The township held its regular meeting this week, the video is available on Youtube here.
A resident of Garden City was appointed as an alternate to the Zoning Hearing board. The board also voted to reform the commissioner’s assignments. Commissioners Garson, McKenzie and Knapp keep their assignments, but Commissioner Molloy is taking over Building and Zoning, Commissioner Barnes role is expanded to include community, health and the environment and Commissioner O’Connor combines infrastructure and public works. This frees up Commissioner Cooper to take up a new role as government relations working with neighboring municipalities and other levels of government.
The board drafted a letter to the President of the Court of Common Pleas asking for the district judge maps to be changed (more about this here). The new maps are a problem for Nether Providence and the WSSD community, and other groups are also sending letters as well. The board approved the letter with minor changes.
Parks and Open Space
The DCNR grant round is opening for 2022. Currently the township has 3 projects open under this program and is brainstorming for ideas for this year.
The board approved a grant agreement for the grant for work at Hepford Park. The Parks commission is looking at a pirate ship playground for Hepford.
NPAA soccer reached out to the board for work at the Houston Park fields, but the commissioners declined to provide financial support for the project as fields elsewhere need work more urgently.
Building and Zoning
Marijuana sales zoning will be discussed at the Feb 24 meeting hearing.
Changes to the R5b zoning to clean up the confusion mentioned last meeting are being drafted.
The development at 6-10 E Brookhaven Rd. has failed to build the sidewalks required in the plans. The first lot has already been sold and thus the sidewalk lost. The board voted to take court action to stop the other plots from being sold without either compensation or the sidewalk work being done.
Work on the comprehensive plan has begun, with a team forming to work on the plan. Commissioners Garson and Cooper will be the boards representatives on the team.
The board approved the township manager’s contract through the end of 2023.
The local share assistance grant is open. Its a broad grant that can be used for almost anything so is very competitive. The board discussed possible ADA improvements at the township building.
CRC’s annual stream cleanup will be happening at Leiper and Smedley Parks on March 26th from 9 to 11:30 am. You can sign up here.
DCED Greenways and Watershed grant programs are open, with a 15% match. ARP funds can be used as the match, so the township is keen to apply for them this year. Currently brainstorming.
The road resurfacing bids came in under budget by about $6k, so the township will be able to pave all the roads, including the alternates, on their road list.
There was a lengthy discussion of the plan to borrow money at currently low interest rates to do 5 years worth of road repairs. The proposal was to borrow $500k for 5 years to fix some (but not nearly all) of the poor roads in the township. Repayment of this loan would cost about half of the township’s normal road repair funds for each of the next 5 years. There were concerns that this would restrict the township’s ability to deal with the unexpected. There was also a suggestion that if these road repairs are so important, taxes could be raised to fund the necessary repairs (or to cover the cost of the loan). Ultimately commissioners decided to think about it for another 2 weeks.
Commissioner O’Connor heard back from the Putnam Rd. condos and one of the condo association leaders were strongly against speed mitigation improvements on Putnam. Further discussions will be held.
The Delcora 537 plan approval and letter were kicked another 2 weeks.
E Possum Hollow sidewalk work to begin on March 21st.
The bids for E Rose Valley came in above the grant amount, but before the estimate. The bids are $552k, but the engineer said this was the best price they’re likely to get as the township received 9 bids for the project. The township does have contingency funds it can use to cover the difference and voted to accept the bid. (editors note – I suspect part of the reason its so much higher than the grant is the grant was received several years ago at this point and there’s been inflation)
Covid vaccine and testing information continues to be available at the county website.
There are new federally funded utility assistance programs. The Pennyslvania Homeowner assistance program provides help on gas and utility bills, up to 24 months of outstanding bills up to $3,000. There are a jumble of acronyms of other programs available as well – LIHEAP, MEAF, CARES.
The township’s e-recycling/shredding event is happing Saturday at Gouley Park from 9 am to 1 pm. I linked to the flier here.
Citizens against trash is cleaning up 320 on Saturday at noon and meeting on President’s Day at the Leiper Trail on Avondale.
Tax bills are coming out in the next few weeks as well as the township newsletter and map.