Delaware Does Prep Work For Reopening Akenac Park
By Wayne Witkowski
DINGMANS FERRY -- Delaware Township Board of Supervisors, at its monthly meeting carried
on Zoom videoconferencing, discussed some changes for reopening the township's recreation
usage of Akenac Park. It comes in the aftermath of the state's reclassifying the COVID-19 alert
system in Pike County from red to yellow.
After considerable discussion of the Pennsylvania Park & Recreation Society COVID-19
reopening guide, the board agreed for the Delaware Township-Dingmans Ferry Historical
Society to resume work on the building it shares in Akenac Park. The building will not be open to
the public for the time being, however.
The board also approved work on a cabin in the park to start an Akenac Theater. "It's a black box theater approach that's still very much in the works," said township Administrator Krista Predmore.
Also approved were motions to rent four port-a-johns -- two at Akenac Park and two at the ballfields off Wilson Hill Road -- and to re-advertise for lifeguards at the park's lake and other seasonal personnel. Appointments
will be made at the next meeting.
Supervisors discussed the need to hire someone for the summer season, aside from the lifeguards, to enforce at the park social distancing and other safety guidelines.
"I had just gotten the reopening guidelines yesterday and it's 28 pages so I need more time to go through it before the next meeting," said board Chairman John Henderson. "We need to take two weeks (to the next meeting) to come up with solutions."
Henderson said that having four port-a-johns would be more cost-effective for disinfecting than
to have to treat much larger bathrooms.
"We have the new guidelines for this. There was one set of guidelines on May 12 and then new
guidelines on May 23 that are substantially different," said Predmore. "We're trying to be
compliant to keep people safe."
Predmore said afterward that conditions that will lead eventually moving into the color green
coding are "very difficult. They change constantly and we've had no timeline provided about
when we will go green."
Henderson said it is not decided whether the next meeting will be a Zoom videoconference, like
the latest two meetings, or a return to the customary in-person style at the municipal hall with
social distancing guidelines enforced.
Predmore said the township wants to resume in-person meetings "at some point" under strict
health guidelines of hand sanitizers supplied and social distancing.
She said the township office is open to the public but residents and contractors are required to
wear masks upon entering.
"For use of the building, we have to have everything in place," said Predmore. "If it's a gathering
of 25 (people) or less, we need social distancing and those people using the building (for
meetings or activities) may have to pay for sanitation that takes place after they use the
Going from red to yellow is a welcome change for now, said Predmore after the meeting.
"It's a very frustrating situation to be in," Predmore said, "People want to get out and enjoy the
summer weather. It was really packed here for Memorial Day weekend and some of the people
visiting were not observing the guidelines. We're all frustrated and want to go back to normal
In his Pike County Road Task Force update, township Roadmaster Vince Flatt said Dingmans Bridge will
be closed from June 1-12 for annual inspection and maintenance and resume manned toll
collection when it is reopened.
Flatt said full milling and paving along Route 739 from the bridge to Arnold’s convenience store
is under way. Full milling and paving on Milford Road/State Route 2001 from Arnold's to Log
Tavern Road and from Log Tavern to Interstate 84 has a let date of May 21 for bids with a
notice to proceed on July 6. "Please remember that the contractor has one year to start the
project (from that date)," said Flatt.
Although the board did not comment while announcing the state's reclassifying Pike County from
a red alert to yellow, Supervisor Jane Neufeld commented afterward, "We're trying to move
ahead and do what we have to do. The township still is a declared 'disaster' area."
In other meeting news, the board approved a resolution to apply for a Pennsylvania Emergency
Management Agency grant to cover expenses related to COVID-19 and Predmore will organize
a list of those costs. It must be submitted by September.
One expense approved at the meeting was to pay ServePro $3,915 to disinfect the township
municipal hall on Tuesday this week following Primary Election Day voting that will take place there.
Supervisors agreed to close the township office and have staff work remotely on election day
and the following day while the building is being disinfected.
The board adopted Resolution 2020-10 for a Pennsylvania Department of Community and
Economic Development $300,000 grant under the Multimodal Transportation Fund for repair
work on Log & Twig Road.
Miscellaneous road improvements were approved under the state's Liquid Fuels fund for three
road projects -- Spencer Road, Weber Road and Ball Park Road -- per Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation specifications.
"We hope to get that done this year," said Neufeld after the meeting. "Bids and road work were
delayed (with the coronavirus outbreak) and we hope to get bids back. This (normally) would
have been started in February."
But the Delaware Plaza project on Route 739 anchored by Weis Market has been back on track
for a month, following the governor's decree in early May to allow for construction work to
resume. Supervisors estimate that the plaza, which originally was expected to be completed by
late summer before the two-month coronavirus shutdown, will be opened by the end of the year.
Also at the meeting, supervisors extended by an additional 30 days the Delaware Township
Volunteer Ambulance Corp's shared use of the township's band on the radio repeater while the
ambulance corp repairs or replaces its own band.
A $5,363.57 final payment was approved by the supervisors at the meeting for H&P
Construction Inc., as recommended by the township engineer, for its municipal roof replacement
project that was completed before the coronavirus shutdown.
Also approved was a $1,560 payment for ABS Solutions to renew Microsoft 365 for the
municipal offices for platforms such as Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel.
Supervisors approved the rescheduled date request of Sept. 12 for the Delaware Township
Democratic Club's craft fair. A June 6 date originally was approved before the coronavirus
outbreak forced postponement.
Private community Marcel Lake's request was approved by the board to use the municipal hall
from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 18 for a community meeting.
Along with announcing the county's move to the yellow coronavirus alert phase, board Chairman
Henderson also announced that federal income tax filing has a new deadline of July 15. He said
the property tax relief passed by the state extends the discount period through Aug. 31 and
waives penalties through Dec. 31 if taxes are paid in full by that time.
Henderson also announced that driver's licenses that expired before April 30 during the virus outbreak now
have a May 31 expiration, the License to Carry Firearms permits are extended to July 31 and
federal Real ID enforcement deadline is postponed to Oct. 1, 2021.
Henderson stressed the importance for residents to participate in the census, which takes only
a few minutes to fill out and can be completed by clicking on https://2020census.gov/ or by
calling (844) 330-2020.
The supervisors stressed that the census tabulations affect federal and state money appropriated to the
township and for funding schools, roads and many other things.