Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the township board held their second meeting of the month a week early. It was one of the shortest meetings of the board ever. The video is on youtube here and the agenda is on the township’s website.
Township officials and Rep. Krueger and Sen. Kane met with PECO to discuss their upcoming work in 2023. They have 4 projects planned – Park Ridge, Moylan-Media, Copples and W Possum Hollow Rd. All projects will result in tree removals with ~85 in Moylan-Media and ~30 in Copples. Tree removal at W Possum Hollow is unknown yet. PECO says it will use trees from PHS to replace those cut down, but it was a bit vague on the details. PECO will reach out to affected home owners.
Infrastructure and Public Works
Commissioner O’Connor is still recovering from surgery (hopefully he’s back on his feet soon), so he was virtual for this meeting.
The solicitor continues to work on the Public Right of Way for Utilities ordinance.
The board discussed the state’s H20 and small water grant program, but it was mostly the same discussion as the previous week.
Bids came back for the Pine Ridge sewer work that’s urgently needed. Residents have reported additional sinkholes in the area. The lowest bid was withdrawn and the second lowest bid was $280k, which is ~$5k more than planned. The commissioners approved the project to be paid for by ARPA money.
Two police sergeants are retiring within the next 16 months through the DROP program so Chief Splain has asked to conduct a sergeants exam to have officers ready to step into their places as they retire. The tests will probably be administered in January to give the officers time to study. The board approved the exams.
Finance & Administration
The 2023 draft budget is available not only at the township building, but on the front page of the township’s website as well with the budget presentation. The only adjustments since last week were $1k for repairs at the Leiper house and $30 for the historical society. Final assessment numbers came from the county and were slightly higher than expected.
The board has received an Earned Income Tax study. I hadn’t realized they’d requested this, but apparently they still have too many questions about the report to discuss it yet. This would be an income tax to either bring in more revenue for the township or offset property taxes (or a little of both depending on how the township structures it).
The board went through the bills list. The township normally buys discounted fuel from the school district, but the pumps at the district are sometimes down so the township is looking for other sources of tax-free fuel.
Community Health and Engagement
The 2023 Community Block Development Grant round is coming up. Township manager Dave Grady was the only person to attend the interest meeting, so our chances look pretty good thanks to his endeavor. Garden City Manor is the only area of the township eligible, and with the grant amounts from previous years there’s about 2 years worth of roads remaining to resurface, so the township is considering applying for that. If you have other ideas, let the commissioners know before Dec. 8th.
The township received two bids for yard waste collection. The lowest bid was $44/location. This would be 1/month yard waste collected from resident’s homes. The fee would be rolled into the recycling fee. Combined with other increases in the recycling fee, this would result in the recycling fee doubling for township residents. The commissioners discussed if it wouldn’t be better to have more hours for the public works garage for yard waste drop-off instead of 1/month pickup for residents. The commissioners suggested maybe hiring another public works person instead of placing further tasks on current public works staff, but it wasn’t clear to me how much this would cost vs. the 1/month yard waste collection. If you have an opinion on this, let your commissioner know in the next few weeks before they have to decide on the bid.
Building and zoning
The Zoning Hearing Board will hear requests for variances as well as a request for a GCFC shed.
The Shade Tree Committee will be planting trees at 11 am this morning (Saturday) at Houston Park. Meet in the parking lot and dress warm. The boy scouts will also be helping.
Campaign signs can be dropped off outside the Township’s Public Works garage. The township will take them to the county’s dropoff.
Nov. 14-18 was crash responder week as mentioned previously.
The township has sent out notices warning people of the dangers of putting leaves in the streets. Don’t put leaves in the streets!
The state property tax rebate is available to anyone 65 or over or on disability that meets other qualifications. The cutoff is $35k in come and the maximum tax rebate is $600. Financed by the PA Gaming commission.
The Leiper House has new discoveries. A Swarthmore resident with a metal detector found coins, keys and other artifacts on the grounds of the Leiper House. You can see the artifacts online here and visit them on Saturday, Dec. 3rd from 1-4 pm.