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Board Seeks Parental Input For New Playground Design

 Board Seeks Parental Input For New Playground Design
By: Bessy Gurian
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, May 5, 2016

 DINGMANS FERRY-During the Delaware Township Board of Supervisors workshop and meeting held April 27, supervisors urged parents of young children to give their input regarding the development of the playground area at Akenac Park, discussed solutions to dealing with waste oil, and the possibility of carrying out a traffic study for Doolan Road.

             The Delaware Township workshop began with a new challenge for township supervisors: Disposing of waste oil.  The company that removes Township waste oil will now begin charging the township for said collection.  Supervisors and the public in attendance discussed several options: charging residents for the disposal of waste oil, eliminating waste oil collection altogether and reaching out to other waste oil collection companies.  Supervisor Tom Ryan suggested the township supervisors continue to research the matter in order to find a solution that would not affect the township or the residents.

             Supervisor John Henderson discussed the matter of setting a speed limit on Doolan Road.  According to Henderson, PennDOT states that if a rural road is not marked with a speed limit, the speed limit is 55 miles per hour, a speed that on Dolan Road could prove hazardous for drivers.

             Township Secretary Krista Predmore stated that according to her sources, an engineering and traffic study would cost up to $5, 000 per road.  Supervisors discussed several ways to approach the matter and Township Solicitor Thomas Farley agreed to review documentation in order to make the best decision possible for the township.

             The Delaware Township Board of Supervisors meeting focused mainly on Akenac Park.  Motions were approved to hire seasonal gatekeepers and life guards and during the public comment section of the meeting, Jane Neufeld, elected Township Auditor, suggested supervisors reach out to area residents with children to gain their input with regards to the design of the playground area at the park.

             Mother of three and Township resident Tricia Langelotti spoke up and said that her family loved Akenac Park because they did not live in a community and therefore enjoyed the park for all its amenities.  She also said families like hers would suffer this summer due to a lack of playground area.

             Supervisor Jeffrey Scheetz welcomed her comments and replied that the playground had been taken down because it was no longer safe to use.  He went on to explain that the Township was working on gathering more information with regards to grants and funding to build a modular playground that would be safe and long lasting.  He added that supervisors had attended the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisor’s Conference April 17 at Hershey Park and that they had had the opportunity to meet with vendors who design and build modular playgrounds.

             Ryan suggested Langoletti and Predmore work together to urge parents to get involved in the development of the playground.  Scheetz said the supervisors wanted to hear from families such as Langoletti’s, who did not live in communities and did not have access to amenities.  The supervisors urged township families to get involved by attending meetings and providing their input.

             Township supervisors also wanted to let the public know that the Dingmans Ferry Lions Club Annual Fishing Contest would be held April 30 at Egli’s Pond on Route 739.  This contest is being held for the 37th year in a row and provides families with a fun afternoon filled with fishing, food and prizes.

             They also announced that there would be a Public Hearing on Ordinance 206 Amendment at 7 pm Wednesday, May 11 to discuss changes to the recycling policy in order to be consistent with county policy.

             Lastly, Township Supervisors wanted to let Delaware Township residents know that there is a Burn Ban in effect.

 

Rescinding the Burn Ban on Open Burning in Pike County

Pike County Commissioners


Resolution No. 16-15
Rescinding the Burn Ban on Open Burning in Pike County


WHEREAS, the Pike County Commissioners, on April 22, 2016, issued a County-wide burn ban on open burning; and

WHEREAS, there has recently been significant rainfall with more rain being forecast; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Community and Natural Resources District 19 has recommended that the County-wide burn ban be rescinded.

NOW, THEREFORE, we the undersigned Commissioners of Pike County, declare that the County-wide burn ban be rescinded effective 8:00 a.m. on May 3, 2016.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands and caused the Great Seal of the County of Pike to be affixed on this 3rd day of May 2016.


BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF PIKE COUNTY

Matthew M. Osterberg, Chairman
Richard A. Caridi, Vice-Chair
Steven R. Guccini, Commissioner

Attested:  Gary R. Orben, Chief Clerk

Ban on Open Burning in Pike County

PIKE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
RESOLUTION NO.16-14

ESTABLISHING A BAN ON OPEN BURNING IN PIKE COUNTY

WHEREAS,the County Commissioners are desirous of providing for the health,safety and welfare of the people of Pike County;and

WHEREAS, because of record low stream levels,very low ground water levels,drier than normal temperatures, with no significant rain fall being forecast,the county has been placed under a burn ban;and

WHEREAS,due to be low nonnal rain fall over the past four months,there has been an increase in brush fires over the past several weeks,there by keeping the wildfire potential very high throughout Pike County; and

WHEREAS, the District Forester,on behalf of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the majority of the fire chiefs of Pike County's fire departments have expressed concern that this fire potential poses a serious and imminent threat to the life and property within Pike County;and

WHEREAS,emergency measures are required to reduce the severity of this danger in order to protect the health,safety,welfare and property of the residents of Pike County;

NOW,THEREFORE,we the undersigned Commissioners of Pike County, pursuant to the provisions of Act 1995-52 and Section 7501of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Services Code,(35PAC.S.) as amended, do hereby establish a temporary 30-day county-wide ban on any and all open burning.  This burn ban shall supersede any municipal ordinance to the contrary.

Open burning is here by defined as the ignition and subsequent burning of any combustible material (garbage, leaves, grass ,twigs, litter, paper,vegetative material involved with land clearing or any sort of debris) out-of-doors either in a burn barrel (screened or unscreened) or on the ground.The use of propane or gas stoves,charcoal briquette grills,or the use of tobacco in an form is not covered under this resolution.  Campfires,in designated state,federal or Department of Environmental Protection licensed campgrounds,are allowed in fire rings that confine and contain the campfire.                                                                                                    ·

Enforcement of this ban shall be the responsibility of any sworn police officer,in accordance with the provisions ofAct1995-52.  Specifically,any sworn  police officer when available,including the Pennsylvania State Police,shall be responsible for enforcing the provisions of this act.  Also, whenever a violation of this act occurs in a city, borough, incorporated town or township which has in effect an ordinance prohibiting open burning,the police officer may site the violation under either the municipal ordinance or the county resolution.  Under no circumstances shall any person be cited for violations of both the county resolution and the municipal ordinance for the same violation.

PENALTY- A person who violates this resolution commits a summary offense and shall,upon conviction,be sentenced to a fine of not more than $100.00 for the first offense, $200.00forthe second offense and $300.00 for the third and subsequent offense.

DURATION-The ban shall continue for 30days from the effective date set forth unless terminated earlier by subsequent  resolution.

FURTHER,we direct the Pike County Emergency Management Agency,to ensure the wide spread publication and distribution of this burn ban resolution,to distribute notice there of to all local radio,TV and newspapers and to maintain proof of distribution and of the manner and,frequency of publication,to coordinate the enforcement of this ban with all law enforcement agencies in accordance with Act 1995-52, i.e.,to encourage their resort to filing or issuance of a citation where appropriate;to take all appropriate action needed to coordinate response to the dangers posed by the unusually dry conditions;and to take any other emergency management actions deemed necessary to respond to this imminent threat to the health, safety and welfare of the people of Pike County.

This declaration shall take effect at 12:00a.m.on April22,  2016.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF,we have here unto set our hand sand caused the Great Seal of the County of Pike to be affixed on this 22nd day of April, 2016.

 

Township Residents Express Hatred For EIT Concept

 

Township Residents Express Hatred For EIT Concept
By: Kenneth Books
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, March 10, 2016

 

 

 

DINGMANS FERRY-If the Delaware Township Supervisors decide to implement an Earned Income Tax (EIT), they may be looking at a revolution, if the resounding opposition to the tax is any indication.

Some 200 residents crowded into a standing-room-only informational meeting about the tax Wednesday, March 2, speaking out against it, threatening the supervisors and generally showing their disdain for any such levy.

 

The meeting was ostensibly an informational session, featuring representatives from Berkheimer, which would administer the tax for an annual fee of about $15,000. But many in the crowd were convinced that the session was window-dressing for a plan to implement the tax and many said that would result in the supervisors being voted out of office at the first possible election.

“This tax will do nothing but shift the tax burden from those not working to those struggling to support their families,” one resident charged, a sentiment that was shared by many of those who spoke out against the EIT.

Greg Helstrom noted that many residents live in private communities that are responsible for their own roads, and there is no need for a new tax, a comment that drew widespread applause.

 

 But Supervisor Chairman Jeff Scheetz said an EIT would be designed to reduce property taxes, to which the crowd responded with catcalls.  Scheetz said the informational session was not a sign that the tax is imminent or has already been decided upon.  He repeated that statement several times during the heated meeting, but many residents obviously were not buying it.

“We have no hidden agenda,” Scheetz said.  “This may be the last you ever hear about an EIT in Delaware Township.”  The crowd applauded loudly and one resident called out, “It better be.”

 

 An EIT, according to Berkheimer Field Representative Pearl Salvo, is the same as a wage tax, levied on all who earn more than $12,000 per year.

Berkheimer Director of Governmental Relations James Hunt said it is used in 90 of the 2,562 municipalities in Pennsylvania.  It can be assessed on non-residents working within the commonwealth and would be levied not only on wages, but also on stock options.

Pensions, Social Security, welfare and active military pay would be exempt, he said.

The tax is based on residence, with the money remaining in the community in which the taxpayer is employed, Hunt said.  He said 637 Delaware Township residents already pay an EIT where they work, yielding about $85,000 in municipal revenue.

 

“How often can the township raise and EIT?” asked Karen Hagen.  Hunt said the maximum tax has been 1 percent since 1965 and can be raised only through a referendum.  He added that non-payment would result in a penalty of 1 percent per month on the out-standing balance.  While Scheetz said any EIT would be used to reduce property taxes, Hunt said there is no limit on what the tax could be used for.  “Basically, it’s a free hand,” he said.

 Throughout the meeting, residents shouted their opposition to the EIT, visibly fraying Scheetz’s nerves.  He threatened to end the meeting “much earlier than you want,” if people continued to call out.

 

While Scheetz continually stressed that the tax was not a done deal, Ronne Tener would have none of it. “This is raising taxes,” she said.

 

Scheetz attempted to silence Tener’s comments, but was met with cries of “let her speak.”

Dave Schuller struck a note that was repeated frequently, noting that seasonal residents, the unemployed and Section 8 residents would not pay the tax, “so you’re hurting the working people of Delaware Township.  This is unacceptable.”

 

David Jones said and EIT would “deter people from moving here.  It would not only hurt business, but it would drive wealthier people out and replace them with people who don’t work.  We’re going in the wrong direction.”

The residents didn’t believe an EIT would reduce taxes, partly because Scheetz couldn’t say precisely what the tax would be used for, a stance that drew criticism from Claire Bennett, among others.

 

Steve McBride said an EIT would simply be an additional tax, not a replacement for property taxes."If we had an EIT and property tax, there would be two taxes that could be raised on us,” he said.

Barbara Bonney questioned why an EIT was even being discussed, considering that the township has a surplus.  Scheetz said much of the surplus is already earmarked for township requirements.

“All we hear is taxes, taxes, taxes,” said one resident.  “I think you should turn this down for everybody.  We don’t want another tax.”

 And Steve Callandrino pointed out that most township roads are state roads, “I don’t see where the township provides anything for us,” he said.  He also said Berkheimer was not the proper organization to present the EIT to the residents, since it will profit if the tax is enacted.

No mention was made whether the tax would be discussed further at future township meetings.

 

Supervisors Look Ahead To Warmer Weather

 Supervisors Look Ahead To Warmer Weather
By: Kenneth Books
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, March 3, 2016

 Dingmans Ferry- Spring is in the sights of the Delaware Township Supervisors.

The supervisors passed motions dealing with Easter, summer help and improvements to Akenac Park at their Wednesday, Feb 24, meeting.

Several motions had to do with the township Easter egg hunt, scheduled for Saturday, March 12, rain or shine, at Akenac Park.

The supervisors approved the purchase of supplies, for the hunt, not to exceed $700, OK’d the Lions Club to provide coffee, tea and hot chocolate and agreed to assign a constable to the event, which will run from 1 to 2:30pm and include pictures with the Easter Bunny, crafts and prizes, while they last.  The supplies whose purchase the supervisors approved include such items as eggs, candy, dye and face paint.

Warm weather is just around the corner, and the supervisors agreed to advertise for several seasonal jobs.

Part-time gatekeepers for Akenac Park at a rate not to exceed $8 per hour for a maximum of 30 hours a week will be sought for Memorial Day through Labor Day.  In 2015, four such gatekeepers were hired at a cost slightly more than $8,000, according to township secretary Krista Predmore.  The 2016 budget for the positions is $9,000, she said.

Part-time lifeguards are also sought at a rate of no more than $10 per hour for a maximum of 30 hours per week, also from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Predmore said their jobs will include raking the beach, enforcing rules and other activities in addition to serving as first responders in case of emergency.

Finally, an ad will be placed to find a part-time maintenance/road crew helper at a rate not to exceed $10 for a maximum of 35 hours per week from May through Sept.1.  In 2015, the township hired just one such person, who performs such tasks as grass mowing and road maintenance.

It was agreed to hire Van Jahnke Plumbing and Heating to install a tankless water heater at the Akenac Park Recreation Building.  Three bids were received for the work:  Van Janke Plumbing & Heating, $4,157.60; Combined Energy Services, $3,492.94; and Kocher’s Water Pumps & Tanks, $6,680. 

The bids were reviewed be Boucher &James, Inc., which found that the Combined Energy Services proposal would likely result in additional costs to connect to the water system.  The Kocher’s and Van Jahnke bids were similar, said Township Engineer Jon Tresslar, resulting in a recommendation to accept the Van Jahnke bid.

An estimate from Combined Energy Services was accepted for the Akenac Park kitchen of $4,800.  The project will involve upgrading the existing piping for space heaters, fireplace and outside barbecues and providing piping for the new kitchen appliances, water heaters and furnaces.

PEEC Events at Akenac

The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) was given approval for use of Akenac Park for a summer camp every Wednesday from July 6 through Aug. 17 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.  It will also use the park for several one-day activities.  They are: May 28, July 2 and Sept 3, 2:30 to 5:30 pm, for Family Nature Weekends; July 10, 1 to 3pm, for pond exploration; July 17 and Aug. 7, 1 to 3pm, canoeing or, if the equipment is not available, pond exploration; July 24, 3 to 4:30pm, interpretive walk, focusing on plants, birds and natural history; and Aug. 20, 10am to noon, interpretive walk.

PEEC was also granted the use of the Quarry for fossil study March 4 from 9am to 1pm.An expenditure of $1,779.53 was approved for new street and road signs.  According to Road Master Charlie Kroener, nearly 30 signs will be replaced.  He said many are defaced and lack reflectivity and several are bent.

An expenditure of $932 was approved for Home Depot to replace existing Rec hall toilets, sinks and faucets, which are cracked and broken from use, Supervisor Chairman Jeffrey Scheetz brandished a photo of some of the fixtures showing the amount of wear and tear. 

Earned Income Tax Meeting

A special supervisors meeting regarding Earned Income Tax is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, at 7pm Scheetz said the meeting would be a chance to listen and comment.  He expects a full house.

Scheetz also announced the annual Dingmans Ferry Lions Club fish fry will take place at the township building Friday, March 4, from 5:30 to 7:30pm.

Supervisor John Henderson said any resident who wishes to see the improvements that have been made at Akenac Park can contact him and he will conduct a walk-through.

 

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