Government

Nether Providence Legislative Meeting, May 2023

The board of commissioners held their regular meeting on May 25th. The agenda is available online here and the meeting video is available here.

Opening

Chief Splain issued a retirement badge to Sergeant David Bennett who retired on March 3rd after 30 years with NPPD. Officer Smith was the officer of the year chosen by the department. Several dozen commendations were awarded to NPPD members for life-saving interventions, exception duties and negotiations. Chief Splain noted that several of those commendations were for responding to drug overdoses. Narcan saves lives, you can find out more at the state’s website here.

There is still a Zoning Hearing Board opening.

Building and Zoning

A solicitor spoke about the Oak Valley subdivision, covering mostly the same ground as the previous meeting. The developer has agreed to pay $40k to the sidewalk fund in lieu of sidewalks to nowhere, is being granted an exemption from some riparian buffer requirements and will plant 50 trees at Gouley in lieu of replacing the over 170 trees that will be taken down. This is far less than required by the ordinance, so it is a loss of trees for the township. The board approved the agreement and a letter will be drafted to that effect allowing the subdivision to move forward.

The board approved the rezoning of 424 Wallingford and an adjacent property from commercial to residential, which is their current use.

The ground solar panel array ordinance will be reviewed by the county planning commission in June.

Parks & Open Space

It’s concrete day at Creekside today.

The township got estimates for work to convert the Creekside tennis courts to pickleball courts. It would cost $54k, more than the $30k estimated by the DelCo Dills, largely due to requirements on municipal contracting. The township is drafting a use agreement with Creekside who’s board meets next on June 4th. There seems to be a disconnect between the township and Creekside here though. I know people at the township and Creekside and Creekside has not yet given this proposal much consideration because they are buried in work trying to get the pool open. The timing of this is awful for them. I’ve seen the Creekside president at the pool almost every day working on something as Creekside races to meet the new county health department requirements. It’s unlikely Creekside will do anything until the membership meeting in July, so I’m not sure why the township seems to be acting as if this is further along than it seems to be on the Creekside end.

The board approved a resolution to apply for a DCED grant for dugouts at Hepford and Bullens Ln. Nether-Swarthmore Baseball plans to pay the required match.

Public Safety

The township continues to await the MOU from the school district.

The Avondale guide rail will cost $14k to replace after it was damaged by a motorist. This is an emergency repair, so will not go out to bid. Insurance is expected to reimburse some of the cost.

The volunteer fire company property tax credits were discussed. But since this program is now routine, it will be handled administratively rather than requiring board approval every year.

There was a discussion of crosswalks at Lesley and 252 as well as E. Rose Valley and Avondale. The board approved these crosswalks and recommended the township engineer look at other places on Beatty and W. Rose Valley Rd.

Finance

The board approved the usual bills. There was mention that the Martha Burton playground may get installed in late summer, but the township is awaiting approval from DCNR before sending it out for bid.

The board discussed measures to further protect its funds stored in PLIGET and TD Bank, who hold the township’s accounts. There are steps in Act 72 the board can take to provide further protection for its funds at TD Bank in case the bank fails. PLIGET is a different type of entity, so it’s not clear what can be done there, but it’s a safer institution as it largely serves government entities and invests more conservatively than banks do.

The board discussed the split up of it’s MMO payments (retirement fund contributions) to twice a year rather than once. As long as the township has sufficient liquidity, there are advantages to investing earlier in the year. The township plans to continue it’s twice a year contributions.

The board approved trading in a 2018 charger for $12k.

Infrastructure

No updates on the Park Ridge sewer repair.

The board approved a grant application for the watershed restoration grant program for further streambank restoration at Houston Park.

There was a discussion of financing the new public works garage. The township is looking at 20 or 30 year loans, with delayed payback of principal to keep the township’s overall loan payments steady. Given the current garage only lasted about 20 years, let’s hope this one lasts longer than the loan at least. The board took no action and is awaiting more detailed numbers for how much ARPA money will be spent on other projects like the streambank restoration projects and new township building lift elevator. The board approved the lowest bids for the work, and will continue to work on how to pay for it.

The board approved ~$5k in change orders for the Pine Ridge culvert replacement.

The board delayed sending the township building elevator project out to bid. They want the township engineer to look at it for suggestions and suggested having an ADA door opening button at the front door would be a nice improvement that wouldn’t cost much more (~$5k).

Manager Report

The summer meeting schedule has been posted previously, the board meets once a month in the summer.

The CAT club’s next event is on Waterville on June 10th. Public works will be on hand to direct traffic.

The DelCo land bank survey is available here. More information from WHYY here. The survey form is just a comment space without any guidance. Not terribly helpful.

The Williamson Trade School helped with painting, fencing, landscaping and other work around the Leiper House.

The Delaware County health department has a survey available here I think (at least, that’s the one the DCIU linked to). The response rate has been lower than they hoped. The township manager said it takes about 10 minutes to fill out.

Nether Providence and Swarthmore participated in an active shooting training at the township building with the help of the FBI. Other groups in the township that are interested in such a training should contact the township for help getting in contact with the FBI.

Nick D Dominico has retired from the public works department to take a job in the private sector.

The Furness Library is having a jazz on the green night on June 1st from 6-9 pm. Furness Lane will be closed during the event. More details over at the library’s website.

Categories: Government, NPTownship