NEW ORDINANCE REGULATES STREET SIGNS, HOUSE NUMBERS
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, September 22, 2016
By Wayne Witikowski
DINGMANS FERRY – Delaware Township residents and business owners are not required to post their building address numbers, according to the board of supervisors at their meeting last week.
Supervisors unanimously passed Township Ordinance 111 after a public hearing that took place midway through the meeting. Notifications were expected to go out starting this week informing residents of the requirement. Supervisor Jeff Scheetz reinforced the ordinance statement that it ensures the public safety and security of the community ensuring better emergency response time.
Property owners can get their street numbers, established by the Pike County 911 Emergency Call System, by called 570-296-1911 and then purchase the number sign from either the Delaware Township Ambulance Corps or the Dingmans Fire Company with their building number imprinted for an $18 fee.
The ordinance says the sign for a home, which must be four to 12 inches in height, can be any color, although many of them already shown are in blue and must be posted securely between two and eight feet off the ground. The number must be in bright, reflective material to contrast with the background in three-inch-high upper case lettering. The sign must be visible for at least 50 feet and all shrubs or snow that may block it must be cleared from the front of it at all times. The sign also can be posted on the house as long as it is within 50 feet from the edge of the street.
Anyone who does not comply is subject to a $1,000 fine which if unpaid could lead to a jail sentence of up to 30 days. There is no deadline for when the signage must be completed, but the supervisors said that could be further amended into the ordinance.
Street signs, meanwhile, must be visible for at least 250 feet from the intersection in all directions on a public road and 150 feet on a private road. The ordinance reads “All public and private streets, driveways and access roads in the Township which serve two or more principal structures shall be named and posted with the street sign name in accordance with this section.”
Township Administrator Krista Predmore pointed out afterward that private communities are responsible for posting their own road signs, if needed. Supervisor Tom Ryan said cutting of brush that may be obstructing road signs is the community’s responsibility.
Resident Mary Lou Corbett praised the ordinance during the hearing, saying, “It’s a waste of time (of responders) finding the house that does not have the blue sign. It’s mainly about finding the house, not finding the streets.”
Ron Hough, a member of the township Planning Board, said, “Gated communities do not always abide by the Township.”
When asked how much the street signs help emergency response, township fire chief and Pike County Emergency Management Assistant Coordinator George Beodeker said, “we’ve come to learn the route” but endorsed the ordinance for locating homes when needed.
But Beodeker repeatedly called for consistent enforcement of the ordinance and establishing standards and deadlines.
“Can this be accomplished with what the zoning officer has on his plate, and what is the timeline?” he said. “We need to make a less cumbersome, effective mechanism of what can be done to make this happen and I do not see it here.
“We have not had consistent enforcement of an ordinance in this township in a long time.” He said.
One resident asked about the overgrown brush around her home and other properties that is as much as four feet high and may block the line of vision for her sign. Scheetz said PennDot is responsible during the Route 2011 widening project and needs to be contacted.
CODE RED ALERT SYSTEM
During the regularly scheduling meeting, Pike County Emergency Management Director Timothy Knapp explained the changeover to the residential Code Red Alert System that had a soft launch in August. The system can send weather and road closure alerts specific to that area to voice, text, email and social media channels to mobile phones with access on an app. IT takes five minutes to register for it. Knapp said a brief road closure might not be posted. County officials now have access to the national Integrated Public Alert and Warning System that includes AMBER alerts of abducted children.
“It has a lot more emergency technology,” Knapp said and later added. “It’s a very advanced system that seems to work well.”
The supervisors said they would advertise for a public hearing for an ordinance prohibiting parking on Park Road and Log & Twig Road with subsequent penalties and removal of violating vehicles.
During public comment at the end of the meeting, Jane Neufeld pointed out a legal ad in the Pike County Dispatch about PennDot conducting a public presentation at the township building 5:30pm on September 28th on the Wilson Hill Road project. It would take place during what is normally a workshop session before the regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting and might extend into the regularly scheduled meeting that begins at 6:30pm.
Predmore pointed out afterward that the presentation will be part of the workshop period and that the board had been notified of that. Neufeld cautioned whether the road would be closed that would significantly affect many residents commuting to work as well anyone trying to reach the township building on that road.
Also, the Board approved a $169,003.56 lowest bid by E.R. Linde for paving and painting double yellow lines on Park Road.
In his quarterly fire department report, Beodeker said there were 38 calls – 22 in the daytime – and one structure on fire that was saved. He said a motorcyclist was fatally struck on Route 739 and there was discussion about the lengthy road closure. He said Fire Police membership is growing back but said there is a need to stir interest for volunteer firefighters, who have to put in 168 hours of training, which is difficult for some people’s schedules. He said he’ll attend an Emergency Preparedness and HazMat Conference in Pittsburgh Nov. 1-4.
Supervisors approved the township hall for a Hunters Safety Course 9am to 3pm on September 25th. It will be conducted by township assistant roadmaster/supervisor of building and grounds/constable Ed Hammond, with John Sivo and the sponsoring state game commission. “The class can take 30 to 40 people and we already have 25 signed up,” Hammond said. Guns are prohibited at the session.
During the workshop held beforehand, supervisors released results on an engineering and traffic study of Doolan Road conducted by engineering firm Boucher & James, Inc. advising existing speed limited to be lowered.
Supervisors also discussed at the workshop the request by Camp Speers for the township to turn over to the camp ownership of the 3,380 feet of unpaved entry road. The supervisors said the township is unwilling to resurface the road as requested by the camp before turning it over and Hammond said putting blacktop on it would cost $25,000 to $50,000. Township Supervisor John Henderson said there is a need for more information.