The Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners held their usual once a month summer meeting last night. Unfortunately much of the first 20 minutes, including most of public comments is without audio, so we won’t know what was said until the official minutes get posted in a month or two. The video of the long, 3 hour meeting is available on Youtube here.
- The board of commissioners approved a township camera policy largely identical to Media’s, though with a shorter notice period. The township is moving ahead with two cameras at Sapovitts Park and considering deploying them elsewhere. The board also plans to revisit the policy next month for adjustments. There was discussion of better civilian oversight, but its not clear how or if that might happen.
- The board approved the public comments resolution and will seek to provide guidance at meetings for those commenting. The resolution largely codifies existing practice.
- The board approved a 4-way stop at Blakeley and Cedar, but may wait to advertise it with something else to save money.
- The board approved purchasing two more radar speed signs with forfeiture money.
Parks & Open Space
- The board approved the lighting agreement for Houston Park negotiated by NPAA baseball and nearby residents.
- A DelCo Greenways grant with no required match just opened, proposals due by 9/13.
- The board approved the offer letter for the flood-prone Glenn Rd. property being purchased using PEMA money. The multi-year saga continues.
- The Martha Burton Park dedication is tentatively scheduled for 10 am on July 31st.
Building and Zoning
The major item in building and zoning are proposed changes to the township’s zoning code to allow more private and charter schools. The discussion at last month’s board meeting was very misleading. Public schools are allowed to build wherever they want – they are not subject to the township’s zoning code. The proposed zoning changes are only to facilitate the building of private and charter schools in the township. There was a lengthy discussion, and ultimately the board decided to go ahead with drafting changes to the township zoning code to allow private and charter schools in commercial, industrial, residential and professional office zoning areas by special exemption. This means, however, that it would be up to opponents of these schools to state why the exception should be disallowed, so the opposition to private and charter schools would have the burden of proving these schools should not be built at the township’s Zoning Hearing Board.
If you believe in strong public schools, I encourage you to learn more about this. The draft zoning changes being proposed will make it easier for private and charter schools to undermine our prized public schools here in Nether Providence.
- The board approved another $5k escrow release for the Media Walk development.
- There was discussion of advertising on large vehicles parked in private drives, but no action was taken.
- No cases are before the Zoning Hearing Board this month.
Finance and Administration
- The police pension restatement issue seems to be ongoing and is in danger of being rolled into negotiations for next year’s police contract.
- The township is working out what it can do with funding received as part of the American Recovery Act.
- The township is planning to hire a company to collect local service taxes as its been difficult for the township to keep track of the many payments.
- The board approved new signers for some of its bank accounts.
- The board approved the usual payment of invoices and bills.
- The township will seek bids for its own comprehensive plan, as it decided not to participate in a multi-municipal one as last time. The township will seek grant opportunities for the expense.
- In further proof irony is dead in politics, the board decided to submit a proposal for the Healing the Planet – Keep PA Green grant program to fix a bridge and install parking at Houston Park.
With Commissioner O’Connor out, much of the agenda here was postponed. The board approved widening a no parking area on Brookhaven to make the intersection at Sackville Ln. safer. The board also approved a change order to remove Sheffield Ln. from the repaving list as Aqua plans to do work there.
- The E Possum Hollow sidewalk project bids came in more than $30k over budget. The board decided to wait to hear if the township receives more funds for the project before deciding what to do.
- The one bid received for the CDBG sewer project was also over budget, but the township has already received approval for the additional funds and the board voted to accept the bid.
- The board got another request for exemption from lateral sewer inspection and refused it again.
- The board voted to approve drafting a change to the ordinance to allow smoke and dye tests for lateral sewer inspections where video tests are not possible.
- The board plans to submit a MTF grant to further extend the Providence Rd. sidewalk.
- A DVRPC transportation alternatives grant period is opening this fall and the township may apply for further funds for sidewalks.
- Commissioner Molloy updated the board on the work the EAC is doing regarding composting and residential solar.
- Covid vaccination information remains available on the county’s website. Pop-up clinics are open across DelCo providing vaccinations.
- E-recycling and shredding is planned for July 17th at Gouley Park.
- The first community clean-up day for residents since Covid-19 started is tentatively planned for July 24th. Dumpsters will be available at Hepford Park and South Media Fire Company.
- A blood drive is planned for August 3rd at the township building.
- The DelCo rental assistance program has funds to help those having trouble paying rent.
- This meeting was the last where public comments will be accepted online, though accommodations may be made on a case by case basis.
- New signs are being installed at parks. The Leiper House has requested one for Leiper Park.
- The next meeting is July 22nd.