The Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners held their workshop meeting yesterday. The agenda is available on the township website, and the video is available on Youtube. Only five members of the board were present, it was alluded the other members were ill.
New part-time police officer Michael Dolan was sworn in by Judge Gallagher.
A resident from Dogwood Ln. thanked the township for adjusting the speed bumps on Plush Mill Rd.
The board approved the hiring of officer Michael Dolan.
The marijuana decriminalization ordinance has not been advertised yet, so still not enacted.
Parks and Open Space
There was a lengthy discussion of where the township should place a new large welcome to Nether Providence sign, though it wasn’t clear where it came from. The board discussed multiple locations including places along 320, 252, Brookhaven, Rose Valley Rd. and Baltimore Pike but settled on placing it by Houston Park along 252 near Ridley Creek coming from Chester. The board suggested purchasing more smaller welcome signs.
Building and Zoning
There was an update on the items upcoming for the township’s zoning hearing board. I believe there was a request from 4 Bullens Ln. and some kind of exemption for one of the township’s professional offices to allow more employeees.
The board approved another Media Walk escrow release.
There was a lengthy discussion of the marijuana zoning ordinance. They have a draft ordinance which would restrict marijuana dispensaries and growers, vape shops and smoke shops to industrial districts (which are the bike shop/gas station in Ward 1 and the senior living center on Plush Mills). There was some discussion of including CBD and Cratom in the ordinance as well, but it wasn’t clear if these alterations were being made. There was also a discussion of how these businesses are defined in the ordinance. The board president is opposed to the ordinance, but it seems to have the support of most of the rest of the board. It wasn’t clear at the end of the discussion what the next step is. The board discussed sending it to the Planning Commission for review, the next step in the process, but it wasn’t clear that happened last night.
Finance and Administration
The board approved a contract with Spyglass Telecom Audit services, a company that will try to reduce the township’s telecommunications expenses and will take half the savings achieved. Otherwise, the contract will cost the township nothing.
The purchaser of the township’s 2016 Dodge Charger defaulted, so a new purchaser has been found for $13,800. The board approved the new sale agreement.
The board did the first reading of the proposed 2022 budget. As an exercise in transparency, this was not useful. The board ran through some of the line item numbers, but nothing was shared on screen, and more importantly, I didn’t hear the millage or sewer rates or the overall changes from the previous year. The presentation was clearly pro forma. The total budget for next year is about $7.8 million, and from this point the township can only make limited further adjustments to the announced budget. Hopefully once Commissioner McKenzie returns we’ll get a clearer picture of the proposed budget (and it’ll likely be posted to the website soon).
The board announced a hearing on Dec. 9th to hear proposals for CBDG grants, but I didn’t catch a time or location, so I’m not sure how useful that announcement was, it also seemed pro forma. Garden City Manor is the only location eligible for these grants to improve the area. The township received no funding through last year’s grant cycle.
The board approved reprinting the entire township code by General Code. Currently the township maintains its ordinance book on 6 x 9 paper, which almost noone uses anymore and is getting more expensive. It will cost $1290 to reprint the entire book on 8.5 x 11 paper. The township is required to maintain a printed copy of the ordinances (which are available online).
The board marked Veterans Day and thanked veterans for their service.
There was a lengthy discussion of yard waste hours at the township’s public works. The hours are currently limited and having the public in the public works yard is regarded as a safety hazard. Commissioner Molloy was brainstorming alternatives, and the board discussed putting out a contract to have yard waste pickup service like Swarthmore does once a month, possibly even a multi-municipal contract with neighboring townships. Or possibly combining a yard waste collection contract with the existing recycling contract as B&L does provide both services elsewhere. The board welcomes further ideas and comments on yard waste.
The board decided not to submit a green light go bid for improvements to intersections, and will wait until a red light grant program opens in the summer to request one at Turner and Baltimore Pike.
PennDOT is planning further improvements at Turner and Knoll with new signage and paving to make the turn there safer.
The county continues to offer vaccinations, now for children ages 5-11. There is information on four upcoming vaccination clinics for children on the website. Commissioner King also noted the school district is providing several vaccination clinics for children as well.
Delaware County has a new wellness hotline that you can reach by phone or email that will answer questions about how to find health services.
The township is hosting a Red Cross blood drive on Dec. 29th from 2-7 pm. You can sign up at the Red Cross’s website using Nether Providence.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is open to help people with heating costs, which are expected to rise this winter.
The Shade Tree Commission is planting trees in Martha Burton and Sapovitts Park on Nov. 20th starting at 10 am in Martha Burton Park before moving to Sapovitts Park.
The township is hosting a food drive dropoff. You can leave non-perishable items at the township building for the Media Food Bank.
The EAC meeting dates are changing due to the holidays to Nov. 17th at 7 pm and Dec. 15th at 6pm. The December meeting will be a strategic planning meeting for the upcoming year.
Because the next regular meeting would fall on Thanksgiving, the board decided to meet on Nov. 18th for a combined budget and legislative meeting.