Delaware Holds Plaza Hearing at Reorg Meeting
Pike County Dispatch
By Wayne Witkowski
Thursday, January 9, 2020
DINGMANS FERRY -- John Henderson was unanimously approved for another year as chairman of Delaware Township's Board of Supervisors, which steamrolled through a status quo agenda during Monday's reorganization meeting that reflected a past year of efficient government and no tax increases.
Virtually all appointees were holdovers from the previous year as supervisors saw no need to discuss most of the 55 agenda items. Jane Neufeld remains as vice chairman of the board and township treasurer while Supervisor Rick Koehler is township secretary.
Krista Premore was appointed to another year as township administrator, assistant treasurer and Right to Know officer while Vincent Flatt continues as roadmaster. George Beodeker remains township emergency management coordinator.
The Pike County Dispatch is one of the official township newspapers along with the Tri-County Independent and the Pocono Record.
After the reorganization meeting, the supervisors conducted a hearing before giving approval to amendments for the final Delaware Plaza Land Development Plan. Henderson expressed regret that the session was not listed in a public advertisement as a public hearing but rather as a meeting, which drew barbed online posts from angered residents.
"It's my fault it was not advertised as a public hearing," said Henderson.
"We are grateful to any township residents who come to the meeting and for people on Facebook to come to the meeting as well," said Supervisor Jane Neufeld.
At the hearing where engineer Joseph Hudak of Kiley Associates LLC again presented the revised blueprints, Thomas Farley, approved for another year as township solicitor, encouraged the supervisors to give final approval to the project that was held up for a month when the amended plans were first presented. The site had been cleared and grading was under way when work was halted for the plaza that is expected to be built and opened by later in the year.
"The changes are not really major at all, except for the size of the supermarket, storm water (management) that is better than it needs to be and a drive-through pharmacy that is necessary (for residents)," Farley said.
Delaware Township Planning Commission reviewed and advanced five conditions posed by township Engineer Boucher & James during a Dec. 18 meeting and the Pike County Planning Commission also wrote an approval after its examination.
"We have complied with the direction of the (township) Planning Commission and made the revisions and gotten the approval from Pike County Planning," said Hudak.
The foremost point was Weis Markets anchor store announcing in the December meeting that it was reducing the square footage from 63,299 square feet to 47,900, a nearly 25 percent shrinkage. The remaining space would be a grass surface that will enhance stormwater drainage, which was another condition. Weis management said it would have the same sewage treatment setup for the original sized supermarket.
"What if Weis may come back and ask for expansion," asked Farley
"We have the potential for that," said Hudak, referring to the leftover parcel.
It was learned that is the reason why the parking lot still allows for 347 spots, unchanged from the original plan, which is 48 spots more than required.
"If there is no need for additional parking spaces, why have them," asked Henderson.
"On the chance there could be expansion," answered Hudak. "We have stormwater (drainage) set up for that."
Another concession is to move the fire protection tanks that are four feet below ground from the parking area to a place where there is no traffic.
Another change involved a drive-up pharmacy added to the plans. Originally U-shaped, the driveway now is L-shaped and two lanes wide with a sidewalk area over the exit of the drive-through. "That (idea) was voiced favorably by township engineering, said Hudak.
Alex Orerbia, who oversees Land Development for Weis Markets, again attended the meeting and, just like at last month's meeting, said when he was asked that there are no tenants yet for the bank and fast food restaurant in the plans. "At this point, it's still in negotiations; we don't know," said Orerbia. "There's some interest but I won't be told until there is some certainty by the developer." The gas station in the blueprints is part of Weis Markets.
As for the rest of the reorganization agenda that preceded the Delaware Plaza hearing, the township's Treasurer's Bond is set at $2.8 million and the assistant bond at $100,000. Wayne Bank, Dime Bank and PLGIT remain the township's depositories. Kirk Summa & Co. LP is the certified public accounting firm to replace the elected auditors.
Robin Jones again will serve as the full-time administrative/human resources assistant and as deputy tax collector as appointed by township tax collector Mary Lou Corbett. She also was re-appointed to serve as secretary to the township's safety committee where Chris Kimble, Russel Sioretti and Kyle Wright were appointed to one-year terms and Bud DeVries was named as an alternate.
SFM Consulting LC was appointed as the township's residential and commercial building inspectors as well as the township's zoning/code enforcement officers.
Ron Tussell is sewage enforcement officer.
Along with being appointed for another year as township solicitor, Farley also again is serving as solicitor for the township planning commission. Robert Bernathy is the alternate in both roles. Stacey Beecher is township zoning hearing board solicitor and Predmore again will serve as secretary. Beecher also is township building hearing board attorney.
Lori McCrory is zoning hearing board secretary and Sharon Franks is planning commission secretary as well as township representative to the Pike County Council of Government.
Flatt again will represent the township on the Pike County Road Task Force, with Kimble as alternate. Neufeld, Koehler, Flatt and McCrory will attend the 2020 Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) Conference in Hershey in the late spring.
Steve McBride was appointed as township vacancy board.
As for meeting schedules, the supervisors again will meet for the workshop at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month except November and December when those meetings take place on the first and third Wednesdays because of the holiday schedules. The planning commission meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. or as necessary. The safety committee meets the first Tuesday or the month at 8:30 a.m.
The township zoning hearing board and the building hearing board meet on as needed basis.