Delaware Twp Restricts Speed, Parking on Residential Roads
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, October 20, 2016
DINGMANS FERRY – Motorists in Delaware Township will have to drive 35 miles an hour along Doolan Road and they also will no longer be allowed to park on the roadsides of Park Road and Log & Twig Road.
Those changes came about the township supervisors unanimously approved two ordinances after public hearings for each at last week’s bi-monthly board meeting.
Ordinance 401A, which had no public comment during the hearing, bans roadside parking at the aforementioned streets under penalty of fine and removal of the vehicle.
Ordinance 401B sets a uniform speed limit along the 1.7 mile stretch of Doolan Road. Signs will be posted along those three roads pertaining to those changes, the supervisors said.
A $2,800 study authorized by the Township conducted by engineering company Boucher & James Inc. determined the “most appropriate safe, legal speed limit” in data provided to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to allow the township to lower its 44 mph default speed on that road. The two-lane road is a direct route between state Route 739 and Silver Lake Road running east-west through residential neighborhoods.
“A major portion of the highway was sufficient stopping sight distance,” the report reads, which it says has led to 15 motor vehicle accidents reported over the last five years, eight of them hitting fixed objects. In those accidents, 11 people sustained minor injuries and one person suffered a moderate injury. There were no fatalities but the report reflects “the number of accidents suggests motorists were traveling at unsafe speeds for road conditions.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman, Jeffrey Scheetz affirmed one resident’s question during the hearing whether state police will enforce the speed limit.
“Does the township plan any change for Park Road and other roads,” said resident Susan Reser. Scheetz said there were no other roads being considered, but Reser said afterward that Park Road, where she lives, is or curved. “There are many who drive very fast on that road,” she said.
The Supervisors said the ordinance came in response to some residents’ complaints, and resident Jane Neufeld praised passage of the ordinance, saying that township resident Gail Wershing was a leading voice for the change who would be glad to hear the news. Wershing was out of state the night of the meeting.
Also at the meeting, supervisors appointed Shawn Bolles to the township Zoning Hearing Board.
They also decided to advertise for an ordinance amendment regarding setbacks between structures as recommended by the township Planning Commission at its Oct. 4 meeting.
During public comment period, the supervisors were asked about the progress of Akenac Park Playground, which received construction supplies recently. “We’re making good progress,” said township roadmaster Charley Kroener.
“I was there yesterday and when completed, it will be spectacular,” Scheetz said. Township planner Krista Predmore said the playground should be ready “by the first week of November.”
Also during public comment period, Reser said that Columbia Pipeline Group, which has a gas line running through her property and the wetlands area there, had Columbia construction equipment there to build a zinc barrier to keep the pipeline from rusting. She said she was not notified ahead of time that they were planning to do it and neither were the supervisors and neither were the supervisors aware when she asked them at the meeting. She said Columbia representatives were meeting with her at her home on Tuesday this week to discuss the work.
Supervisors voted after discussion from Predmore to move $51,773.04 Building Block Certificate of Deposit due to renewal from Wayne Bank to Dime Bank where it offers a higher 1 percent interest rate for a 36-month term with one opportunity to bump up the interest when it rises.
Supervisors said they would hold an agreed payment of $169,003.56 to E.R. Linde Construction Corp from the Liquid Fuels account when the Park Road paving project is completed. Delaware Township Volunteer Fire Company’s worker’s compensation was renewed with the State Workers Insurance Fund for $21,626. Supervisors also released $12,613.27 third quarter payment to the fire company.
During the workshop held before the meeting, Barbie Brader, newly installed president of the Delaware Township Akenac library, introduced herself. She said the library, which has operated 35 years independently through donations and fundraising, needs more volunteers as it looks to add hours to its schedule on 1 to 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The library has 5,000 books and she said donated books less than five years old are welcome. Any resident can be a patron for a $5 entry fee, with all services free.
Marylou Corbett asked the supervisors ways the township ambulance corps can be helped with an ambulance drive from the township workforce if one is needed. She said it might become difficult to get a driver for a second response call at the same time but the township supervisors said liability issues would need to be examined as well as training drivers for an emergency vehicle operating license and to administer CPR. They said township workers are covered by worker’s compensation.
Discussion continued where the township should agree to the request to turn over to Camp Speers a 3,380 foot stretch of Nichecronk Road that begins off state Route 739 and runs through part of the camp to the turnaround at the main office. The township services the road for snow removal and for renewing the dirt and gravel modified surface yearly, but the camp has asked that the township pave the road if it turns it over to the camp, which has been a sore point with the township. Repaving that stretch of rroad would cost about $20,000 according to assistant roadmaster Ed Hammond. Attorney Thomas Farley followed the supervisors’ lead to send a “friendly reminder” to the camp authorities discussing the issue.
“If the township says take the road, they’re crazy for not doing it. If there’s no interest in keeping it, why plow it? You’re doing them a favor by plowing it,” said township resident Stephen McBride.
Also at the meeting the supervisors announced that the Dingmans-Ferry Delaware Township Historical Society will make a presentation 7pm on October 20th on the history of the Dingmans Ferry United Methodist Church and how it survived the Tocks Island Dam Project, with free refreshments for the public. The Township’s Trunk or Treat takes place 11am to 2pm October 22 at Akenac Park. A township budget workshop is scheduled for 7 to 0opm on October 25th at the municipal building. An Emergency Management Open House is set for 7 to 9om on October 28th, also at the municipal building.
A state Department of Health free drive-thru flu clinic is scheduled at the Westfall Fire Department 10am to 2pm on October 29th.
Supervisor Tom Ryan questioned why one for residents was not scheduled in the township. “The population is here,” Ryan said.