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Township Office will Close to Public Due to Rising Covid-19 Cases

December 4, 2020

Township Office will Close to Public Due to Rising Covid-19 Cases

With the surge in COVID-19 cases continuing, starting Monday, December 7th, the Delaware Township Office will close to the public until further notice.  All operations will continue, but access to the municipal building will be limited to employees.

Building and facility rentals by residents and organizations are also paused until otherwise determined by the Board of Supervisors.

To further support public health, the State Department of General Services is encouraging Pennsylvanians to add their phone to the fight against COVID-19 by downloading the COVID Alert PA app. The free and voluntary mobile app can notify those who opt-in if you have had a potential exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, the app provides timely alerts that can help you get advice on how to help yourself and protect others as well as determine when to get testing. It can help reduce your risk of unknowingly spreading the virus to your friends, family, and larger community. The free app can be found in the Google Play Store  and the Apple App Store  by searching for "covid alert pa."

Delaware Donates $5K To Backup Ambulance Corps

Delaware Donates $5K To Backup Ambulance Corps

By Wayne Witkowski


DINGMANS FERRY -- Delaware Township supervisors unanimously approved at their bi-monthly board meeting a $5,000 donation to Bushkill Emergency Corps that provides backup ambulance and medical services to township residents. It came after a lengthy discussion during the workshop held before the meeting about the Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps and other medical first responder services elsewhere that serve the township.
The donation is half of what was given a year ago because of a 50 percent reduction in emergency calls to Bushkill from a year ago, said Supervisor Jane Neufeld. At this point, Bushkill Emergency Corps answered the call from the Monroe County Control Center for 90 calls, compared to 180 out of the 520 overall dispatches a year ago. Neufeld explained that, with the threat of COVID-19, many residents suffering health issues called their primary doctors for medical care first, rather than for the ambulance.
Resident Steve McBride launched the discussion when he asked about donations given to the township ambulance corps, noting that there has been a $50,000 yearly line item on the General Fund, which Neufeld said is covered on the half-mill charged residents on their taxes. She said donation amounts have varied over recent years, based on specific needs shown by the ambulance corps.
DTVAC was invited to the last budget workshop held on Oct. 14 after the regular meeting but did not attend. Supervisors in the past have expressed dismay about not receiving complete requested data of the corps' finances.
"It seemed to me enough time has gone by by and resolving issues is no further along from a year or two ago," McBride said.
Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodecker asked and was told Bushkill Emergency Corps is a volunteer group. It provides Advanced Life Support as well as Basic Life Support services. Beodeker pointed out that about another 11 to 12 percent of the dispatches went to the neighboring Dingman Township Volunteer Fire Company's ambulance service when the township ambulance service was unavailable because of its limited hours of service and availability.
"We're compromising our mission here. It's a very convoluted system," said Beodeker of the networking setup.
Neufeld said after the meeting that volunteerism for ambulance corps, which has been a growing problem over the years, was a mixed situation: Some volunteers were more available when their companies temporarily shut down their regular jobs at the height of the coronavirus but, on the other hand, some of the older volunteers left their service for fear they would be more vulnerable to the virus than other people.
Resident Dennis Lee said a local group informed him that it was looking into offering round-the-clock countywide service with six ambulances for about $540,000 yearly. "I'd like to see that, " said Neufeld skeptically.
Lee said each of the 13 townships would enact a half-mill on its taxes to cover the cost, which the county could enforce, and donate that tax collection to the service. Supervisors expressed doubt that would be done.
But McBride said, "I can't see why 13 townships can't come up with the same style of formula that tax people and contribute to some sort of effort. If they don't pay, they opt out," McBride said, which he later said was a joking comment.
Supervisors all 13 townships would not participate, as Lackawaxen Township has its own ambulance corps with a 3.5 to 4 mills tax rate to pay for it. She said Palmyra Township and Hemlock Farms also have their own services.
"It can't happen," said Neufeld of the donations. "They (some townships) have other resources."
Supervisors said afterward they will further examine the idea.
They also approved the annual donation to Holy Trinity Food Pantry for $2,500, the same as last year, with much of those funds going to its Thanksgiving drive to help families in need.

Myck Road grant application filed
Also at the meeting, supervisors adopted a resolution to file a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Multimodal Transportation Fund grant for $732,981.25 to fulfill the second phase of the Myck Road project. If approved, the grant includes a 30 percent match from the township to be used for improvements on Doolan and Park roads.

"We're keeping our fingers and toes crossed," said Neufeld.
Supervisors agreed to advertise bid specifications for bridge repair projects for Park Road and Log & Twig Road on Nov. 5. Pre-bid meetings will be held around mid-November and contractors' questions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Nov.20. Bids will be opened and publicly read during the Dec. 2 regular meeting.
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson said the work involves "minor repairs and maintenance" to meet state inspection requirements.
Also approved was renewing the TruGreen contract for 2021 to treat township athletic fields for $5,986.06.
They approved the township fire police to provide traffic control for the Dec. 12 Christmas holiday event at Akenac Park.
Supervisors unanimously approved installing underground wiring for Cabin 21 at Akenac Park for $8,300 by Amp Electric Contracting LLC of Dingmans Ferry. Trenching, backfilling and reseeding is not included. The wiring leading directly to the cabin will remain above ground but be moved to another pole from a Met-Ed pole where it is illegally positioned.
The township renewed the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance policy for township employees, with no increase for the third straight year.
The supervisors have rescheduled their bi-monthly meetings to earlier dates rather than the customary second and fourth Wednesdays because of holidays at the end of the month. They meet again Wednesday this week and on Nov. 18 as well as Dec. 2 and 16. A final budget workshop will be held after the Nov. 18 regular meeting.
Neufeld, the township treasurer, said work on the 2021 township budget has "almost everything pretty well in hand. No tax increase," she said.
Supervisors held off any action on the Blue Ridge Cable Agreement after discussion during an executive session before the workshop, saying they need more information. They also tabled to the next meeting the issue of filling a Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator position.

Election Day 2020 Be Prepared for Voting at the Polls on November 3

Election Day 2020
Be Prepared for Voting at the Polls on November 3

PIKE COUNTY, PA — The Pike County Board of Elections wants to ensure all voters have a positive experience when heading out to the polls on Election Day, November 3. By planning ahead and being aware of what to expect, voters can prepare for voting in person at their polling place. All of Pike County’s 18 polling locations will be open and fully staffed from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

COVID-19 Safeguards

For the safety and protection of our voters and poll workers, all Pike County polling locations will be limiting the number of voters permitted inside the polling place at one time. Voters should dress appropriately for the weather and be prepared to wait outside.

Voters are asked to social distance and wear a mask, covering the nose and mouth, inside the polling place to protect themselves as well as poll workers and fellow voters.

Please bring your own pen, blue or black ink only, to sign in the poll book and mark your ballot. Single-use pens will also be available at the polls if needed.

Poll workers will be sanitizing voting booths and equipment in between voters, so be prepared for longer wait times.

Check Your Registration

To avoid any potential problems signing in at the polls, voters are encouraged to check their registration status in advance of November 3 at www.votesPA.com.

 

Is ID Required?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, first time voters or someone voting in a new polling place for the first time are required to show ID, either with photo or not.

The Department of State website at https://www.votespa.com/Register-to-Vote/Pages/Voter-ID-for-First-Time-Voters.aspx defines acceptable forms of photo identification as:

  • ID issued by any Commonwealth agency
  • ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • S. passport
  • S. Armed Forces ID
  • Student ID
  • Employee ID

If you do not have a photo ID, according to the Department of State, you can use the following forms of non-photo identification that include your name and address.

  • Confirmation issued by the County Voter Registration Office
  • Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth
  • Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government
  • Firearm permit
  • Current utility bill
  • Current bank statement
  • Current paycheck
  • Government check

Sample Ballots

Voters can preview what is on the ballot by viewing the sample ballots on the Pike County Elections Office website www.pikepa.org/elections.

When voting your ballot, be sure to follow all instructions. Completely fill in the ovals next to the candidate name in blue or black ink and be sure to vote both sides of your ballot.

A record voter turnout is expected on November 3. Please be patient and considerate of your fellow voters and poll workers.

For more information visit www.pikepa.org/elections or call 570-296-3427.

PennDOT Leaves Twp. Out Of Loop About 739 Closure

PennDOT Leaves Twp. Out Of Loop About 739 Closure
By Wayne Witkowski 
Pike County Dispatch - Thursday, October 1, 2020

DINGMANS FERRY -- Delaware Township supervisors are preparing for a scrap with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation because they were not completely informed that the work project they approved will close down part of Route 739 in early November.
Supervisors say the road closure, expected to take 5-7 days while a large culvert is installed in the road bed a few hundred feet west of Akenac Park, will hurt local businesses along the well travelled road. That includes the Delaware Plaza, under construction with Weis Market as the anchor store, which is expected to open by the end of the year, perhaps by early November.
"They (PennDOT) never told us about that," said Supervisor Rick Koehler after the bi-monthly general meeting last week when the supervisors discussed the topic at length. At the meeting, the supervisors had to pass retroactively a motion for their approval of the project that they had already granted to PernnDOT a few days earlier, voicing half-hearted "yes" votes.
The document, with printed copies available to the public at the meeting, simply is an authorization for the work of replacing the pipe, with no mention of closing the road. It would mean detouring traffic onto Doolan Road. Drivers also can take Log & Twig Road off Milford Road/State Route 2001 if they want to take the long loop to the Route 739 eastbound direction where they could reach Delaware Plaza and other businesses.
Supervisor Jane Neufeld said during the meeting the board never received an impact statement of the road closure, which raised the concern of the supervisors. "The impact is more than what was presented to us," said Neufeld. Township Administrator Krista Predmore said afterward it could become a "disaster" for businesses and drivers who would travel that way, particularly if winter weather conditions strike early.
"Our businesses have taken a big hit this year and we don't need to have this on top of it," Neufeld said.
Township Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker talked about requesting influential local lawmakers such as state Sen. Lisa Baker and state Representatives Mike Peifer and Rosemary Brown for help "in full force."
"They're the ones you need to speak to," said township Solicitor Tom Farley of the lawmakers. "PennDOT listens to them. They get things done. It works."
Also at the meeting, the board approved advertising for bid specifications on the Akenac Park maintenance building repairs as set forth by township Engineer Jon Tresslar of Boucher and James.
Township Roadmaster Vince Flatt was approved as a voting member for a three-year term representing the township on the Pike County Road Task Force. Supervisors also congratulated Flatt on his recent appointment as vice president of the Task Force. Chris Kimble was appointed as an alternate for the township, also for a three-year period.
The board also agreed to give a $300 donation requested by the Pike County Conservation District.
Pocono Spray Patching Inc. was approved a $2,330.11 change order for work on Myck Road.
Members of the township Recreation Committee talked during the workshop prior to the regular meeting about the idea of having a drive-through Christmas lights event at Akenac Park. The lighting fixtures would cost $2,500 and could be reused from year to year. Committee member Therasa Tarquini showed pictures of some lit attractions that people could see from their cars and not worry about being exposed to the coronavirus.
But Board of Supervisors chairman John Henderson said that money for the lights ultimately would come out of residents' taxes, which some people are hard-pressed to pay. "I don't want any senior (citizen) to say that 'because of your $2,500 purchase, I have to move.'"
One resident was skeptical that the turnout would not compare to the 300 people who came to last year's Christmas event at Akenac Park. saying, "I don't think many people will come out with what we are facing (the virus).".
The timeworn Akenac Park tennis courts were discussed. Predmore said the courts could not be repaired and would have to be replaced. Supervisors suggested that, if that happens, to include other activities such as racquet ball and pickleball, which combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.
After the meeting, Neufeld, as township Treasurer, gave her first presentation in a budget workshop and discussed the General Fund, Recreation Fund, state Liquid Fuels and long-term improvement projects. Township taxes have held steady in recent years. Early figures show a surplus of nearly $13,000 -- about $1,273,000 for income and about $1,261,000 for expenses.
She said, when asked, no businesses in the township were forced to close because of the slowdown during the coronavirus.
Neufeld said that although municipal tax revenue from sources such as real estate transfer tax is down by 10 percent, other sources of revenue have increased from a year ago. She said permit fees are "significantly up" as residents have been making home improvements while restricted to their homes during the coronavirus. She said the virus also forced cancellation of some Recreation Committee activities, including last weekend's Harvest Fest and the upcoming Trunk or Treat event which led to a surplus of $60,000. "We hope that by (next) April, COVID-19 will be under control," said Neufeld, meaning an increase in township activities.
She said road projects are caught up, for the time being, aside from a $200,000 revitalization of Log & Twig Road. She will continue to seek grants to cover a $700,000 improvement to the final area of need on Myck Road.
Neufeld said the township is looking into hiring interns for township offices and to buying some new computers, which were last purchased seven yearDs ago. She said the township also is considering buying laptops for part of the municipal system so office employees can bring them home to work out of the houses.

Black Bear Festival To Show Some Films At Akenac Park

Black Bear Festival To Show Some Films At Akenac Park
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch - Thursday, August 20, 2020 

DINGMANS FERRY -- Akenac Park has hosted a variety of seasonal events, as well as Music in the Park events that includes Saturday's Dingmans Ferry Theatre show when a professional singer performs a nostalgic Frank Sinatra review.
Supervisors at last week's Delaware Township board workshop heard and approved the latest request to the broadening spectrum: drive-in movies.
Max Brinson, president of the annual Black Bear Film Festival in Milford that was cancelled because of COVID-19 pitched the alternative to be shown on Oct. 16 and 17 at the spacious Camp Akenac grounds.
"With the festival cancelled, we wanted to do something," said Bronson. "We do not want to do this to make money but as a service to the community. In fact, it may lose money but last year we did so well, we have a surplus."
Brinson said each night will feature two movies --a "family-oriented" movie, followed by a "scary" one.
He said it will be limited to 100 cars that will be admitted at 5:30 p.m. each night. Tickets will cost $10 per car and must be purchased in advance on the website BlackBearFilm.com.
The audio will be broadcast via an FM transmitter that can be picked up on the car radio or on a Smartphone that can be carried via Youtube to the car speaker.
Brinson said afterward a number of sites were considered but Akenac's size and its location that is convenient to residents of the township and nearby Milford and to loyal film festival followers in nearby New Jersey and New York led to that choice.
Brinson said Black Bear volunteers will help run the event. Supervisors asked about electrical power and the availability of a generator. Township Roadmaster Vince Flatt said, "We can help with that."
Brinson said "we will learn a lot" watching how Saturday evening's Dingmans Ferry Theatre Sinatra review is handled. Supervisors asked Brinson to think about any other needs which he can present at an upcoming meeting.
Dennis Lee of the Dingmans Ferry Theatre also was on hand to talk about the upcoming show during the workshop. Because of COVID-19 precautions only 250 people, including cast and crew, will be allowed to attend the show that will be presented near the park's maintenance building.
Circles will be marked with washable paint that can dissolve for the proper 6-foot social distancing. Attendees must wear masks.
Admission is free and tickets are available at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Supervisors approved in a motion during the regular meeting after the workshop Lee's request to use the township's grill to sell hot dogs and hamburgers at the show under proper health restrictions and ServSafe certification. Drinks and packaged chips also will be sold. Lee also was allowed to look into selling popcorn.
Lee also asked that the township provide a portable bathroom as is done during movie nights at the park and for fire police to direct traffic.
Also during the regular meeting, supervisors unanimously approved a $17,765 update of security cameras by First Alarm Security of Honesdale at four locations in the township. It came after discussion during the workshop with First Alarm officials, who agreed to a 5 percent discount on the original rates. First Alarm became the service provider last year. "They (First Alarm) has been very responsive (when needed)," said Flatt. The work will take at least two weeks.
Work was approved starting Wednesday this week from state Liquid Fuels funding to Wayco Inc. for Log & Twig Road ($43,069.98) and Long Meadow Road ($23,315.28) and to Pocono Spraypatching Inc. $40,237.30) on the upper half of Myck Road. The lower half involves more expensive, detailed work tentatively for next year. "Hopefully we'll get the grant for that. We'll continue to patch," said Flatt.
Flatt said Long Meadow Road needs new 24-inch piping on essential used areas and surface treatment but no paving. He said most of the work on Log & Twig Road involves installing a box culvert that will close the road down to one lane of alternating traffic.
Supervisors approved the annual lease for the historical society occupying the Akenac Park building, which has been revised to include the society's addition of the closed library.
Two of the four needed township budget workshop dates were approved and they will start at 7:30 p.m. after the Board of Supervisors' regular meetings on Sept. 24 and Oct. 14. The first will be a broad look at the budget and the second one will include discussion with the township's volunteer fire department and ambulance corps. The remaining two are to be determined.
Supervisor Jane Neufeld said during the public comment period that the latest Treasurer's Report was to be posted on the website Monday this week. "Sixty-five percent of the year's spending happens before May and 70 percent of the income comes in by mid-July so it's a moving target."
Neufeld, during public comment, also encouraged residents to start preparations "for when the power goes out" during the onset of the hurricane season and the upcoming winter storms. "Residents should start to think about it with neighbors and relatives for accessibility and communications" to get help when needed. Neufeld said she thought about that after the two recent severe rainstorms that damaged the area and she praised the emergency responders and the township Public Works Department for clearing fallen branches and trees and other duties.
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson during public announcements urged residents who have not filed yet for the census to do so. ... He also said Pike County's Small Business Forgivable Loan Program is available at pikeforward.com.

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