The township Board of Commissioners held their regular meeting on July 14th, the video is available online.
Public Comments and Appointments
There was a moment of silence to mark the passing of the mother of one of the township’s public works employees.
An alternate to the Zoning Hearing Board was appointed as a full member to fill a vacancy, alternates are needed to keep the board staffed.
There was a complaint about a new sidewalks which is above a resident’s yard and has created a hazard, but the township can’t do anything to resolve the issue as it was built according to plans.
A surveyor for the 6 Chestnut Pkwy was present and the board reviewed the proposal but did not take action. The board was in favor of the Shade Tree Commission’s recommendations for native plants instead of invasives but rejected the county planning board’s suggestion that the subdivision require a sidewalk on Chestnut due to the dangerous nature of the roadway there for pedestrians. They are awaiting further information on other issues before making a final decision next month.
Many residents from Moylan and Swarthmore were present to voice their opposition to PECO’s ongoing efforts to remove trees. PECO has come to Moylan to install taller poles and higher voltage power lines, which will require the removal of 50+ mature trees. The board has no authority to stop PECO but will help organize meetings between residents and state officials. Residents from Swarthmore were present as PECO has proposed a similar project there that has met fierce resistance. Many residents questioned the ongoing need for above ground lines when new developments are required to bury them.
Parks and Open Space
Movie night in Hepford Park was a success. The next movie night is August 13th at Sapovits Park at 8:15 pm.
The board approved drafting an ordinance for a stop sign at Hastings and Beech. This stop sign had been rejected multiple times previously, but the board says it now meets the warrants for a stop sign and will move ahead. I’m not sure what changed.
The sidewalk committee is being restarted, after becoming dormant during the pandemic. The sidewalk committee is a traffic and pedestrian safety committee, so if you’re interested, let your commissioner know.
The board authorized civil service testing for new part time officer(s) and the purchase of a 2022 Chevy Tahoe for the department as well as the sale of a 2017 Charger.
Finance and Administration
The board approved a change that will cost those with overdue bills $25 for Portnoff to send them a notice (this change was required by law apparently).
The board is withholding some escrow from the 6-8 Brookhaven Rd. subdivision due to problems with the sidewalk.
The board discussed changing pension contributions to monthly or quarterly instead of annually so the funds are invested earlier. Wasn’t clear to me which they ended up going with, but it was approved. The board also authorized a study to reform the township’s pension system, which hasn’t been looked at in a while to allow greater flexibility for those that retire early or work longer.
There was a discussion of using the money from the loan the township took out for road work. Because the cost of asphalt is so high this late in the season, it doesn’t make sense to start any work before next year.
Community, Health and Environment
B+L declined to extend the recycling hauling contract so it will go out to bid again. The board discussed adding an optional provision with a clause to increase the payments if gas prices change, which is the reason B+L declined the extension for the previous contract.
For the EAC report, there was mention of a draft plan being circulated for a committee to study township waste practices.
Infrastructure and Public Works
Speed humps on Putnam have been delayed due to personnel shortages in public works. Should be done by the winter though.
The board discussed options for the multimodal grant program. They discussed crosswalk beacons at Kershaw or Chatham or continuing sidewalk work on Providence (or both). They approved moving forward with an application with some combination of these projects.
A contractor has asked for a further $13.5k for paving work due to rising asphalt costs. The solicitor is reviewing the request.
The township is required to pass a stormwater ordinance, and the county has supplied a model ordinance. The board is considering whether to have the township or property owners do the required inspections.
The township met with Aqua and PECO and negotiated a repaving plan for Moore Rd. that will get it paved from Pennsylvania to Bickmore at a cost to the township of only $3,216.
Building and Zoning
The board passed the R5b zoning amendment that brings the code up to date to allow the kind of housing that already exists there to exist there.
There was a preliminary discussion of the need for an ordinance for ground based solar arrays. The board wants input from its committees regarding this issue.
SEPTA is conducting a trolley modernization survey.
The county is forming a committee to determine what to do with the new park at the Don Guenella track it purchased. Applications are due by July 22nd.
The county is hosting a job fair on July 16th from 10-4 at the Upper Darby municipal center.
The recycling dumpster has returned to the public works garage, but the county left it padlocked for unknown reasons.
Furness Library is doing a community survey to help their strategic planning.
The Red Cross is holding a blood drive at the township building on August 3rd from 2-7 pm.
FEMA is encouraging residents to speak to their insurance agent regarding flood insurance. (editorial note – PA is supposed to become rainier as the climate changes, so do consider this)