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Officials Approve $56,700 for New Lawn Mower

 

Officials Approve $56,700 for New Lawn Mower
By: Patti Martin
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, June 18, 2015

 DINGMANS FERRY- After much discussion and research. Township supervisors agreed on the purchase of a new lawn mower.

The Jacobsen Model R311T will be used to mow over 10 acres of land the township is responsible for maintaining.  It features an 11-foot area rotary, with three decks, and a turbo Kubota diesel engine.

Supervisors compared this model to a Toro and a John Deere.  Asst. Treasurer Krista Predmore noted that all three were very similar, by after testing all three, maintenance workers preferred the Jacobsen, and thought it would be lower maintenance costs in the future.

Supervisors were advised this mower would cut down the current time it takes to mow by 12 hours each week.  This could save the township money. 

Supervisor Bob Luciano agreed to the new mower on the contingency that the old one be sold.  He stated,, “I’d like to see it help with the cost.  It’s not being used.”

Supervisors then agreed to spend an additional $705 to purchase solid rubber tires for the Jacobsen.

Supervisors also approved additional spending for landscaping at Akenac Park.  They will pay $3,225 to Tree Tech for tree trimming services, and $350 to Tru-Green for vegetation control.

Additionally at the meeting, supervisors approved the use of Akenac Park to several activities.  One of interest was a ballet class.  Supervisor Tom Ryan joked, “I’ve been working on my pirouettes,” and then added on a serious note, “I think it’s good.  The woman running it seemed really excited.”

The ballet class will meet three times a week, with two hour sessions in the recreational building at Akenac Park.  All participants need to have signed waiver forms.  The supervisors were all invited to attend.

They also approved the park for a fundraiser for the Birchwood Lakes Swim Team.  On Saturday, July 25, they will hold a tricky tray and pig roast from 12-7p.m.

Also at the supervisors meeting last Wednesday night, Ryan announced that the food pantry is in great need.

He stated, “The food is down to a level that is not good.  It’s very bad actually.”  He encouraged residents to make donations of either food or money.  Any donation may be dropped off at the township building.  For more information, residents may call 570-828-7411.

The next township meeting will be June 24, at 6pm in the township building.

 

Improvements Move Ahead In Delaware Township

 

Improvements Move Ahead In Delaware Township
By: Heather Adams
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, June 04, 2015

 DINGMANS FERRY-Several projects got the green light at the Delaware Township meeting last Wednesday, May 27.

Supervisors Tom Ryan and Jeffery Scheetz approved the ADA-compliant ramp at the Akenac Park bathhouse after a review confirmed that a berm would require additional foundation work. SPH Services, LLC was given the contract for $2,420 that includes the removal of the existing stairs.

The bathhouse interior demo and reconstruction, to be performed in-house with materials from Home Depot for $7,000.

Also at Akenac Park, Phase 2 of streetlight installation was approved for $10,166.06; phase 3 will add five more lights.  The Rec Hall’s women’s restroom will also have a partition installed for privacy at a cost of $3,870 by SPH Services LLC.

Repairs to the “chicken coop” storage-building roof were approved for Wayne J. Day in the amount of $2,900.  However, the septic proposals are on hold as the Supervisors will have the township engineer examine the septic designs to see if the size can be reduced.

First Adopt-A-Road Approved

The first section of the new adopt-a-road program in Delaware Township has been approved for the Dr. Trilby J. Tener, who adopted a section of Log & Twig Road.  The program has two official pick-up events in April and September, and the township will provide safety equipment such as vests.  Adopted roads also have a sign designating the adopter.

The program was implemented in January following concerns voiced by residents last year.   The program is open to groups, businesses, and individuals.  Qualified participants will also be able to attend the township cleanup days free of charge.

 In Other Business

Shawn McGlynn of SFM Consulting LLC was appointed Delaware Township Alternate Zoning Enforcement Officer.

The next regular Delaware Township meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on June 19 at the Township Building located at 116 Wilson Hill Toad in Dingmans Ferry.

Public workshops start at 5 p.m. before the meeting.

 

Auditor Litigation Goes To Oral Arguments

 

 

Auditor Litigation Goes To Oral Arguments By: Heather Adams Pike County Dispatch –Thursday,May 21,2015 
 
DINGMANS FERRYThe appeal for the case between the Delaware Township Auditors and Supervisors will have a hearing at the Superior Court on June 15.The Supervisors estimate that legal fees for oral arguments could reach $10,000, even though the Auditors have only $121 left of the originally requested legal fees.
        At their meeting last Wednesday, May 13,the Supervisors suggested a possible Sunshine Act violation since the Auditors have cancelled several meetings in advance of the appeal. According to the Sunshine Laws, discussions with lawyers regarding litigation can be conducted in executive sessions,and executive sessions should be announced at the following meeting.              
         In a telephone interview Auditor Dennis Lee explained that they schedule 12 meetings in advance to make advertising easier for the Township, and they cancel if there is nothing pressing on the agenda.
         Lee said they held their meeting March 21, after John Wells was appointed to replace Mike Dickerson. He also pointed out that all written arguments for the case had to be submitted by Jan.30, and they had completed all work and discussion with their lawyer by then and that he was empowered to talk with their lawyer directly.
         Lee stated,We have followed all the rules and regulations for the Sunshine Law.”
        During the Supervisor’s meeting, Township Solicitor Tom Farley pointed out that they had an agreement regarding legal fees and if the Supervisors can’t agree to pay anymore legal fees incurred by the case, courts would be obligated to settle the matter for them.
         Supervisor Tom Ryan summed it up, saying the situation isCompletely out of our hands at this point.” 
 
SEEING EYE DOG IN TRAINING
 
Dingman Delaware student Ava Nienstadt and her mother, Susan Nienstadt, received permission to train their Seeing Eye Labrador retriever puppy, Fate on township property. Fate came to live with the Nienstadt’s at the age of seven weeks a couple of weeks ago, and is being socialized in a wide range of environments. In addition Ava is training Fate at bimonthly meetings with others in the Seeing Eye program to learn basic commands.While on township grounds, Fate will be on a leash and wearing a training bandana or vest when she is larger.
        When Fate reaches 16 months ofage, she returns to the Seeing Eye Campus to finish her training to become a service dog and eventually be placed with a seeing impaired person.
         It is important to remember to ignore a working service dog so as not to distract them, but for now the Nienstadt’s say it is okay to interact with Fate to help with her socialization. If you have any question about whether or not it’s okay to interact with a service dog in training, it is best to ask its handler.
       According to the Nienstadts, around 500 families around the Delaware River region volunteer to raise the program’s service dogs. For more information on the Seeing Eye guide dog program, you can go to their website at http://www.seeingeye.org/or call (973)539-4425. 
 
IN OTHER BUSINESS 
 
A Red Cross shelter agreement was approved, enabling the Township building to function as a warming shelter during emergencies. The township will retain control over when to designate the building as a shelter,but the Red Cross will bring in staff to assist. Any additional costs such as weekend electricity would be billable to the Red Cross. Roof repairs for the Community Garden were approved along with the previously requested $500 for supplies.
        The next regular Delaware Township meeting will be held at 6p.m.on May 27 at the Township Building located at 116 Wilson Hill Rd., in Dingmans Ferry.
        Public workshops start at 5p.m. before the meeting.

Looking Ahead At Delaware Township Infrastructure

 

Looking Ahead At Delaware Township Infrastructure
By: Heather Adams
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, April 30, 2015

 DINGMANS FERRY-Infrastructure was the main topic at last week’s Delaware Township Supervisor’s meeting.

 Supervisor Jeffrey Scheetz and Tom Ryan said they spoke to State Senator Lisa Baker and Representative Rosemary Brown about the condition of State Road 2001 while they were in Harrisburg for the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors convention.  “They assured us they would exert whatever pressure they could,” said Scheetz.  Ryan was less optimistic saying that PennDOT acts like a fiefdom and seemed to be ignoring Delaware Township.

 The culvert caps have eroded into the road, creating areas where traffic often has to veer into oncoming traffic on the two-lane road.  Ryan said that he’s seen “more and more tractor trailers on 01 over the past four months.”  He added that if anyone is in an accident, the township has a binder of over 500 photos of the road conditions, available via a right to know request at the township.

 LOG AND TWIG BRIDGE

 During the workshop before the regular meeting, the Supervisors said they need to start getting ready to replace the Log and Twig Bridge.  They asked that staff start looking for grant money and said they need to start planning now as the bridge is considered just above the designation of dangerous, and replacement of the bridge will require permits from several agencies.

 COMMUNITY GARDEN

 The Community Garden requested $500 for equipment and supplies, but the Supervisors decided instead to purchase a lawn mower and weed whacker on their behalf.  Ryan was concerned that the amount they asked for would not cover the price of good equipment and preferred for the Township to purchase the items and have them available for garden’s use.

 Additional requests such as permission for tilling and township employee help for straightening fences were also approved.  Ryan volunteered Supervisor Bob Luciano to make the final decision whether or not to allow the cutting down of several trees which were said to have hazardous limbs adjacent to the garden.

 SOLAR POWER

 Also for consideration is solar power for the township building.  Engineering firm Boucher and James will evaluate the feasibility before the project will be open to bids.  The return on investment for solar panels was said to now be approximately 10 years.  Ryan said, “You couldn’t find a better spot,” than the township roof for solar power.

 The next regular Delaware Township meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on May 13 at the Township Building located at 116 Wilson Hill Road in Dingmans Ferry.  Public workshops start at 5p.m. before the meeting.

 

Changes To Zoning Requirements

 

Changes to Zoning Requirements
By: Heather Adams
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, April 16, 2015

 DINGMANS FERRY-There was a public hearing at the Delaware Township Board of Supervisors meeting last Wednesday, April 8, for an amendment to Zoning Ordinance 110.7 3 (c) “Commercial Principal Permitted Uses and Conditional Uses.”  The amendment now makes any commercial recreational facility a conditional use, rather than principal permitted use.

The Delaware Township Planning Board requested the change following an application for an indoor gun range as a commercial indoor recreation facility.  It was brought to their attention that an indoor gun range would fall under conditional usage, but that an outdoor gun range would have been considered a permitted usage.  There were no stated objections to the change in the ordinance, and it was passed unanimously.

Auditors Lawsuit

The Auditors’ Lawsuit continues to be a subject of discussion during Township meetings, with Ron Hough questioning what would happen now that the original allotment of legal fees has been exhausted.  Township Solicitor Tom Farley explained that all briefs have been filed for the appeal and if the case is to be argued at the Superior Courts, there will be more costs.

Several residents expressed concern if the Auditors succeed in their appeal after Judge Linda Wallach Miller ruled against their complaint against Delaware Township, Pennsylvania Municipalities Pension Trust, and previous Supervisors Ileana Hernandez and Thaddeus Parsell.  With the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s constitution protecting pensions received, Farley, acknowledged, “It’s a mess.”

Township Supervisor Tom Ryan said outright, “We’re obligated to pay the bill” for the Auditors, no matter their opinion on the topic.  He continued, “Let the courts decide” and “That’s where it should stay.” Supervisor Jeffrey Scheetz added, “Our role is limited in all this,” and said the vote last meeting not to pay the check for the Auditor’s legal fees was a “vote on principle” and that “someone had to say no, even though there was nothing we could do.”

Summer Hires

Several appointments and summer hires were also approved at the meeting, including Ed Hammond as Assistant Road Master, Luis Usera as Maintenance Foreman, Vincent Flatt and Michael Moffa as part-time seasonal maintenance, Nicholas Ottinger as a part time summer office intern, McKenzie McNamara as seasonal gatekeeper and lifeguard manager, and Florence Evers as part-time seasonal recreation director.

In Other Business

The Supervisors increased the Township Building and Kitchen use fee to $200, previously $150, to reflect the increase in quality of the facilities, particularly the recently renovated kitchen.

The Delaware Township Fire Company had their new engine delivered and they are currently working on mounting equipment.  They expect to have it in operation by the end of April or early May.

PEEC will have a Grand Opening for their “Trail for Everyone,” a new ADA-accessible interpretive trail, at 1 p.m. on April 25, coinciding with the Annual Earth Day Festival.

The Dingmans Ferry Lion’s Club will hold their annual fishing contest 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, with a rain date of May 3. It will take place at the usual location of Egli Pond, on Route 739.  For more information, call Audrey Mervine-Mead at 570-828-6285.

The next regular Delaware Township meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on April 22 at the Township Building located at 116 Wilson Hill Road, in Dingmans Ferry.  Public workshops start at 5 p.m.

 

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