Rec Board Feels Pinch Of $4,000 Event Budget
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch
Thursday, January 30, 2020
DINGMANS FERRY -- Dennis Lee and Steve Tarquini of the Delaware Township Recreation Board attended the workshop of the Board of Supervisors prior to its regular meeting last week to discuss allocating more money for township rec events from the budget and to discuss other committee issues.
The discussion, which took up half of the hourlong workshop, began with Lee asking if more than $4,000 can be set aside for the 2020 Recreation events, which have been expanded from seven to 10 for this year. It includes separating the movie night from a night of music into separate events.
"We're trying to do the best we can with the budget," said Lee, who pointed out that last year's events ended up costing $4,610. "We paid a band $400 last year and it costs $500 to $700 these days to pay for a band that's any good."
"I cannot see how $4,000 can do all of those things," said Recreation Board member Steve Tarquini.
"We want more money to make events bigger and better," said Steve's wife, Terasa Tarquini.
The Recreation Fund, collected from a 1.5 millage rate on property owner taxes, is $141,601 but that also includes line item wages for Akenac Park employees, park operating supplies, repair maintenance supplies, lake management and water systems testing and telephone, Internet and electric services, along with the $4,000 allocation for Recreation programs. There also is added revenue from events that goes toward the fund.
The seven events include the Harvest Fest in September, a Halloween Trunk or Treat and a Christmas event as well as the movie and music nights in the summer.
"There were possibilities for people (from the Rec Commission) to come to the budget meetings to say, 'We need (more) money,' " said Board of supervisors Chairman John Henderson, referring to budget workshops through the fall and the budget approval meeting in December.
Steve Tarquini pointed out that the events schedule was expanded late last year.
Supervisor Jane Neufeld suggested that the Rec Commission move forward with its already approved $4,000 allocation for events and then return to the board at a time when more money may be needed. "But don't wait until the last minute," cautioned Supervisor Rick Koehler.
Lee also pointed out during the discussion that the board has seven members and asked about the reason behind that number.
Supervisors said it had to be an odd number (for tiebreaking votes). But Lee said there have been other people coming to the meetings as well and why have a board in the first place?
"To have a township event, it has to go through the (Rec) board," said Neufeld as Henderson showed a printed passage indicating that Second Class Townships, which includes Delaware Township, need to have a Recreation Commission under state codes.
Also at the meeting, the board accepted the amended fiscal year 2020 budget that was presented at the previous meeting.
The board also approved the Tri-State Geese Police proposal for environmentally safe Canada goose control at a weekly cost of $400 and an added charge of $100 per nest (removal). Henderson called it "an amazingly effective program" and Roadmaster Vince Flatt said there was a noticeably significant reduction of geese last summer when the program was first implemented.
Delaware Township Fire Company was approved for ice rescue refresher training at Akenac Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 1. Also approved was firefighter operational park training on Tuesday nights as needed from May 5 to Oct. 27 from 7-10 p.m.
Pocono Environmental Education Center was granted permission to use the quarry in the township from 9:30 a.m. to noon on April 12, 15 and 18 for a geology class as well as Delaware Valley Elementary School's request for a kindergarten classes field trip to Akenac Park from 10 a.m. to 1:30 on May 20, with a rain date of the following day.
Pike County Women's Softball League again was approved for use of fields 1 and 3 on Sundays from 3:30-8 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:15-9 p.m. from June 5 through Aug. 9. Supervisors also approved the Couples Fall Softball League use of fields 1 and 2 from noon to 6 p.m. on Aug. 23 to Nov. 22.
The board tabled a township Planning Commission memo regarding amending Ordinance 110 on signage. Supervisors discussed the matter during the workshop and determined more clarity was needed on defining "window signs" and specifying when political signs are to be taken down after elections, although it was mentioned that timeframe is listed elsewhere in township codes.
The amendment also would specify the size and brightness of large signs, but the supervisors implied the need for better language on that subject and to meet to further discuss the issue.