The township board of commissioners held their regularly scheduled workshop meeting on September 9th, video is available on Youtube. The minutes were approved and there were no public comments. The solicitor reported on the 5G right of way planned ordinance and the engineer noted that the Glenn Rd. house demolition was out for rebid and due back later this month.
After several months of planning to review the cameras policy, the board discussed it only to decide they needed specific policy changes to consider. Several commissioners questioned the practicality of Commissioner Molloy’s suggested civilian review board, but instead it was suggested that the board itself might regularly review camera placements and issues. The board ended up taking no action to revise the camera policy.
The board voted to spend $2,500 from general funds to install cameras at Hepford Park due to graffiti.
The board discussed speed humps on Vernon Rd., but the data the township has collected does not indicate speed humps are warranted. The police department has taken other measures to increase enforcement in the area.
The board is following the lead of the county and considering a marijuana penalty reduction. This would make possession of <30 grams of marijuana a non-traffic citation instead of an arrest. The county district attorney has already said he will not prosecute these offenses. An ordinance will be drafted for the commissioner’s consideration.
The township has put in a speed reduction request with PennDOT for Waterville Rd. due to the poor sight lines and speeding along this stretch. The township also has outstanding requests for Turner near Knoll Rd. that PennDOT has agreed to improve. PennDOT has taken no action on requests to improve the intersection of Brookhaven and Waterville (which I cited as dangerous in my recent pedestrian safety write-up).
The Garden City Fire Company ladder truck was in an accident and will require ~6 months to repair. GCFC has found that Newtown Township has a similar ladder truck they have recently replaced and plan to sell. GCFC is hoping to rent it for around $8k/month. As it is a unique piece of equipment in the area, the commissioners went ahead and approved it with the hope that American Rescue Act funds can be used to fund this unexpected expense.
Parks & Open Space
DelCo Greenways grants are due next week. The township is putting in two requests. One is in collaboration with Swarthmore for $75k to extend the Leiper-Smedley trail to the planned circuit route trail around DelCo. The other proposal is to purchase an unspecified property along New Jersey Ave. for an unspecified amount of money for an unspecified purpose.
The township also plans to submit a PECO Greenways grant application for $10k to support further work at Furness Park to link up the trails there.
Building & Zoning
The board passed the 5G ordinance allowing the township to collect a permit fee from 5G installations in the right of way. The township had little say in how this is done as the state law supersedes the township’s authority.
The board released another $9k in escrow funds for the Media Walk development.
The board discussed a possible ordinance to restrict the location of marijuana dispensaries in the township. There is not currently one (the new CBD store on Baltimore Pike is not in the township, but Media), but the board wants to plan for that eventuality. There was discussion on limiting the sale of addictive substances (alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana) within 1000′ of schools. This would primarily affect the Pantry One location, though in principal it applies to the commercial property across from NPE as well. Commissioner Cooper pointed out that marijuana is less harmful than currently allowed alcohol or cigarettes and should be regulated in a similar manner to them. No decision was taken, the commissioners would like to consider it further and hear from residents on it before acting.
Family Fun Day is October 2nd at SHMS from noon – 3. Volunteers are needed! The township is investigating the possibility of having vaccinations at the event.
The board last month decided to ask NPAA if they were interested in renting the bungalow at Houston Park. NPAA said they were interested. Despite this, the commissioners decided to go ahead and rent it out again as a resident and consider long-term what else the house property could used for. If you know anyone interested in renting in Nether Providence, they can contact the township about the bungalow.
The Halloween decoration contest is returning. Contact the township if you are interested in having your house decorations considered in the contest.
Finance and Administration
The police pension restatement is almost ready for advertisement.
The engineer is still working on a list of possible projects for American Rescue Act funds.
There is a schedule of upcoming budget meetings over the fall (listed on the township’s website).
The board approved a accident and illness prevention manual suggested by DIVET, the township’s insurer.
The board approved extending the township’s recycling contracts for a year.
There was a lengthy discussion of the township’s minimum mandatory obligation for the pension funds. Pension funds seem to be in healthy condition as the township has been conservative in its estimates of future returns on investments.
The board was then forced to follow the new procedure required by the state to amend the agenda to add the sale of two police vehicles, adding several more minutes to the meeting for no clear benefit. The 2015 and 2016 Dodge Charges sold for $12,550 and $14,000 respectively.
The board voted to go ahead with street lights at Scott + Cooper, but are waiting on new residents at Scott + Wilder before placing lights there.
The public works department has created a leaf replacement schedule that has been posted on the website. This plan has buffers to allow for equipment problems and weather delays so hopefully public works will be better able to keep up with the schedule this year.
There is a meeting with the Possum Hollow sidewalk contractor later this month and hopefully more details of the project will be available then.
Delcora is currently developing a plan to reroute sewage from Philadelphia to its Chester facility. Currently Delcora pays Philadelphia large sums of money for overflows into its system. Both Philadelphia and Delcora want this to end and Delcora is planning. The projects are currently up for public comment. You can find details at Delcora’s website. The projects will likely result in rate increases to cover the cost (although it will save money in the long term).
Vaccinations are still available, see county website.
COSA is celebrating senior month.
There are two food truck events in the township tonight (Sept. 10th).