Animal Safety Also Considered in Delaware Township Emergency Plan
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, August 31, 2017
by Wayne Witkowski
DINGMANS FERRY – Helping residents keep their pets and livestock safe during a natural disaster, something that might be considered more in other parts of the state, was put into focus in the updated Delaware Township Emergency Management Plan.
During last week’s township Board of Supervisors workshop prior to its regular meeting, Township Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker gave a presentation valuating different aspects of township emergency response.
Beodeker said he would discuss with supervisors the report’s points about training and planning and a list of needs to best serve township residents during an emergency.
It would include utilizing Akenac Park as an emergency hub.
“There are a lot of gentlemen farmers and more horses in township now than in any other time in the 27 years I’ve been here, even chickens.” Beodeker said.
“A lot of things could happen in a long-term disaster when animals become vulnerable.”
He said the report was put together with the help of Kristin Jones, who spent 10 weeks as intern contracting 70 businesses and organizations to gather an inventory of information in case of an emergency.
Beodeker said 95 percent of the goal for the report was reached.
“Many were glad we contacted them and said they had not been contacted in a long time,” Jones said afterward.
Jones received a proclamation from the supervisors acknowledging her efforts after the presentation.
Another element Beodeker discussed was equipment to be used during an emergency.
“The equipment we have is serviceable but old in technology, age and ability,” he said.
He said there are “six or seven” dams on water bodies along Silver Lake Road that are in issue. “If they fail catastrophically, it would be impossible to travel from the northeast to the southwest side of the township,” Beodeker said. “We have a number of people who would be isolated. We can look at what purpose Akenac serves in that situation.”
Beodeker said overall infrastructure of the township would be evaluated with the supervisors.
“This is an insurance policy for the citizens of the township,” he said.
Beodeker in his report recommended the township approve paying for township emergency Public Information Officer Robin Jones to attend the Emergency Preparedness and Hazmat Response Conference at the Sheraton Square Hotel in Pittsburgh on Oct. 17-19. Beodeker said he has attended it for the past 20 years and paid out of pocket. The board unanimously approved that request for Jones during the regular meeting.
The board also approved appointing Michael Kolenet as an interim roadmaster for the final two months of the year. Township Roadmaster Charley Kroener is retiring as of Nov. 1. A full-term roadmaster will be named at the township reorganization meeting in early January. For those two months, Kolenet will be paid a prorated portion of Kroener’s $46,800 yearly salary.
The board also approved Kolenet’s attendance at the Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Training for the Pennsylvania Dirt, Gravel and Low Volume Road Program on Oct. 11-12 and to attend the Pennsylvania LTAP training, Curves on Local Road Issues and Safety Tools on Oct. 5, both held for free at the Pike County Training Center Hawley.
The board also approved township Permit Assistant Lori McCrory’s attendance at the free Zoning in Local Municipalities Workshop on Oct. 5 at the Pike County Training Center.
Beodeker also reported an update of the township fire company, pointing out that Chris Kimble is taking over as Acting Chief after the current chief resigned for a personal, family reason.
He said the company would replace its old tanker pumper with a new one next year and that the company is preparing for the commemorative anniversary observance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade center. The board pointed out that members of the company are taking CPR training.
The board also approved, after lengthy discussion during the workshop, the use of field 4 by the Downtown Baseball and Softball 7pm from Aug. 28 through Oct. 16, with a field usage fee of $300 fee to cover potential damage to the field, as proposed by Supervisor Jane Neufeld, and that the academy list players on the Under 11 team who live in the township, as proposed by Supervisors John Henderson.
Academy representative Krystyn Stasyshyn said during a workshop discussion before the meeting that the team would take the proper care of the field. “Our name and reputation are at stake,” she said.
Field usage for adult softball and area Little League programs fees are $150 but board members stressed that the Milford-based academy is a for-profit organization, which had to be considered in an approval. Resident Dawn Bukaj pointed out that other for-profit groups had been approved to use township property and recommended the board establish a written policy for those groups requesting usage of the township property.
The board approved a request from Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps. event chairman Kyle Wright to borrow township tables, chairs, traffic cones and traffic control devices for its annual Pig Roast and Community Fun Day Fundraiser on Sept. 3.
In other meeting news, the board agreed to advertise for a joint public hearing 7:15pm on Sept. 27 of the township Planning Department and the supervisors regarding Birchwood Lakes Community Association’s request for land development and conditional use for its maintenance building on Tamarack Road and Evergreen Drive.
The board agreed in 2-1 votes with Henderson dissenting to purchase hay, cornstalks and pumpkins not exceed $750 for the township’s annual Harvest Fest and to approve “The Magic of Science” for two presentations for $695 at the event. Henderson felt more information was needed on the science program. The approvals followed long discussions in which Neufeld said some of those items might be omitted to save money and that some volunteers and local farmers may donate some items. Supervisor Ron Hough said the event is well attended and he did not want to see anything cut. “My goal is that we see volunteers get back into saddle,” Henderson said.
“You talk about cutting costs when the township is in surplus so why not do something for the citizens? When is the last time the township was in a deficit,” Beodeker objected. “I’m tired of hearing about volunteers. We’re not spending a fortune for families in the community who have struggled enough with taxes and other expenses. It’s frustrating.”
Resident Dennis Lee asked during public comment period at the end of the meeting about township Constable Ed Hammond having been assigned as a security officer during meetings.
Lee said he contacted the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and was told that a constable cannot be assigned to a township meeting as security. He questioned whether Hammond should be wearing constable identification. But township Solicitor Tom Farley said he had received a call from the PSATS legal office to discuss the call from the township resident. Farley said he was told there is nothing prohibiting a constable from being there.
The board was asked if ti ever passed a motion to assign Hammond and Farley said it was more of a “tacit agreement” by the township in response to the fatal shooting in August 2013 of a township supervisor in Ross Township in Monroe County, and that question would be researched.
It was discussed whether Hammond, if assigned, should attend as a constable or a private security officer and Hammond said there is a “moonlighting clause” in the laws governing constables working in private assignments.
Farley also responded to resident Steve McBride’s point about what insurance coverage is involved in security protection. HE said a lot of that would be clarified for the January reorganization meeting.
Three boys scouts of local Troop 174 were on hand to announce they are receiving merit badges for Citizenship and Community; Kyle Grunwald, who will be a 10th grader at Delaware Valley High School; Evan Williams, who will be an eighth grader at Dingman Delaware Middle School; and Alexander Rodriguez, who will be a sixth grader at Dingman Delaware Elementary.