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Delaware Township Won’t Roll the Dice on Satellite Casino

Delaware Township Won’t Roll the Dice on Satellite Casino
By Wayne Witkowski

DELAWARE TOWNSHIP – One-armed bandits won’t occupy Delaware Township any time soon. 

That was affirmed at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting when its three members unanimously, and enthusiastically, approved drafting a resolution that would exclude a category 4 casino application from the township under a new law.

The board agreed to opt out of the Act 42, a casino gaming expansion law signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on October 31.  Municipalities have until December 31 to decide whether to accept or reject gaming expansion.

It allows for municipalities within a 25-mile radius of an established gaming venue to have a “satellite casino.”

Supervisors approved a $2,500 donation to the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church food pantry in Dingmans Ferry for food purchases in November, particularly to meet the growing Thanksgiving holiday demand by families in need.  With an average of 90 families served monthly, the pantry last year provided for Thanksgiving meals for 135 families and anticipates supplying 150 families in need this year.  The church, in its request to the board for a donation, said that 50 percent of those families reside in the township. 

The church also wrote that an addition to its office area for food storage and distribution is planned for next spring.  It spent $8,000 on energy and medical expenses in 2016.

Township Administrator Krista Predmore indicated at the meeting there is $6,000 set aside in the General Fund for donations, and Supervisor Ron Hough pointed out that the township has donated to the food pantry in the past.

“I am comfortable with this request,” said interim Supervisor Jane Neufeld (she was elected to a full term in the recent General Election) before the approval vote.  She has worked with Predmore on the township budget.  “It (funds) is something we have available and helping them helps the Delaware Township people.”

Supervisors also revisited Safe Haven’s request for a donation, which they said would be discussed further at a future meeting over the next few weeks.

The board has rescheduled its regular meeting on November 22 a week earlier to Wednesday this week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Instead of the usual workshop session before the meeting, the board will have a workshop for the 2018 budget.  Neufeld has been upbeat about progress of the upcoming budget, which may not need a tax increase for 2018.  A final budget will go for vote at a December meeting date to be determined after a final draft is approved and the 20-day period for public scrutiny is met.

The township budget also will get an additional $10,000 after a settlement was reached with JPA Masonry of Mount Pocono with regards to the construction of a new salt shed.  The township had contracted with JPA Masonry, the lowest bidder, for the job with a holding bond at 10 percent of the estimated cost of the job. But JPA came back and said it could not perform the job, which meant the township was entitled to keep the bond.  Although the bond came out to a little more than $13,000, both sides agreed to a $10,000 settlement. 

Building a new salt shed will be revisited and put out to bid in 2018, Predmore said.

The board also unanimously adopted Resolution 2017-04 for the township to participate in the Municipal Risk Management Workers Compensation Pooled Trust.  Neufeld said she found in her research a growing number of townships joining the pool, which she estimates would cost $3,000 less yearly than the existing coverage.

The board also unanimously approved the $1,000 Emergency Management Stipend to township Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker, which has been the typical amount in recent years.

Also at the meeting, the board moved to allow the township fire department use of a building at Akenac Park for 90 days to house its new pumper, although Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson said a longer period of time might be considered if needed.  Since Regional ended its countywide ALC service on October 1, the board moved unanimously to issue a letter of intent, at no cost to the township, to the state Department of Community and Economic Development regarding Advanced Life Support/Basic Life Support (ALS/BLS) services.  The township offers ALS services 40 hours a week based on high call volume times.  The board moved to pay off Kenworth truck financing next month, two years in advance.

5K Race in December?

During the workshop, Debra McGowan of the Dingmans Ferry United Methodist Church spoke to the board about her church’s request to run a 5k (3.1 mile) race along Myck Road and the church vicinity on the morning of December 2.  A cookie walk in which Christmas cookies will be sold at tables at the church hall, will be held that day and the race would be run in tandem.  McGowan said she could draw on her experience in road races as the event organizer.

The board’s main concerns were the late time of the year when winter weather and snowfall could become a factor.  Henderson said the warmer spring and early fall months would be more suitable.  Supervisors said it would be difficult closing down Myck Road for residents who live along that road, even for just he anticipated two hours for the race.

They invited McGowan back to their next meeting for further discussion.

Plowing More State Roads?

On the subject of winter weather, supervisors discussed during the workshop a correspondence from PennDot County Maintenance Manager Kenneth Thiel who asked if the township would be interested with reimbursement in clearing during winter snowstorms the said roads along Wilson Hill Road, including Mary Stuart Road, Chestnut Ridge Road, Little League Road, and Ball Park Road.  The area covers 2.9 miles of two lanes, one in each direction.

The proposal calls for payment for $1,123.05 per mile, which equates to $6,513.69 for the season.

Township officials questioned whether the offer could be low.  Beodeker was skeptical that township crews have enough manpower and resources to handle that added coverage.  He pointed out that PennDot treats roads based on their usage by motorists, with the four-digit roadways getting first treatment, followed by the three-digit and then two-digit ones down to the side road.

PennDot also offered other roads located in the township for added consideration, including State Route 739 from Johnny B Road north to Doolan Road and State Route 2004/Silver Lake Road from Route 739 north to the entrance of Marcel Lakes Community development.

Supervisors left the proposal for further discussion with the township roadmaster.

Delaware Township Preps for Winter

Delaware Township Preps for Winter
By Dakota Hendricks
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, November 2, 2017

DINGMANS FERRY – The Delaware township Board of Supervisors authorized repairs and purchase to prepare the township for winter.

The Board authorized the repair of several Township vehicles and equipment.  Two Ford F550’s need repairs, including transmission lines, oil pan replacement, rotors, bakes, etc.  They also approved repairs to the township backhoe totaling $1969.79 and the purchase of tire chains and plow blades for $3,026.50.

Tim Singleton, President of the Delaware Township Historical Society and Delaware Township Historian, requested a key to the front gate of Akenac park.  The Historical Society hosts events at eh Camp Akenac Museum and has access to many of the historical township records from the museum making any research much easier.

During the winter months, Camp Akenac is open only during library hours, which imposes some restrictions on the times Singleton could do research.  The Board approved granting him a key on the condition that he must immediately lock the gate behind him and that he was the only person allowed at the facility.  Singleton also requested financial assistance for the Historical Society as they are struggling to maintain funds.

Jerry Debalao, a representative from PA American Water, spoke during the workshop portion of the Oct. 25 meeting about the utility taking over for Delaware Sewer in parts of Wild Acres.  Sections 19-22 are currently unusable due to damage to the original sewer system that has resulted in pooling of sewage among other problems and the inability to put a new system in place.  PA American Water plans to rehabilitate the zone with a subsurface disposal system over a 5 to 10 year phased rehabilitation process.

Residents are concerned over potential rate increases for sewage hookup; however, Debalao stated Wild Acres residents would not see an increase in price for water use.  The only residents that would receive a rate increase for sewer hookup are those moving into sections 19-22 of Wild Acres.

The Supervisors approved a change in worker’s compensation insurance carriers from AmeriTrust to Municipal Risk Management Workers’ Compensation Pooled Trust at an annual cost of $17,427.  They said the change will save the township approximately $3,000 to $3,500 a year.

The Board also authorized payment to Wayco Incorporated in the amount of $93,741.81 for roadwork done for the Chestnut Ridge Road project.  Wayco painted and repaired Log and Twig, Doolan, Myck, Park and Spencer Roads.

The Fire Police were approved to purchase new equipment like protectives gloves and road cones for $1,147.40.

The Board voted to send a proposed medical marijuana ordinance to the planning commission.  There are no medical marijuana facilities currently considering moving to Delaware Township; however, as a cautionary measure the Board would like to outline strict rules in the zoning code to account for the possibility.

The Supervisors will be holding a public 2018 Budget meeting on Wednesday, November 15.

Akenac Park will close for the winter on November 1, except for Delaware Township Library hours, which are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12pm to 3pm.

The next Board of Supervisors’ meeting will be on November 8.

Dedicated Del. Twp. Ambulance Tax Under Discussion

Dedicated Del. Twp. Ambulance Tax Under Discussion
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch, Thursday, October 19, 2017

DINGMANS FERRY – Delaware Township residents may get an additional tax for their ambulance corps, but it may not come for a long while.

The proposal was an agenda item discussed at the latest township Board of Supervisors workshop before its regularly scheduled meeting.  It calls for a half-mill dedicated tax, a yearly fee of $5-$8 per resident.  It would reap about $53,000 a year.

“We’re very much interested in the idea,” said board chairman John Henderson, who cautioned during the meeting that it would take some time if it were enacted.  “It’s a long way to consider it, a long way for dedicating it,” he said.

Because of its low millage rate, the tax fee can be approved by the Board of Supervisors and does not need to go to a voter referendum.  According to a spokesman for the state Center for Local Government, there is no millage limit requiring voter referendum approval for an emergency services tax.

Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps (DTVAC) Capt. Mary Lou Corbett and Ambulance Corps volunteer Kyle Wright came to the meeting to talk about that issue and to request $28,400 for repairs for one of its two ambulances, which includes $25,000 for a new engine and transmission and $3,400 for a new exhaust system, with paperwork receipts presented to the township.

The ambulance model year is 2010.  The township, during its regular meeting that followed, approved a reimbursement of that money from its unallocated General Fund.

Corbett said the other ambulance, a 2003 model year, has problems with its compressor and cannot be shut off while it is in service, which drains the battery.

But a dedicated funding for the Ambulance Corps became a more significant issue for discussion with the recent withdrawal from Pike County of Pennsylvania Regional EMS and Critical Care of Allentown, which provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) services.  Regional had informed local municipalities that it no longer could afford the insurance rates.

DTVAC Has ALS Service

Wright pointed out that Delaware Township has an ALS ambulance service in with paid, professionally qualified personnel who are available to township residents and greater Pike County.  Those personnel cover only 40 hours a week, based on the highest call volume.  Wright said the corps would like to expand that to 72 hours a week.

And what happens when a call for something urgent, such as a heart attack, comes in when ALS is not on duty?  “We drive (the ambulance) faster to the hospital,” Wright said.

DTVAC’s professionally trained volunteers cover the rest of the service – Basic Life Support (BLS), which covers things such as wounds and broken bones – around the clock.

“We’re in good position,” said Wright about the offering of ALS services by the ambulance corps for township resident with the loss of countywide ALS services.

Wright and Corbett pointed out that Delaware Township Fire Company currently has a 1.5 mill dedicated tax.

The Ambulance Corps relies on medical insurance coverage of residents in need, donations that Corbett said, “are not the way they used to be,” and a subscription drive that is under way.  She said a third party service handles billing for services and collections for the ambulance corps.

“It would not be a donation but a responsibility to help,” Corbett said.  “We want to be able to provide service and, unfortunately, have had to rely on mutual aid (for assistance).”

Corbett said the tax charge would help the corps, whose two ambulances have run up significant repair costs of late, to perhaps finance a new ambulance, which would cost about $300,000 fully equipped.

There are seven municipal ambulance services operating in Pike County, including Lackawaxen, Dingman, Palmyra and Westfall townships that each have two ambulances and Milford and Blooming Grove each have one.  Palmyra is served by two ambulances, with volunteer personnel from the Tafton Fire Company and Blooming Grove’s based out of Hemlock Farms.

Delaware Township and Lackawaxen are the only ones of those municipalities that have their own ambulance corps separate from the municipality’s fire company.

Wright said Lackawaxen has a 2.5 mill tax and Blooming Grove has a .5 mill tax that go to their ambulance corps.  Many other municipalities surveyed do not have dedicated taxes toward their emergency services but instead may donate money from their General Fund to emergency services that include fire companies and ambulance service.

Lehman Township has a .3 mill tax enacted in 2011 that goes toward all emergency services, including its volunteer fire company in its two firehouses and its ambulance services.

The ambulance service fees go largely to Bushkill Emergency Corps and part goes to Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which recently added to its call list the northern parts of the township that includes Ranchlands private community. 

Township officials continue to indicate that with the loss of countywide ALS services that municipalities will have to take further action for emergency health care under their primary mission of health, safety and welfare for the community.

“We do not have a (dedicated) tax (for emergency services) and it may come to that,” said Jo-Ann Rose, township administrator for Palmyra Township.  “With Regional gone, many of the townships are looking into things.  It’s becoming quire dire.”

Some townships without ambulance services such as Shohola , which relied on Regional for both ALS and BLS services now have to wait for the emergency call center to assign a service.  Lehman Township, for example, is serviced by Suburban when Bushkill is not available for calls.  Corbett said that, in some cases, it would involved a 40-minute wait for Delaware Township to get its ALS unit to someone in need at a distant municipal location, if it’s ALS unit is in service at that time.

No Tax Increase Anticipated

A draft of the township budget was released at the meeting, showing a surplus of $57,317. The budget, which has a $1,118,435 revenue figure versus $1,061,118 in expenditures, was formulated at the first budget workshop held on Oct. 6.  Township Treasurer and Supervisor Jane Neufeld stressed that it is the first draft before it is presented in a public hearing for approval in December.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” said Henderson, who has been budget conscious in his tenure as supervisor.  “I can’t say enough about what Jane and Krista (Predmore, township administrator) have done on this budget.  Residents should be heartened and reassured.”

Henderson said he particularly liked how some General Fund money would be set aside in separate reserve fund accounts to pay for things, such as building repairs in that designated fund, as needed.

Neufeld, who served as township auditor, was developed the budget in her latest role as interim supervisor.  She resigned as auditor to take that post and is running unopposed for a supervisor seat in the Nov. 7 General Election.

False Alarm Ordinance

Also at the township workshop, the board released its new “False Alarm Ordinance,” which not only involves false calls but also faulty detection signals by emergency protection devices.  First and second offenses will get a written warning but third offenses will get hit with a $50 fee, forth false alarms will get a $100 fee and give or more will cost $200 each.  Township Acting Fire Chief Chris Kimble and Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker both supported the ordinance but were granted the opportunity to meet with township officials to discuss rewording some of the ordinance.  As a result, the date for the public hearing on the ordinance was tabled during the regular meeting.

Also at the regular meeting, Marguerite Nemeth was appointed to the township Planning Commission seat held previously by Tom Ryan.  Margaret Veydovec also was in consideration after both submitted letters of interest.

Neufeld praised the commendable backgrounds of both candidates but board members said they were very impressed with Nemeth’s credentials from her work as a 30-year resident in the township and in New Jersey where she lived previously and worked in municipal government.

Nemeth served as township Zoning Hearing Board Secretary for four years and on the Environmental Advisory Council for six years and has been a member of the Board of Directors for private community Wild Acres for 10 year.  The Planning Commission now has its full complement of seven members with Nemeth’s appointment.

Dog Breeders Get Permit, But with Conditions

Dog Breeders Get Permit, But with Conditions
BY Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch - Thursday, September 21, 2017

DINGMANS FERRY- A Delaware Township couple who is certified to breed show dogs and preserve certain lines of pedigrees was granted from the township Board of Supervisors at their meeting last week a conditional permit from the zoning office after a neighbor complained about noise from the 20 dogs on their property.

Elisabeth Cologne-Szymanski and husband James Szymanski were at the meeting to heat the supervisors’ response from a correspondence earlier this month when their attorney, Charles Geffen of the Geffen Law Firm in Philadelphia, contacted township Solicitor Thomas Farley on the issue concerning their property on Meadow Ridge Acres Road. The neighbor also attended the meeting.

The couple declined comment afterward because they said their attorney was handling the permit, but they appeared satisfied with the outcome, which specifies 10 conditions in the permit.

“We tried to reach a compromise between the dog owns and their neighbor,” said Farley.

Farley said a key element was the township determining that the couple’s property is not a kennel, a category that falls under township ordinance.  The main point, all sides agreed, was the time allowed for the dogs to be outside; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. except during the months of May through September when dogs can be let out starting at 6:30 a.m.  The permit also requests a stockade wood fence to be built around the back of the property facing the neighbor, to reduce sound. 

We only let them out when they have to get out (to go to the bathroom), which is more than once a day” said Cologne-Szymanski. 

She is President of the Borzoi Club of Greater New York, a district of the American Kennel Clubs, and is former president of the Borzoi Club of Delaware Valley.  Her husband is recording secretary of the Borzoi Club of Greater New York. 

The Borzoi Club is described on the website as a guardian of the elite lines of pedigrees.  The couple also is reminded in the 10 points of the permit to abide by the laws of the Commonwealth on dogs and that they cannot board any dogs other than the ones they specifically own, which prohibits establishing a kennel on the property. 

In other meeting news, the board unanimously agreed, after research by Farley, to no longer require the presence of township Constable Ed Hammond at township supervisor meetings unless specifically requested by the township or if circumstances warrant it.  Hammond had been assigned, with pay, for the past two years as a security precaution after the fatal shooting of a supervisor by a resident at a supervisors meeting in Ross Township of Monroe County. 

Also, the board accepted the resignation of Thomas Ryan as a member of the township Planning Board, effective Sept. 5.  Ryan submitted a letter of interest and was approved for the position earlier this year, a few weeks after he had resigned his position at the beginning of the year as a member of the Board of Supervisors.  In both cases, he said he resigned to allow himself more time for his retirement as a contractor.  The board plans to advertise for letters of interest for the Planning Board. 

“A lot of issues are resolved by that commission before they come to the board,” Farley said, recommending that the seat be filled soon. 

The board also accepted recommendation by Farley to have the contracting company involved to remove the Gravity Rail at Akenac Park and refund the township the $14,940 cost.

“We had some issues with the Gravity Rail and entered an agreement in June and if problems continued, that the company remove and get the money back (to the township) and it’s come to that point,” Farley said. The Gravity Rail, even with the replacement of wheels by the contractor, was not sliding smoothly on an overhead rail with the momentum of the weight of the child sitting on it. 

Also, the board after discussion approved an Oct. 6 date from 7-9 p.m. for its budget workshop.  Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson questioned whether it would be better to convene on that issue after the General Election when two expiring seats of supervisors who resigned would be filled.  He said the interim supervisors now serving may not be serving in the future and interim supervisor Jane Neufeld pointed out afterward that, although running unopposed in November, she could lose to a write-in candidate.   Ron Hough suggested that the board hold two meetings, the one in October and another one in November where the budget could be fine-tuned with the newly elected supervisors, and the board agreed. 

Captain Mary Lou Corbett of the Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corp asked the township during public comment period for assistance with expenses.  “We have an ambulance down and need help,” said Corbett, who said one ambulance needs a $30,000 repair for engine and transmission and another has a $900 bill for a compressor because the engine keeps shorting out and it has to be started in the ambulance building and kept on during calls.  Corbett said each ambulance has more than 100,000 miles on the odometer.  Henderson asked for financial records for the ambulance corps and said the board would discuss the matter at the next meeting.  At the workshop prior to the meeting, supervisors discussed the update on the installation of new piers (concrete footings) to replace the deteriorating ones at the Akenac Park Recreation Hall.  Hammond, a township employee associated with the project, said that 17 of the 64 were done, covering 122 manhours of labor, and another four would be installed before the onset of winter seasonal weather that would deter the work.  The supervisors said that, because the hall would not be used much during the winter, it would be best to complete the work in the spring. 

Supervisors during the workshop discussed attendance at the Annual Convention of Township Officials of Pike County 9 a. m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 6 at The Inn of Lackawaxen.  The $200 admission fee allows for no more than nine officials from the township and the Township Administrator Krista Predmore said she did not think Delaware Township would have more than nine people attending.  Neufeld objected during the workshop discussion to participating in a new Census Form available to municipalities, saying that it did not apply to population figures but to other matters.  “There are really strange questions in it for municipalities to address.  It costs a lot of money and I’m not in favor of it,” Neufeld said. 

The board also discussed during the workshop the Akenac Park Electrical Plan and approving schematics for wiring from the lifeguard station to the bathrooms and then to the cabins.  Predmore questioned whether or not to continue in the lines to the cabins if they are not being used during the park events.  Henderson suggested that the circuit breaker panel needs to be redone.  “If we do that, we need to go underground with the wires because if you do it, you do it right,” said Henderson, recommending a cost estimate.  The supervisors recommended that the amp box be in compliance with the amp power of the circuits. 

The board discussed operating hours for Akenac Park during the off season, saying it has been closing at 7 p.m., and Henderson recommending it close by 3 p.m. before dusk with the onset of shorter days and for the park to be closed on weekends.  Board members raised the question on how it would affect operation of the library at the park and whether its volunteers would have access to opening the gate on other hours in which it is open. 

During the announcement segment, the board pointed out that the annual Harvest Festival at Akenac Park takes place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23. 

The township Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors joint public hearing takes place 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27, during the next Board of Supervisors meeting for land development and conditional use on the Birchwood Lakes Community Association maintenance building on Tamarack Road and Evergreen Drive. 

Animal Safety Also Considered in Delaware Township Emergency Plan

Animal Safety Also Considered in Delaware Township Emergency Plan
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, August 31, 2017
by Wayne Witkowski

DINGMANS FERRY – Helping residents keep their pets and livestock safe during a natural disaster, something that might be considered more in other parts of the state, was put into focus in the updated Delaware Township Emergency Management Plan.

During last week’s township Board of Supervisors workshop prior to its regular meeting, Township Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker gave a presentation valuating different aspects of township emergency response.

Beodeker said he would discuss with supervisors the report’s points about training and planning and a list of needs to best serve township residents during an emergency.

It would include utilizing Akenac Park as an emergency hub.

“There are a lot of gentlemen farmers and more horses in township now than in any other time in the 27 years I’ve been here, even chickens.” Beodeker said.

“A lot of things could happen in a long-term disaster when animals become vulnerable.”

He said the report was put together with the help of Kristin Jones, who spent 10 weeks as intern contracting 70 businesses and organizations to gather an inventory of information in case of an emergency.

Beodeker said 95 percent of the goal for the report was reached.

“Many were glad we contacted them and said they had not been contacted in a long time,” Jones said afterward. 

Jones received a proclamation from the supervisors acknowledging her efforts after the presentation. 

Another element Beodeker discussed was equipment to be used during an emergency.

“The equipment we have is serviceable but old in technology, age and ability,” he said.

He said there are “six or seven” dams on water bodies along Silver Lake Road that are in issue.  “If they fail catastrophically, it would be impossible to travel from the northeast to the southwest side of the township,”  Beodeker said.  “We have a number of people who would be isolated.  We can look at what purpose Akenac serves in that situation.”

Beodeker said overall infrastructure of the township would be evaluated with the supervisors. 

“This is an insurance policy for the citizens of the township,” he said.

Beodeker in his report recommended the township approve paying for township emergency Public Information Officer Robin Jones to attend the Emergency Preparedness and Hazmat Response Conference at the Sheraton Square Hotel in Pittsburgh on Oct. 17-19.  Beodeker said he has attended it for the past 20 years and paid out of pocket.  The board unanimously approved that request for Jones during the regular meeting.

The board also approved appointing Michael Kolenet as an interim roadmaster for the final two months of the year.  Township Roadmaster Charley Kroener is retiring as of Nov. 1.  A full-term roadmaster will be named at the township reorganization meeting in early January.  For those two months, Kolenet will be paid a prorated portion of Kroener’s $46,800 yearly salary.

The board also approved Kolenet’s attendance at the Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Training for the Pennsylvania Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Program on Oct. 11-12 and to attend the Pennsylvania LTAP training, Curves on Local Road Issues and Safety Tools on Oct. 5, both held for free at the Pike County Training Center Hawley.

The board also approved township Permit Assistant Lori McCrory’s attendance at the free Zoning in Local Municipalities Workshop on Oct. 5 at the Pike County Training Center.

Beodeker also reported an update of the township fire company, pointing out that Chris Kimble is taking over as Acting Chief after the current chief resigned for a personal, family reason.

He said the company would replace its old tanker pumper with a new one next year and that the company is preparing for the commemorative anniversary observance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade center.  The board pointed out that members of the company are taking CPR training.

The board also approved, after lengthy discussion during the workshop, the use of field 4 by the Downtown Baseball and Softball 7pm from Aug. 28 through Oct. 16, with a field usage fee of $300 fee to cover potential damage to the field, as proposed by Supervisor Jane Neufeld, and that the academy list players on the Under 11 team who live in the township, as proposed by Supervisors John Henderson.

 Academy representative Krystyn Stasyshyn said during a workshop discussion before the meeting that the team would take the proper care of the field.  “Our name and reputation are at stake,” she said.

Field usage for adult softball and area Little League programs fees are $150 but board members stressed that the Milford-based academy is a for-profit organization, which had to be considered in an approval.  Resident Dawn Bukaj pointed out that other for-profit groups had been approved to use township property and recommended the board establish a written policy for those groups requesting usage of the township property.

The board approved a request from Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps. event chairman Kyle Wright to borrow township tables, chairs, traffic cones and traffic control devices for its annual Pig Roast and Community Fun Day Fundraiser on Sept. 3. 

In other meeting news, the board agreed to advertise for a joint public hearing 7:15pm on Sept. 27 of the township Planning Department and the supervisors regarding Birchwood Lakes Community Association’s request for land development and conditional use for its maintenance building on Tamarack Road and Evergreen Drive.

The board agreed in 2-1 votes with Henderson dissenting to purchase hay, cornstalks and pumpkins not exceed $750 for the township’s annual Harvest Fest and to approve “The Magic of Science” for two presentations for $695 at the event.  Henderson felt more information was needed on the science program.  The approvals followed long discussions in which Neufeld said some of those items might be omitted to save money and that some volunteers and local farmers may donate some items.  Supervisor Ron Hough said the event is well attended and he did not want to see anything cut.  “My goal is that we see volunteers get back into saddle,”  Henderson said.

“You talk about cutting costs when the township is in surplus so why not do something for the citizens?  When is the last time the township was in a deficit,” Beodeker objected.  “I’m tired of hearing about volunteers.  We’re not spending a fortune for families in the community who have struggled enough with taxes and other expenses.  It’s frustrating.”

Resident Dennis Lee asked during public comment period at the end of the meeting about township Constable Ed Hammond having been assigned as a security officer during meetings.

Lee said he contacted the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and was told that a constable cannot be assigned to a township meeting as security.  He questioned whether Hammond should be wearing constable identification.  But township Solicitor Tom Farley said he had received a call from the PSATS legal office to discuss the call from the township resident.  Farley said he was told there is nothing prohibiting a constable from being there.

The board was asked if ti ever passed a motion to assign Hammond and Farley said it was more of a “tacit agreement” by the township in response to the fatal shooting in August 2013 of a township supervisor in Ross Township in Monroe County, and that question would be researched.

It was discussed whether Hammond, if assigned, should attend as a constable or a private security officer and Hammond said there is a “moonlighting clause” in the laws governing constables working in private assignments.

Farley also responded to resident Steve McBride’s point about what insurance coverage is involved in security protection.  HE said a lot of that would be clarified for the January reorganization meeting.

Three boys scouts of local Troop 174 were on hand to announce they are receiving merit badges for Citizenship and Community; Kyle Grunwald, who will be a 10th grader at Delaware Valley High School; Evan Williams, who will be an eighth grader at Dingman Delaware Middle School; and Alexander Rodriguez, who will be a sixth grader at Dingman Delaware Elementary.


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