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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
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

Delaware Touts Sinatra Concert Next Month

Delaware Touts Sinatra Concert Next Month
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch - 7/16/20

DINGMANS FERRY -- It is anticipated to be the biggest music event for the Delaware Township
vicinity since the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, joined by rock music star Linda
Rondstadt, performed at nearby Mountain Laurel Performing Arts Center about 10 years ago.
Before that, Crosby Stills & Nash as well as the Allman Brothers graced the Tamiment amphitheater stage in Lehman Township.
This time, residents will see Jim Manfredonia give a free tribute concert performance of Frank
Sinatra on the evening of Aug. 22 at Akenac Park.
There are many highly regarded renditions of the "old blue eyes" swing music legend who died
in 1999 but Dennis Lee of the Dingmans Ferry Theater, who has led the way in putting the show
together, says Manfredonia's characterization is "legit."
Lee gave an update of the preparations for the show during last week's Delaware Township
Board of Supervisors meeting.
"It's the biggest thing in a long time here," said Lee of Manfredonia, who already has
established a big reputation of himself in the Philadelphia area. "People have been shut in from
the COVI(D-19) virus for so long and want to come and enjoy a night out."
A backdrop of film clips from the Sinatra era will enhance the show.
He said about eight volunteers from the theater company have put together a 20-foot by 20-foot stage that will have theatrical lighting.
Lee said he is auditioning local talent that will give complementary performances with Manfredonia.

"This will come together," said Lee afterward.

The concert idea began when Manfredonia reached out to Lee, a former schoolmate and

Manfredonia offered to perform a rendition of Sinatra songs for Lee and his neighbors.
To support Lee's efforts, the supervisors at last week's meeting approved an Akenac Park use
request by Lee and the Dingmans Ferry Theatre under the Delaware Township Recreation
Committee for performance rehearsals 5-9 p.m. Monday through Sunday effective immediately
and then from 5-11 p.m. for two weeks through Aug. 23 when the stage will be taken down.
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson made it clear that this is not a private entity putting on a show in a municipal venue as some may question. "It's being done by the
(township) Rec Commission and the Dingmans Ferry Theater is sponsoring it," said Henderson.
"It's like what we do for Harvest Fest and for our Christmas at the park."
Also at the meeting, the board agreed to adopt the Coronavirus Workplace Policy, effective
immediately. Supervisor Jane Neufeld called it a "reasonable" policy.
The policy advises those exposed to known or suspected COVID-19 or possible COVID-19 to
undergo a diagnostic test. According to the policy, if results are negative, and symptoms are
determined to be not COVID-19 related, employees may return to work once symptoms
subside. "If results are positive, self-isolation is required and an employee shall only return to
work once the employee is cleared by a healthcare professional," it reads.
"Self-quarantine is recommended for employees who have been directly exposed to the virus or
who have traveled to areas where there are large numbers of people infected in order to
prevent further transmission for a period of 14 days."
The policy says that if exposed to COVID-19 or believed to be exposed to COVID-19, an
employee shall stay home, except to receive medical care, and work remotely.
It states that all employees working for Delaware Township are required to adhere to Center for
Disease Control (CDC), state, county and township orders, guidelines, policies and procedures
at all times. "Failure to adhere to all required orders, guidelines, policies and procedures may
lead to disciplinary action, including termination," the policy reads.
The supervisors asked how it has been determined where an employee has been if they have
traveled. "We don't ask that but we do ask where they are going," said township Administrator
Krista Predmore.
"Hopefully they'll be honest and protect everyone else," said Predmore.
Township Solicitor Tom Farley stressed that the township is following CDC policy. "We've been
working at it and it's been successful so far," he said.
In other coronavirus matters, the board voted, 2-1, against a proposal for 13 no-touch sink
faucets for all township bathroom facilities by a contractor for $14,734.48. "It's an awful lot of
money," said Henderson. "You can't live in a bubble," said resident Steve McBride, who
wondered about no-touch paper towels and toilet paper dispensers and door handles coming
next. Neufeld cast the lone "yes" vote.
The board also agreed to re-advertise for the Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, an
effort first done earlier in the year before the coronavirus sidetracked that idea and some other
municipal issues.
Three road bid projects were awarded to low bidder Wayco for Spencer Road ($29,044.20),
Weber Road ($27,750.92) and Ball Park Road ($46,150.00). Henderson asked about that
contractor's work on previous township road projects and heard some critical remarks from
roadmaster Vince Flatt and resident McBride. "We'll have to keep an eye on that," said
After favoring a singular bid to replace the township garage roof, the supervisors reversed gear
and agreed to turn the project over to township Engineer Jon Tresslar to see whether the roof
can be replaced or coated.
The board agreed to hold and advertise a joint public hearing with the Delaware Township Board
of Supervisors and the Delaware Township Planning Commission 7:15 p.m. on July 22
regarding the Black Bear subdivision.
The 600 acres were split, with the current owner retaining half the property and selling the other
half to a new owner. Farley pointed out most of the property lies in Dingman Township but about
30 acres are in Delaware Township. The Pike Planning Commission already approved the move
but wants both townships to be in agreement.
Farley said the property at this point appears to be dedicated to recreation purposes such as
hiking. bicycling and riding land vehicles.
Supervisors agreed to distribute second quarter Fire Taxes of $117,394.11 to the Delaware
Township Volunteer Fire Company.
They agreed to renew the annual agreement with Portland Contractors Inc. for certified water
operations of township facilities.
Supervisors approved a field use request by Matthew Oehlmann Memorial Softball League for
fields 1 and 3 on Sundays, July 19 through Sept. 27,9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The board agreed to host and advertise Delaware Township Library free books days on July 21
and 23 from 3-6 p.m and July 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The library is closing down and turning
over its space in the Akenac Park building to co-tenant Dingmans Ferry-Delaware Township
Historical Society, which has pointed out its need for more room for its expanding displays.
Supervisors approved a municipal hall use request by the U.S. Census Bureau for orientation of
Census Enumerators on Thursday, July 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Census response has been
slow in Pike County.

The board, during its workshop prior to the regular meeting, was surprised to receive a
proposed Keeping of Animal Ordinance from the township Planning Commission but, after
lengthy discussion, refused to put it to a vote. The ordinance concerns homeowners who have
roosters, chickens and horses on their property. It addresses complaints from some neighbors
about noise from those animals.
Henderson seemed surprised this came back from the Planning Commission because he said
the supervisors had looked at it previously. "I don't recall asking the Planning Commission to
come up with this," said Henderson. "We are in a rural area and I've lived here 22 years and
what I see is people want less regulations, not more. I never heard one complaint about (those)
animals." Neufeld said she heard complaints about noise from chickens and roosters but
expressed doubt for the need for an ordinance. "I really think this is overkill," said Henderson.

Twp. Holds On To Emergency Declaration

Twp. Holds On To Emergency Declaration
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch

DINGMANS FERRY -- Two items that did not go to vote captured most of the discussion from a
larger gathering than usual during a Delaware Township Board of Supervisors workshop
session preceding a brief, routine general meeting.
One questioned whether the township should drop its Emergency Declaration regarding the
COVID-19 pandemic.
"If we drop the (emergency declaration) resolution, we may drop our COVID-19 funding," said
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson.
Henderson said that would include applying for reimbursement of expenses regarding the
emergency. As a case in point later in the regular meeting, the supervisors pointed to their
approved motion to spend $1,200.92 to buy 14 touchless paper towel dispenses from Amazon
for township buildings.
"It is worth keeping," said township Solicitor Thomas Farley, referring to the emergency
The sentiment was to wait until action is taken by the state to remove emergency measures.
The other item involved whether the township should be declared a Second Amendment
Sanctuary, already was approved by Shohola and Blooming Grove townships. Henderson and
Supervisor Jane Neufeld expressed skepticism during a half-hour public discussion before they
later declined to advance it to a motion for the regular meeting.
"We're not trying to change any gun laws; it's a money resolution," said Bob Roche, a Second Amendment Sanctuary activist who presented the issue to the supervisors with Patti Coombs, who is a township resident.
Many of the gathering who came to hear discussion of the issue applauded at times over points
explained by Coombs about the Second Amendment Sanctuary that were also taken by them to
county and state government officials. Roche said afterward that 2,000 Pike County residents
have signed a petition favoring the idea.
They spoke at the workshop of what could become more oversight and a broader range of gun
ownership restriction and registration by townships that would incur greater expense.
Resident Stephen McBride shared the supervisors skepticism, saying that everyone in
government is sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment right to bear
arms. "That's a problem when everybody is making a personal discussion to fight the law,"
McBride said. "I don't think this is necessary."
Others shared that idea that the Second Amendment is all that is needed.
Some questioned use of the word "sanctuary," saying it could be confused with the idea of
sanctuary cities that harbor immigrants.
"I don't like the word sanctuary," said Supervisor Rick Koehler. "If the county passes this, it
sends the state a warning that people will fight back to defend the Second Amendment.
"Will this do any good? I don't know but if it makes people feel good about it, I think so," said
Roche said that word can be changed to "resolution."
Henderson said one amendment of the Constitution should not be singled out. "All of them are
important," said Henderson.
"It feels wrong for local government to put forth a resolution that is favoring rather than
containing all interests, said Supervisor Jane Neufeld. "We're declaring something here unlawful
and unconstitutional and I have a problem with that."
Roche said after the meeting that many residents expressed their support, but more might have
come because it was "on short notice put on the agenda for tonight."
"My opinion of this meeting is they'll hear from residents of the township to voice their opinion,"
said Roche.
During the regular meeting, the supervisors approved an Aug. 1 fundraiser from 2-5 p.m. at
Akenac Park and also for the Dingmans Ferry Theater, a private organization, to host a free live
performance for the public at the park on Aug. 22 featuring a Frank Sinatra Review by a state
impersonator, with proper liability insurance coverage and compliance with state guidelines.
Supervisors said people must bring their own chairs and facemasks to the show, which is being
funded by the township historical society through the Richard Snyder Foundation.
In road bids opened by township solicitor Farley, Wayco was the lowest of two bidders (Linde was the other) for projects for Ball Park Road ($46,151.10), Spencer Road ($29,044.20) and Weber Road ($27,750.92). It will be voted for approval at the July 22 meeting after a review of the bid prices by the township engineer.
Enid Resto was appointed seasonal part-time Akenac Park supervisor at a a rate of $14.25
and four lifeguards were hired for the lake. Township Administrator Krista Predmore was
tasked with finding two more lifeguards.
Supervisors tabled a motion to spend $18,294.70 to update the 30-camera township security
system for six locations under First Alarm Security. "Do we need all this stuff," said Henderson,
as supervisors agreed to find a local professional expert to evaluate the plan.
Supervisors agreed to amend the field use approval of the Pike County Women's Softball
League. The new dates are July 12-Aug. 23 for Sundays from 3:30-8 p.m.
Supervisors approved the request of the Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps for
township employees to mow the grass once a month on its property. Roadmaster Vince Flatt
said the township has been doing that during the pandemic and would be willing to continue
when it has the time for it.
During the workshop, a member of the Dingmans library acknowledged the decision at the last
meeting to close the library part of a building in Akenac Park shared by with the Dingmans Ferry
Delaware Township Historical Society to the society to accommodate its growing display but
also asked that a plaque commemorate the service of longtime library officers. The library
spokesperson said the historical society can use the library furniture for free if it wants to do

Delaware Does Prep Work For Reopening Akenac Park

Delaware Does Prep Work For Reopening Akenac Park
By Wayne Witkowski

DINGMANS FERRY -- Delaware Township Board of Supervisors, at its monthly meeting carried
on Zoom videoconferencing, discussed some changes for reopening the township's recreation
usage of Akenac Park. It comes in the aftermath of the state's reclassifying the COVID-19 alert
system in Pike County from red to yellow.
After considerable discussion of the Pennsylvania Park & Recreation Society COVID-19
reopening guide, the board agreed for the Delaware Township-Dingmans Ferry Historical
Society to resume work on the building it shares in Akenac Park. The building will not be open to
the public for the time being, however.
The board also approved work on a cabin in the park to start an Akenac Theater. "It's a black box theater approach that's still very much in the works," said township Administrator Krista Predmore.
Also approved were motions to rent four port-a-johns -- two at Akenac Park and two at the ballfields off Wilson Hill Road -- and to re-advertise for lifeguards at the park's lake and other seasonal personnel. Appointments
will be made at the next meeting.
Supervisors discussed the need to hire someone for the summer season, aside from the lifeguards, to enforce at the park social distancing and other safety guidelines.
"I had just gotten the reopening guidelines yesterday and it's 28 pages so I need more time to go through it before the next meeting," said board Chairman John Henderson. "We need to take two weeks (to the next meeting) to come up with solutions."
Henderson said that having four port-a-johns would be more cost-effective for disinfecting than
to have to treat much larger bathrooms.
"We have the new guidelines for this. There was one set of guidelines on May 12 and then new
guidelines on May 23 that are substantially different," said Predmore. "We're trying to be
compliant to keep people safe."
Predmore said afterward that conditions that will lead eventually moving into the color green
coding are "very difficult. They change constantly and we've had no timeline provided about
when we will go green."
Henderson said it is not decided whether the next meeting will be a Zoom videoconference, like
the latest two meetings, or a return to the customary in-person style at the municipal hall with
social distancing guidelines enforced.
Predmore said the township wants to resume in-person meetings "at some point" under strict
health guidelines of hand sanitizers supplied and social distancing.
She said the township office is open to the public but residents and contractors are required to
wear masks upon entering.
"For use of the building, we have to have everything in place," said Predmore. "If it's a gathering
of 25 (people) or less, we need social distancing and those people using the building (for
meetings or activities) may have to pay for sanitation that takes place after they use the
Going from red to yellow is a welcome change for now, said Predmore after the meeting.
"It's a very frustrating situation to be in," Predmore said, "People want to get out and enjoy the
summer weather. It was really packed here for Memorial Day weekend and some of the people
visiting were not observing the guidelines. We're all frustrated and want to go back to normal
In his Pike County Road Task Force update, township Roadmaster Vince Flatt said Dingmans Bridge will
be closed from June 1-12 for annual inspection and maintenance and resume manned toll
collection when it is reopened.
Flatt said full milling and paving along Route 739 from the bridge to Arnold’s convenience store
is under way. Full milling and paving on Milford Road/State Route 2001 from Arnold's to Log
Tavern Road and from Log Tavern to Interstate 84 has a let date of May 21 for bids with a
notice to proceed on July 6. "Please remember that the contractor has one year to start the
project (from that date)," said Flatt.
Although the board did not comment while announcing the state's reclassifying Pike County from
a red alert to yellow, Supervisor Jane Neufeld commented afterward, "We're trying to move
ahead and do what we have to do. The township still is a declared 'disaster' area."
In other meeting news, the board approved a resolution to apply for a Pennsylvania Emergency
Management Agency grant to cover expenses related to COVID-19 and Predmore will organize
a list of those costs. It must be submitted by September.
One expense approved at the meeting was to pay ServePro $3,915 to disinfect the township
municipal hall on Tuesday this week following Primary Election Day voting that will take place there.
Supervisors agreed to close the township office and have staff work remotely on election day
and the following day while the building is being disinfected.
The board adopted Resolution 2020-10 for a Pennsylvania Department of Community and
Economic Development $300,000 grant under the Multimodal Transportation Fund for repair
work on Log & Twig Road.
Miscellaneous road improvements were approved under the state's Liquid Fuels fund for three
road projects -- Spencer Road, Weber Road and Ball Park Road -- per Pennsylvania
Department of Transportation specifications.
"We hope to get that done this year," said Neufeld after the meeting. "Bids and road work were
delayed (with the coronavirus outbreak) and we hope to get bids back. This (normally) would
have been started in February."
But the Delaware Plaza project on Route 739 anchored by Weis Market has been back on track
for a month, following the governor's decree in early May to allow for construction work to
resume. Supervisors estimate that the plaza, which originally was expected to be completed by
late summer before the two-month coronavirus shutdown, will be opened by the end of the year.
Also at the meeting, supervisors extended by an additional 30 days the Delaware Township
Volunteer Ambulance Corp's shared use of the township's band on the radio repeater while the
ambulance corp repairs or replaces its own band.
A $5,363.57 final payment was approved by the supervisors at the meeting for H&P
Construction Inc., as recommended by the township engineer, for its municipal roof replacement
project that was completed before the coronavirus shutdown.
Also approved was a $1,560 payment for ABS Solutions to renew Microsoft 365 for the
municipal offices for platforms such as Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel.
Supervisors approved the rescheduled date request of Sept. 12 for the Delaware Township
Democratic Club's craft fair. A June 6 date originally was approved before the coronavirus
outbreak forced postponement.
Private community Marcel Lake's request was approved by the board to use the municipal hall
from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 18 for a community meeting.
Along with announcing the county's move to the yellow coronavirus alert phase, board Chairman
Henderson also announced that federal income tax filing has a new deadline of July 15. He said
the property tax relief passed by the state extends the discount period through Aug. 31 and
waives penalties through Dec. 31 if taxes are paid in full by that time.

Henderson also announced that driver's licenses that expired before April 30 during the virus outbreak now
have a May 31 expiration, the License to Carry Firearms permits are extended to July 31 and
federal Real ID enforcement deadline is postponed to Oct. 1, 2021.
Henderson stressed the importance for residents to participate in the census, which takes only
a few minutes to fill out and can be completed by clicking on or by
calling (844) 330-2020.
The supervisors stressed that the census tabulations affect federal and state money appropriated to the
township and for funding schools, roads and many other things.

Pike County Primary Election COVID-19 Safeguards at Polls

Pike County Primary Election COVID-19 Safeguards at Polls

May 21, 2020

PIKE COUNTY, PA – All Pike County Polling Locations will be open from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm on June 2, 2020 for in-person voting during Pennsylvania’s Primary Election.

Voters heading to the polls are asked to bring their own pens, blue or black ink only, for signing the poll book and marking their ballot. Disposable pens will be available to anyone who does not bring their own.

Voters are asked to wear a mask inside the polling place. No one will be denied their right to vote for refusing to wear a mask, however, many of our poll workers are in the high-risk demographic and will be exposing themselves to the public for more than 14 hours while conducting the election.

We ask you to honor their courage and commitment by wearing a mask to protect them and out of respect for your fellow voters who may have conditions that put them at risk.

The number of voters allowed inside the polls at one time will be limited to no more than 10, but may be less depending on the size of the room and will be left to the discretion of the Judge of Elections.

Voting booths and equipment will be sanitized after each voter so wait times may be longer. Plexiglass shields will be in place at sign-in and ballot-issue stations.

Maintaining a 6-foot distance between voters while waiting in line inside and outside the polling place will be enforced.

Pike County polling places will be fully staffed and operational for the June 2 Primary Election due to the dedication of our poll workers and their willingness to carry out their Election Day duties during this pandemic.

They have stepped up to do their part. We are asking our voters to do theirs.

Wear a mask, be patient, be considerate, be respectful. Working together we are confident Pike County can conduct a safe and secure election on June 2. Thank You Pike County Board of Elections


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