bid in 2018, Predmore said.
The board also unanimously adopted Resolution 2017-04 for the township to participate in the Municipal Risk Management Workers Compensation Pooled Trust. Neufeld said she found in her research a growing number of townships joining the pool, which she estimates would cost $3,000 less yearly than the existing coverage.
The board also unanimously approved the $1,000 Emergency Management Stipend to township Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker, which has been the typical amount in recent years.
Also at the meeting, the board moved to allow the township fire department use of a building at Akenac Park for 90 days to house its new pumper, although Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson said a longer period of time might be considered if needed. Since Regional ended its countywide ALC service on October 1, the board moved unanimously to issue a letter of intent, at no cost to the township, to the state Department of Community and Economic Development regarding Advanced Life Support/Basic Life Support (ALS/BLS) services. The township offers ALS services 40 hours a week based on high call volume times. The board moved to pay off Kenworth truck financing next month, two years in advance.
5K Race in December?
During the workshop, Debra McGowan of the Dingmans Ferry United Methodist Church spoke to the board about her church’s request to run a 5k (3.1 mile) race along Myck Road and the church vicinity on the morning of December 2. A cookie walk in which Christmas cookies will be sold at tables at the church hall, will be held that day and the race would be run in tandem. McGowan said she could draw on her experience in road races as the event organizer.
The board’s main concerns were the late time of the year when winter weather and snowfall could become a factor. Henderson said the warmer spring and early fall months would be more suitable. Supervisors said it would be difficult closing down Myck Road for residents who live along that road, even for just he anticipated two hours for the race.
They invited McGowan back to their next meeting for further discussion.
Plowing More State Roads?
On the subject of winter weather, supervisors discussed during the workshop a correspondence from PennDot County Maintenance Manager Kenneth Thiel who asked if the township would be interested with reimbursement in clearing during winter snowstorms the said roads along Wilson Hill Road, including Mary Stuart Road, Chestnut Ridge Road, Little League Road, and Ball Park Road. The area covers 2.9 miles of two lanes, one in each direction.
The proposal calls for payment for $1,123.05 per mile, which equates to $6,513.69 for the season.
Township officials questioned whether the offer could be low. Beodeker was skeptical that township crews have enough manpower and resources to handle that added coverage. He pointed out that PennDot treats roads based on their usage by motorists, with the four-digit roadways getting first treatment, followed by the three-digit and then two-digit ones down to the side road.
PennDot also offered other roads located in the township for added consideration, including State Route 739 from Johnny B Road north to Doolan Road and State Route 2004/Silver Lake Road from Route 739 north to the entrance of Marcel Lakes Community development.
Supervisors left the proposal for further discussion with the township roadmaster.