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Two More Appointed To Expanded Planning Commission

Two More Appointed To Expanded Planning Commission
By Wayne Witkowski

Pike County Dispatch, Thursday, March 30, 2017

DINGMANS FERRY- LoriAnn Hines and Robyn Eldred were appointed in unanimous votes taken by Delaware Township supervisors to four-year terms for the township’s planning Commission during last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The decision not only expanded the commission from five to seven members but also saved the township money.

Township supervisors at a recent workshop and board meeting directed township Solicitor Thomas Farley to research the township ordinances to find out whether the Planning Commission was mandated for seven members or the five that had served in recent years. The positions are voluntary with no pay involved. Farley found that township Ordinance 601 calls for a seven-person Planning Commission and, if the township were to stay with five members, it would need to amend the ordinance.

That would require a public hearing with the recording costs for a court stenographer and the expense of advertising for the hearing in advance in local media, said supervisor John Henderson during the workshop that took place before the meeting.

 The discussion began at the previous meeting when two vacant seats on the five-seat commission were filled by William Errico for one year and Tom Ryan for a tow year term. Ryan retired as supervisor in early January but had expressed interest in continuing to serve the township in a different role.

The supervisors pointed out that in October a vacant position on the commission was advertised. It got no response at that time, but when Ryan sent in a letter of interest that was reported, four other residents at last week’s meeting asked why the board could not be expanded to two more members as stated in the ordinance.

“If citizens want to serve, why turn your back on them.” Said Steve McBride during the workshop discussion. Jane Neufeld said she felt it’s a good time to raise the membership to wider representation.

Ron Hough, who has been serving as vice chairman on the Planning Commission and was appointed interim supervisor for Ryan’s seat, spoke firmly in favor of five members, saying that number is sufficient.

Hines voiced her position for a seven-member commission and serving a four-year term.

“I’m not going anywhere. You’re saying you don’t want my time,” said Hines, owner of the Forklift Café, as Eldred was seated next to her. “You’re going to need more people as time goes on, if one person passes away or one person moves. I want to see this area grow as needed and a-seven-member commission is needed for that.

 “If doing nothing is an option with seven, what’s the down side?”

The discussion was concluded as it ran into the start of the regularly scheduled meeting.

At the meeting, the board accepted the resignation of township Auditor Cody Smith, who is moving to another state. Letters of interest are being accepted.

It unanimously accepted the fiscal year 2016 audit performed by William Owens, CPA, and agreed to publish and advertise the township’s Concise Financial Statement prepared on the modified cash basis by Owens for fiscal year 2016.

He board tabled a decision on the updated Delaware Township Employee manual on recommendation by Henderson. The update includes more specific background checks for anyone driving trucks for municipal purposes.

The supervisors also discussed at the workshop the Traffic Control Development Agreement for a traffic light for the proposed retail center on Route 739. Dingman Township also is installing a light on the part of the hub that is within its boundaries. The board said it is the final step to breaking ground for final step to breaking ground for the center. “We’re very close now.” Said Farley.

LITTLE LEAGUE EXPENSES DISCUSSED

Also at the workshop, officers from the Dingmans-Delaware Little Leagues using the four fields at the municipal complex met with the supervisors to discuss the Little League’s need for support from the other leagues as well as the township.

Mile Masucci, vice president of the Matthew Oehlmann Memorial Softball League that plays in the spring and summer, said his league would supply bases. Maria Dickerson, president of the Fall Co-Ed Softball League, and Sharon Stevens, present of the Women’s Softball League that plays in June through August, also offered their support.

Salvatore Penetta, president of the Little League, who was joined by his wife, Amy, the league treasurer, and Darla McAuliffe, the secretary and player agent, said the league has to be compliant with stringent standards set by sponsorships, player registrations and concession sales.

Panetta was joined by the other league asking the township to help by paying for the clay used in the infields required under Little League standards.

Because the fields are covered by snow, Penetta said he did not know how much clay is needed to refurbish the infields for this season, which begins tentatively on April 15, but it could call for three tri-axle sump truck loads at a cost of $3,300. Two tri-axles, of about 30 tons, were needed last year, he said.      

“I assume we’ll need at least one tri-axle for this year,” he said.

Township Administrator Krista Predmore recommended that the parties submit to the township a letter of expenses for the fields and what help is needed from the township.

“We’re be happy to accept that,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Scheetz, who said the matter would be put on the agenda for the next meeting on April 5. “The issue for me right now is a strong sense (among the parties using the fields) for cooperation. I’m hearing here a great willingness for the adult leagues to help out.”

“I’m disappointed there was no decision from the township today but I hope they do follow through to benefit all of the leagues,” said Dickerson afterward.“If we all pitch in, we could make the fields as good as they can be,” Stevens said.The board also approved at its meeting usage of the township hall by the Dingmans Ferry-Delaware Township Historical Society (6-11 p.m. third Thursday of March through November), Delaware Township Republican Club (7p.m. April 28), C. Weber for a baby shower 910 A.M. TO 5 P.M., May 6) and Old Marcel Lakes private community for its annual meeting (8a.m. to 1 p.m., July 8).

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and an Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled at Akenac Park 10a.m. to noon on April 8. Dingmans Ferry Lions club will serve pancakes and sausages and breakfast beverages for free.Township’s Volunteer Ambulance Corps will hold its annual Easter Plant & Bake Sale from noon to 7p.m. on April 14 and 10 a.m. to 4p.m. the following day.The Dingmans Ferry Lions Club Fish Fry takes place 5:30-7;30 p.m. on Friday for $13 each to eat in or take out. Children ages 7 to 12 pay half price.

Scouts Thank Township

Members of Boy Scout Troop174 of Dingmans Ferry presented a certificate of appreciation to the Delaware Township supervisors who allowed them to use Akenac Park for a Klondike Derby on Feb. 4 and 5. The derby gives scouts the experience of camping outdoors in the winter. The scouts also offered to put down a new coat of polyurethane on the wooden floor of the main hall at the park in appreciation as part of their community service. From left are supervisor John Henderson, scout Jason Budd, 16, and Matt Budd, 15, and supervisors Jeff Scheetz and Ron Hough. Jason,16, is a junior, and Matt,15, is a freshman at Delaware Valley High School.

              

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