Government

Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners Meeting, July 2021

The township board of commissioners held their single meeting for July last night. The video is available on Youtube here. Board President Micah Knapp and Commissioner Max Cooper were away, so board vice-president Matt Garson ran the meeting.

The meeting opened with a recognition of former township manager Gary Cummings who retired last year during Covid after decades as the township’s manager. This month’s meeting was the first in person meeting where the board could recognize his work. Gary Cummings oversaw the purchase and development of Houston and Furness Parks during his tenure (and the township building has a plaque suggesting he was there when it was built) and professionalized the role of the township manager in Nether Providence. Dave Grady also highlighted how he supported his fellow township staff and that his goofy stories were missed (at least by Dave).

There was a single public comment from Waterford Way asking for speed bumps on Harvey and Waterford to mitigate speeding in the area.

Solicitor Report

The solicitor highlighted changes to the Sunshine Act which requires boards to post agendas 24 hours before meetings and requires that anything substantive to be voted on be on the agenda. There’s some exceptions to this, but for the township board this mostly just codifies existing practices.

The solicitor also highlighted a state law requiring 5G antennas be allowed by-right. The township zoning will have to be altered to be brought into compliance with this new law.

Engineer Report

The engineer stated that both phases of street paving in the township are complete already.

Public Safety

The discussion of the recently adopted cameras policy was postponed until more of the board was present.

The board passed a motion to put stop signs at Blakeley and Cedar.

The board tabled a discussion of speed humps on Vernon by Sapovitts. Commissioner Molloy had some questions about speed mitigation measures and asked if the township’s Sidewalk Commission, which oversees pedestrian safety (and therefore speed mitigation), could be reactivated. Its been mostly dormant during Covid.

The board discussed changes to the intersection at Beatty and Baltimore Pike to make it easier to make right and left turns at the intersection. The township will ask PENNDOT to look at the intersection.

The board approved the July minutes.

Parks & Open Space

The DelCo Greenways grant program applications are due September 13th. No matching funds, and can be used for land acquisition for greenspace. The board is still brainstorming. If you have ideas, contact your commissioner.

The Martha Burton Park dedication will be on July 31st at 11 am. There will also be a park cleanup on July 24th at 9 am.

Building and Zoning

The board discussed the proposed changes to allow schools in the zoning code. The solicitor had drafted an ordinance to allow private schools in professional office and residential districts. The board noted that charter schools operated under the public school’s purview and any zoning changes wouldn’t apply to them (or public schools, which can ignore zoning). Commissioner McKenzie pointed out that nobody probably wanted a private school to suddenly pop up next door to them, so questioned why this zoning change should be done. The board decided to shelve the idea.

The board approved a waiver of the administrative fees for the permit for work at St. Johns church. They declined to waive the entire permit cost because part of it is paid to the company that does inspections for the township.

Finance

The police pension restatement saga continues.

The township continues working on which projects to best spend the American Recovery Act funds on.

The board discussed whether to extend the recycling contract. The board had previously said it might start a commission to look into how waste is handled in the township, but hasn’t taken any action on starting that. Given the timing, Commissioner Garson pointed out that they’d need to commit to the extension of the existing recycling contract because no alternative will be ready in time. Commissioner Molloy asked if the township could press the recycler for better information about what happens to the recycling from the township as they’ve been vague about it in the past.

The board discussed how to handle repayment from Aqua for road work done in Ward 4. It was decided to leave the road in question as it is now and fully repave it next year when the township can budget for the work and have it done more cheaply.

The board went through the usual bills list for everything from port-a-potties to dog waste bags to radio holders.

Community Enchancement

The township’s waiting for quotes on how much the comprehensive plan will cost before seeking grant funds for it.

The township’s EAC is looking into composting. It was noted that Media’s composting pilot program has ended and Media has moved onto composting town-wide. Most commercial composting in the region goes through Linvilla

Public Works

The board tabled street light considerations until more information is gathered.

The board approved a motion to move the no parking signs on Brookahven near Sackville Mills to improve sighting for those making turns.

The highway report was read and it was noted that the township has a fencer at the Olympics this summer.

Infrastructure

The lowest bid for the E Possum Hollow project was accepted for $622,344 and the total project amount was amended to $703,287.

The township solicitor has drafted a change to the sewer lateral inspection rules. The township manager asked for changes to make it clear that smoke and dye testing is only allowed if video inspection is not possible. The proposed changes will be revised and advertised.

The board is planning to apply for a MFT grant to continue work on the Providence Rd. sidewalk.

The township EAC will discuss a plastic bag ban in the township. Commissioners noted that this would only apply to a few businesses.

The board approved slightly increased expenses for removing trees ahead of the E Rose Valley Rd. project.

The DVRPC grants are opening soon with a 20% match. The township will apply for more work on the Providence Rd. sidewalk, but use a sidewalk project on Avondale Rd. if Providence is not eligible.

Township Manager

The township manager said that DelCo continues to offer vaccinations.

The Leiper house is re-opening on August 1st.

Saturday, July 24th is bulk trash drop-off at South Media Fire Company and Hepford Park from 10 am – 2 pm or until the dumpster is full. No electronics, hazardous waste, large appliances or commercial trash will be accepted. Residents will need to show an ID.

There is a blood drive upcoming at the township on August 3rd. Use code Nether Providence to find it on the Red Cross’s sign up page.

There is an Aprise program from Medicare educating senior citizens on how to use Medicare.

The next meeting is August 26th.

Categories: Government, NPTownship