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Another Tax Decrease For Delaware Township


Another Tax Decrease for Delaware Township
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, November 17, 2016
By Wayne Witkowski


Dingmans Ferry- Delaware Township’s tax millage rate will decrease by one mill, the fourth decrease in the last six years, according to the preliminary budget approved by the township Board of Supervisors.

The budget, available at the township building to the public until Dec. 9, calls for a general fund millage rate of 9.68.

 It is the lowest since 2006, when it was set at 6.68 mills. The budget went from a high millage rate in recent years of 11.8 set in 2008, down three mills the following year and the up to 10.18 in 2012. It was reduced in 2012 and 2013 and further reduced to 9.68 mills last year.

The General Fund is $1,239,023.21. The supervisors have advertised a public hearing for budget adoption to be held at the municipal building started at5:30 p.m. during the Board of Supervisors on Dec.14.

Township Administrator Krista Predmore attributed the reduction in part to line item belt tightening at the Oct.25 budget workshop, a changeover of the phone system this year to Cloud Voice communication from Blue Ridge Communication that saved more than $250 monthly and also to changing the electrical service provider to a lower priced one. Predmore said the salt and road treatment also is being paid directly out of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Liquid Fuel Fund for townships. In the past, the road treatment was covered initially by the township General Fund and later reimbursed from the Liquid Fuel Fund.

The supervisors also said at the workshop before their meeting last week that they are looking for a hardware service provider to replace Sysco for the township’s phone system. Supervisor Tom Ryan said CRS is the company being considered, and its hardware is more advanced and can patch incoming calls to other people out in the field, which was not done previously. The only exclusion remains video conferencing.

Matthew Fuller, president of Regional EMS and Critical Care Ambulance, discussed with residents the takeover of Atlantic Ambulance as of Jan. 9. Atlantic has served the area for the past six years under Atlantic Health Care, which reportedly is phasing out coverage of the state.

An announcement of the changeover was sent out to residents last month.

Mike Scovil, operations coordinator for Atlantic, also was at the meeting with consultant Barry Albertson and said the transition “will be seamless” as employees, two Advanced Life Support ambulance and equipment will be moved over to Regional. Fuller said a Basic Life Support vehicle that would help cover the local senior facilities also might be added in the future. Delaware Township Ambulance responds to many of those calls in the area more regularly then Milford Ambulance, which also has BLS capability.

“We want the (current) staff to come with us. They’re the ones that interact with you every day,” Fuller said to resident at the meeting.

They will continue to operate out of the Lords Valley and Milford station.

“We’ve had a lot of bad reports with real major issues and we need a correction along the line. What that is, I don’t know,” Supervisor Tom Ryan said as the supervisors later tabled a motion to have Regional as the township’s Advanced Life support unit.

“I’m not aware of any reports since the last time I’ve been here,” and Fuller, who offered to report back to the supervisors in March to update on the transition. “I hear your concerns and understand what’s going on. We have to work together for the greater good.”

The emergency response will allow a salaried paramedic and EMT to be dispatched from the Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps where they are on duty Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays for calls from within the township that may be closer to reach than for Regional to answer the calls. The township ambulance group has three different paramedics each serving on different shifts. If they are at another call or not available, Regional will handle the response.

Fuller admitted it’s a “tough balance” to handle overlapping response calls.

The board approved without any public comment after a public hearing amended Ordinance 110.8.H addressing the minimum setback between unattached structures situated on the same distance as the height of the tallest of the structures. Those unattached structures usually are sheds, township attorney Thomas Farley stipulated at a prior meeting.

The board approved six motions, with Supervisor John Henderson casting “no” votes on all of them, for $6,939 in total appropriation for additional expenses for Akenac Park and holiday preparations for the third annual Dickens Christmas there on Dec. 10 as well as the purchase of a $1,674 Rockefeller Pine indoor/outdoor pre-lit Christmas tree from Balsam Hill.

 “We’re spending this money from the General Fund out of tax-payers’ money for a Christmas tree and people are losing their homes because of taxes,” Henderson said.

 “I don’t know what a Christmas tree has to do with people losing their homes,” shrugged board Chairman Jeff Sheetz.

Henderson also took issue with the township spending $475 for 350 gingerbread cookies and various toppings for children to put on them during Dickens Christmas.

“That’s a lot of money for cookies,” Henderson said. Predmore said it was evident last year that more cookies are needed and that a crowd of 2,000 is expected to attend again this year.

Also approved was spending no more than $1,000 to buy items for the Dickens Toy Shop and Dickens Christmas event supplies.

Three other measures that passed in 2-1 votes involved the playground project:

-        Purchasing six triaxles of 2b 3/4 -inch stone from Dingmans Ferry Stone for $2,128

-        Renting a skid streer to move the stone from CRC Rentals for $1,106 for five working days

-        Purchasing five additional rolls of filter fabric from Amazon for $545

That phase of the playground project also involves an estimated $6,500 cost for labor cost estimates. One resident said that if township workers were not assigned and paid to do this project, they would be assigned elsewhere under that salary anyway.

Henderson argued afterward that the supplies and labor costs were not in the original $274,00 budgeted plans presented on Aug. 24 and signed by the board on Aug. 26 as he presented documentation of the contract.

Ryan said completion of the playground will have to carry over to spring because weather conditions will not allow for the laying down of artificial surfaces. He took issue with Henderson’s dissenting votes.

“We agree to disagree and I respect his opinion but these things are about the quality of life for our resident who are paying taxes.” Ryan said after the meeting.

Joe Simmions,18, of Boy Scout Troop 1005 and a senior at Delaware Valley High School, was recognized by the board for earning Eagle Scout rank by completing his two-day project to refurbish the playground area of Holy Trinity Church. The outlaying area of the playground was flattened and a wooden border was installed to enhance safety.

A bench also was built. The supervisors moved on suggestion during public comment to paint white lines off Park Road as soon as possible. …They said afterward they also plan to move ahead to signing over Nichecronk Road over to Camp Speers.

Ryan said the camp has dropped its original request for the township to pave the road that was requested as part of the signoff, which was a holdup on the township’s side of the deal.

Supervisors also approved Akenac Park as the requested site for the Klondike winter survival event hosted by Boy Scout Troop 174 for Feb. 4,2017. … A $2,500 subsidy was approved for Holy Trinity Food Pantry, which reported in the last meeting an increasing demand for assistance by local families. The township gave $4,000 earlier this year. … They relayed the state Department of Environmental Protection’s notice that a drought watch has been declared for Pike County and water should be used prudently. … The board approved advertising the dates and times for upcoming reorganization meeting: the Board of Supervisors 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 4 and the Planning Commission 6:30 p.m. on Jan.17.

Supervisors Want Lower Speed Limit On Park Road

Supervisors Want Lower Speed Limit On Park Road
Pike County Dispatch, Thursday, November 3 2016

By Wayne Witkowski

DINGMANS FERRY- Delaware Township residents may see another road get a posted speed limit lower then what many speeding motorists drive.

At last week’s township meeting, supervisors approved a $2,800 study by engineering firm Boucher & James that could lead to a lower speed limit on Park Road under township ordinance. The study comes weeks after traffic by the same company led to a posting of a 35mph limit on Doolan Road. An engineering study is needed before the township can get approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to mandate speed limits.

The board also recently approved an ordinance banning roadside parking along Park Road and Log & Twig Road.

Supervisors said the new Park Road study came after complaints by residents, including one by Park Road resident Susan Reser during the hearing for the Doolan Road ordinance. Ron Hough, the vice chairman of the township’s Planning Department, noted that he did not any signs presently posted on Park Road and any that might have been there were taken down. Roads that do not carry posted limits automatically default to a 55-mph speed limit.

Township fire chef and county Assistant Emergency Coordinator George Beodeker asked the board whether state police would be monitoring the road if a speed limit is posted.

“You don’t see them (state police) around here except during the summer when four cars are at the Dingmans Bridge stopping cars to check for their licenses and inspection stickers,” Beodeker said. “People in the summer are driving a hell of a lot faster. At 5 in the morning, it’s like Indianapolis Speedway. Maybe they can put one (police) car on Doolan Road.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Scheetz said that residents had raised that question about police enforcement also when the Doolan Road ordinance was passed and the supervisors said it might be helpful to invite Lt. Sean Jennings from the Blooming Grove State Police barracks to a township meeting to discuss that issue.

The board also approved $10,491 to Green Acres Contracting for new guide rails and approved $1,478.40 for 4-inch yellow waterborne (quick drying) pavement marking by M. Mayo Striping for Doolan Road.               

Also at the meeting, the board passed a motion to execute a Highway Occupancy permit for the new Delaware Plaza to be constructed on Route 739. Supervisor John Henderson dissented, saying that a traffic study should be undertaken because of recent traffic mishaps around that roadway, including a fatality. Scheetz expressed that the study already conducted may be recent enough. “I’d like to look at it,” said Henderson of the Study already completed.

The supervisors also decided to advertise to appoint William Owen & Co. as township accountant to replace the township board of auditors. Supervisor Tom Ryan said that the auditors have many duties to do and that it’s difficult for them to fulfill that role as well.

Supervisors agreed to advertise the annual budget for public inspection at the municipal building from Nov. 14 to Dec. 9.

The board also approved $4,350 to renew service agreements with TruGreen for treatment of the four athletic fields and Akenac park.

Supervisors set 6:45 p.m. on Nov.9 for public hearing on an ordinance amendment addressing setbacks between structures. Township attorney Thomas Farley said the change removes sheds from zoning permits requirements.

Camp Road Takeover

During the workshop that took place before the meeting, supervisors agreed to grant Camp Speers administrators’ request for the camp to take over a 3,500-foot stretch of Nichecronk Road that was owned and maintained by the township. The township would not repave the road before the handoff, as requested by the camp, saying it was in better shape than other roads running through the camp. The township would continue snow removal and regularly resurfacing it and awaits camp response.

Supervisors also heard a request from Beodeker for a generator for Akenac park dining hall/community room and maintenance garage as a reception or warming center on the northern end of town during disaster. The township municipal building has been established already as one emergency site. Beodeker said grants could cover all or much of the cost. They tabled the proposal pending an evaluation by the township engineer over the next 90 days and would need public hearings, necessary approvals and contractor bids.

 “I would like to see Akenac utilized to the fullest,” said Scheetz, who also said it would be a good idea for an emergency site at Akenac Park in the future for anyone stranded in a disaster when Route 739 shopping center is competed. “We’re all in agreement. Maybe they would pay toward this. We may never need it but we would feel a whole lot better that it’s there.”

The board also agreed during the workshop to put on the agenda for the next board meeting a request for more funding by the Holy Trinity Food Pantry/ The board pointed out that $8,000 has been budgeted for the pantry and half of that has been paid to it. Ryan agreed that the need is greater for Thanksgiving assistance for families in need with the pantry stating that the number of families receiving Thanksgiving meals will increase from 145 to at least 150 for this year. The pantry, in a memo given to the supervisors, pointed out that half of the 95 families receiving food assistance live in Delaware Township and the need for help with utilities, gas and general household necessities rises during colder months.

William Budd, assistant scoutmaster, and his wife, Robyn Budd, advancement coordinator of Troop 174, asked if the board would approve Akenac Park as the site of a Klondike event for winter survival training for scouting that would take place Feb. 4 into the morning of Feb. 5. They said that the troop, a member of the Hudson Valley Council based in New York State, often has had to travel long distances for a Klondike event in the past except for two years ago when it was held at the Malibu Dude Ranch in Milford. The board invited the scoutmaster to attend the regular board meeting taking place Nov. 9 to discuss the event when supervisors could decide whether to approve the request.

Delaware Township office staffer Robin Jones attended the workshop to ask if the supervisors wanted to pay Master Construction, which has been building the new playground apparatus at Akenac Park, to help township employees with grading of the playground to complete the project before cold weather sets in. The supervisors declined the offer, which would cost $2,800 a day and another $450 for machinery, preferring to leave the work for township employees since the weather has been favorable. When the grading is complete the project, one to lay down the wood fiber around the edge of the playground and the other to put in the poured-in-place cushion surface at the middle of the playground around the apparatus.

The supervisors also discussed the recent state Supreme Court ruling in favor of Mount Airy Casino that challenged the constitutionality of the state’s Local Share Account (LSA) casino gaming-fund distribution formula, which could affect county entities and municipalities. Ryan aid, “It could be devastating in the future” for the township, but said the board would not comment to legislators, but leave it up to them. “They’re battling it out.” Ryan said.

LSA funding in the past included $18,000 toward a new roof for the American Legion Post 851 in Dingmans Ferry and $50,000 to refurbish the Milford American Legion Post 139 parking lot.

Delaware Twp. Restricts Speed, Parking on Residential Roads

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.

Wilson Hill Repairs to Affect Commuters

Wilson Hill Repairs to Affect Commuters
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch, Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hundreds of southern Pike County residents who rely on Wilson Hill Road in Delaware Township for their work commute and for shopping trips will be detoured onto a different route when Penn Dot repairs 152 feet of the road in 2018.

Although motorists should be able to get to the township municipal building farther west on the roadway during the construction, part of the road, which is state Route 2002, would be shut down for work on a “slide remediation”. The project calls for restoring the roadway and building retaining walls ranging from 5 to 20 feet high to head off any steep slope runoff that eroded the roadbed.

It means the material under the roadway is moving very slowly toward the downhill side of the slope, which has led to cracking in the roadway pavement and necessitating additional asphalt paving to maintain the roadway surface and constructing the repairs proposed under this project. Daniel R. Giles, a highway manager for HDR Engineering in Mechanicsburg, discussed the project during a presentation at a Delaware Township Board of Supervisors workshop last week. He included two white board engineering conceptual designs for the design build project.

Giles said his company’s designs cover 50 percent of the project. The contractor who get the job will complete the design work.

Giles anticipates the project will go out to bid by PennDot next year and construction will begin sometime in 2018. He said the work is expected to take four to six months to complete. Traffic during the time will be detoured onto Silver Lake Road, an inconvenience that Board of Supervisors Jeff Scheetz said should add only five minutes to the drive. Supervisors said residents can also take other adjacent roads, including take Mary Stuart Road to Johnny Bee Road or Chestnut Ridge Road, both connecting Route 2001 to Route 209.

“You’re aware a lot commuters take this road,” resident Jane Neufeld said emphatically.

Residents asked if Giles was noting comments made by residents during the 45-minute session and he said they were and he welcomed any emailed comments sent to him.

The work involves a 152-foot stretch of roadway located 4/10 of a mile west of Route 209 and 2 ½ miles below Milford Road/State Route 2001 in the lower downhill section. The roadway in that area shows signs of buckling and some damaged roadside metal barriers. The work could extend to 165 feet.

Giles said the eastbound side of that stretch of roadway would need to be rebuilt in some areas and the westbound side would need milling off and putting an inch and half of pavement on the other side of the road “so it will have a cleaner design when it’s done.”

Giles said his office and PennDot had a “positive meeting” with officials of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as the 33-foot right of way – 16 ½ fee on either side – extends onto the National Park Service parkland in that area. Giles pointed out that there are no environmental features that involve studies for the NPS. He said there also are no utility lines in that area.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” Giles said of the project. “They’ll have to work out an agreement (on the right of way). It will not significantly change the National Park Service property and usage of that road.”

George Beodeker, township fire company chief and Pike County Emergency Management assistant coordinator, asked what efforts might be undertaken to ensure stabilizing the road.

“I know from the readings we took, no (further) movement (of earth) is showing up from that slide,” Giles answered.

Ed Hammond, township assistant road master, asked if a weight limit for vehicles would need to be enforced when work is complete, but Giles said he was not aware that the National Park Service or PennDot feels a need for it.

One resident asked if the project would allow for shoulders on either side, but Giles said that was doubtful. Road master Charley Kroener said afterward that it would not be wise to install a shoulder there because the rest of the roadway does not have one and it could pose a problem for anyone who may skid off the repaired part of the road onto the shoulder during bad weather conditions and continue to the older part of the road that does not have shoulder.

“I think it would’ve been better if a PennDot representative was also sent,” Kroener said of the presentation.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

Kroener also said that delivery was scheduled for Monday this week for the new playground materials for Akenac Park, which should take four to five weeks to build. Scheetz also spoke about residents’ concern over what appeared to be stalled progress of the Route 739 retail project.

“You know what we know. It’s moving along slowly,” Scheetz said.

“We’re working very diligently to get it going and we’re trying to get it to move along,” said township Solicitor Thomas Farley.

Scheetz read an email communication that township administrator Krista Predmore had with developer Joe Hudak on the subject. In the September 19 email, Hudak responded that the project had been delayed for three months awaiting Dingman Township’s resolution for a traffic light, rather than the originally proposed turnabout, for Route 739 and Log Tavern Road to ease anticipated traffic issues for that area tied in with the retail project. Hudak also said he is expecting to receive permit approvals “over the next two or three months. I would think there will be some activity following that.” He said he expects a Highway Occupancy Permit approval being reviewed by PennDot “in two weeks.”

Hudak said he also is waiting for response from the state department of environmental protection on the Part II Water Quality Permit for the sewage. “The design of the domestic water supply system is about 95 % complete,” Hudak wrote.

The board approved Lori McCrory as a part-time permit assistant. The board approved the resignation of Francine Byrne from the township Planning Commission and advertising for the open seat.

Beodeker, in his report, said an informal emergency management open house would be held 7-9pm on October 28th. He said the fire department had a successful Comedy Night recently and thanked the public’s support.

Supervisors approved usage of Akenac Park on Oct. 5 from 9am to 4pm for the Pike County Combat Vet Center group. It also approved usage of the municipal building by the Delaware Football League for an end of season recognition ceremony 2-8pm on November 5th and for usage of Akenac Park by the Dingman-Delaware Middle School’s fishing club on Thursdays from 3 to 5pm September 29th through October 27th.

New Ordinance Regulates Street Signs, House Numbers

NEW ORDINANCE REGULATES STREET SIGNS, HOUSE NUMBERS
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, September 22, 2016
By Wayne Witikowski

DINGMANS FERRY – Delaware Township residents and business owners are not required to post their building address numbers, according to the board of supervisors at their meeting last week.

Supervisors unanimously passed Township Ordinance 111 after a public hearing that took place midway through the meeting. Notifications were expected to go out starting this week informing residents of the requirement. Supervisor Jeff Scheetz reinforced the ordinance statement that it ensures the public safety and security of the community ensuring better emergency response time.

Property owners can get their street numbers, established by the Pike County 911 Emergency Call System, by called 570-296-1911 and then purchase the number sign from either the Delaware Township Ambulance Corps or the Dingmans Fire Company with their building number imprinted for an $18 fee.

The ordinance says the sign for a home, which must be four to 12 inches in height, can be any color, although many of them already shown are in blue and must be posted securely between two and eight feet off the ground. The number must be in bright, reflective material to contrast with the background in three-inch-high upper case lettering. The sign must be visible for at least 50 feet and all shrubs or snow that may block it must be cleared from the front of it at all times. The sign also can be posted on the house as long as it is within 50 feet from the edge of the street.

Anyone who does not comply is subject to a $1,000 fine which if unpaid could lead to a jail sentence of up to 30 days. There is no deadline for when the signage must be completed, but the supervisors said that could be further amended into the ordinance.

Street signs, meanwhile, must be visible for at least 250 feet from the intersection in all directions on a public road and 150 feet on a private road. The ordinance reads “All public and private streets, driveways and access roads in the Township which serve two or more principal structures shall be named and posted with the street sign name in accordance with this section.”

Township Administrator Krista Predmore pointed out afterward that private communities are responsible for posting their own road signs, if needed. Supervisor Tom Ryan said cutting of brush that may be obstructing road signs is the community’s responsibility.

Resident Mary Lou Corbett praised the ordinance during the hearing, saying, “It’s a waste of time (of responders) finding the house that does not have the blue sign. It’s mainly about finding the house, not finding the streets.”

Ron Hough, a member of the township Planning Board, said, “Gated communities do not always abide by the Township.”

When asked how much the street signs help emergency response, township fire chief and Pike County Emergency Management Assistant Coordinator George Beodeker said, “we’ve come to learn the route” but endorsed the ordinance for locating homes when needed.

But Beodeker repeatedly called for consistent enforcement of the ordinance and establishing standards and deadlines.

“Can this be accomplished with what the zoning officer has on his plate, and what is the timeline?” he said. “We need to make a less cumbersome, effective mechanism of what can be done to make this happen and I do not see it here.

“We have not had consistent enforcement of an ordinance in this township in a long time.” He said.

One resident asked about the overgrown brush around her home and other properties that is as much as four feet high and may block the line of vision for her sign. Scheetz said PennDot is responsible during the Route 2011 widening project and needs to be contacted.

CODE RED ALERT SYSTEM

During the regularly scheduling meeting, Pike County Emergency Management Director Timothy Knapp explained the changeover to the residential Code Red Alert System that had a soft launch in August. The system can send weather and road closure alerts specific to that area to voice, text, email and social media channels to mobile phones with access on an app. IT takes five minutes to register for it. Knapp said a brief road closure might not be posted. County officials now have access to the national Integrated Public Alert and Warning System that includes AMBER alerts of abducted children.

“It has a lot more emergency technology,” Knapp said and later added. “It’s a very advanced system that seems to work well.”

The supervisors said they would advertise for a public hearing for an ordinance prohibiting parking on Park Road and Log & Twig Road with subsequent penalties and removal of violating vehicles.

During public comment at the end of the meeting, Jane Neufeld pointed out a legal ad in the Pike County Dispatch about PennDot conducting a public presentation at the township building 5:30pm on September 28th on the Wilson Hill Road project. It would take place during what is normally a workshop session before the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting and might extend into the regularly scheduled meeting that begins at 6:30pm.

Predmore pointed out afterward that the presentation will be part of the workshop period and that the board had been notified of that. Neufeld cautioned whether the road would be closed that would significantly affect many residents commuting to work as well anyone trying to reach the township building on that road.

Also, the Board approved a $169,003.56 lowest bid by E.R. Linde for paving and painting double yellow lines on Park Road.

In his quarterly fire department report, Beodeker said there were 38 calls – 22 in the daytime – and one structure on fire that was saved. He said a motorcyclist was fatally struck on Route 739 and there was discussion about the lengthy road closure. He said Fire Police membership is growing back but said there is a need to stir interest for volunteer firefighters, who have to put in 168 hours of training, which is difficult for some people’s schedules. He said he’ll attend an Emergency Preparedness and HazMat Conference in Pittsburgh Nov. 1-4.

Supervisors approved the township hall for a Hunters Safety Course 9am to 3pm on September 25th. It will be conducted by township assistant roadmaster/supervisor of building and grounds/constable Ed Hammond, with John Sivo and the sponsoring state game commission. “The class can take 30 to 40 people and we already have 25 signed up,” Hammond said. Guns are prohibited at the session.

During the workshop held beforehand, supervisors released results on an engineering and traffic study of Doolan Road conducted by engineering firm Boucher & James, Inc. advising existing speed limited to be lowered.

Supervisors also discussed at the workshop the request by Camp Speers for the township to turn over to the camp ownership of the 3,380 feet of unpaved entry road. The supervisors said the township is unwilling to resurface the road as requested by the camp before turning it over and Hammond said putting blacktop on it would cost $25,000 to $50,000. Township Supervisor John Henderson said there is a need for more information.

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