Lifeguard Hiring, Boat Buys Ready Akenac Waterfront
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch
DINGMANS FERRY -- Delaware Township's supervisors are making some quick, 11th hour moves to further prepare Akenac Park ready for the summer season that begins in just a couple of weeks.
The township for the first time appointed a part-time seasonal head lifeguard at the park. Enid Resto will fill that role from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend at a rate of $14 per hour. The supervisors approved that appointment as well as rehiring two part-time seasonal lifeguards for this summer during their regular bi-monthly meeting last week.
They said a head lifeguard is needed with so many visitors at the park and lake during the busiest time of the year, including the board's approval at the meeting of Pocono Environmental Education Center's summer camps on Wednesdays from July 3 to Aug. 21 and PEEC's Family Camp Weekends next Saturday and on July 4 weekend. Resto also will oversee visitors and vacationers at the lake as well as family events there approved by the board.
They also agreed to purchase a boat and canoe for the park from Dick's Sporting Goods for $1,264.97.
But for anyone looking to fish, that's a different situation. The board approved closing off the entrance to the fishing dock for the public as it seeks a company to refurbish that and two smaller docks. The supervisors expect to decide who will do it and when the work will begin shortly at their next meeting on May 22 after gathering information on prospective companies.
Replacing the docks can be done this summer, said the supervisors during discussion at their workshop prior to their regular meeting. Township Public Works Director Vince Flatt said the dock's deterioration makes it "somewhat of a safety issue eventually."
"It's dangerous and only a matter of time when somebody would fall through the railings that are starting to go," Flatt said.
Supervisors said the newer designs for the fishing dock involve less maintenance.
The township received funding to restore and replace the docks from the Pike County Scenic Rural Character Preservation's Marcellus Mini Grant Program for $9,340.50 and the township has matched that figure.
We plan to replace the current fishing dock with a floating dock," explained township Administrator Krista Predmore afterward. "There is only one grant received for the replacement of one (fishing) dock. If the township decides to replace the two (other smaller) docks in the swimming area, the purchases would not be covered by a grant."
The township already has replaced the existing floating dock for swimmers in the middle of the lake.
Supervisors also will discuss adding more tables to the three already in the Recreation Hall as well as adding more chairs. Visitors who were approved of using the Rec Hall for gatherings had to supply their own tables and chairs. The new tables and chairs would be stores in a "cutout" enclosed area and the supervisors plan to discuss procedures on buying and storing new tables and chairs as well as installing a door at the cutout area. Supervisor Jane Neufeld said estimates could run to about $2,500.
Delaware Township Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson and fellow board member Rick Koehler said they have stayed in touch with Commonwealth Health Emergency Medical Services and recently received an email saying that Commonwealth plans to advertise for job openings in the Milford area very soon. Commonwealth has been in discussion with a consortium of seven Pike County municipalities, including Delaware Township, for Basic Life Support and Advance Life Support services.
"That (possible new service) has nothing to do with our (township) ambulance corps," said Henderson of the local beleaguered service that has cut its service hours amid financial concerns.
He said after the meeting that it's been an "up and down" situation trying to bring Commonwealth to the area.
During the workshop, supervisors discussed and later rejected the suggestion from West Easton to collaborate on crafting a township Right to Know Resolution. Supervisors said the idea has merit because some residents can be persistent on requesting more and more documents and that some townships charge 25 cents per page when there are so many documents requested that it becomes a burden to township employees.
They concluded there is no need to go that route on a resolution at this time.
Supervisors also approved the adoption of Chestnut Ridge Road by Melissa Joseph as part of the township's Adopt-A-Road program.
Neufeld during Public Comment at the end of the regular meeting talked about her involvement with the county's Opioid Task Force that meets the first Tuesday of each month. She said the task force has discussed expanding resources to make the public more aware of addiction and recovery, an epidemic problem that affects entire families.