Liquor License Transfer Linked to Route 739 Plaza
by Wayne WItkowski
Pike County Dispatch - Thursday, June 21, 2019
DINGMANS FERRY -- Signs of progress for a planned Delaware Plaza shopping mall on Route 739 resurfaced when Delaware Township Supervisors set a public hearing about the requested transfer of a new liquor license into the township from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Supervisors indicated that the request involves a Weis Markets store that will anchor the long awaited plaza. The hearing will take place at 7:15 p.m. during the regularly scheduled June 26 bi-monthly meeting.
Supervisors said they did not know from which business the transfer will take place, but said they understand it's from another Weis store. Speculation indicates it could be the recently shuttered Weis Market in Marshalls Creek on Business Route 209.
Residents will get a clearer idea of the latest updates on the plan and be able to ask questions of the project representatives. Project engineer Joe Hudak of Kiley Associates LLC in Lakeville is expected to attend along with legal representation and perhaps other representation of developer CenterPoint Properties in Atlanta, headed by Charles Miller.
Supervisors bantered the idea whether the liquor department, if approved, would be located in the store or in one of the adjacent buildings.
Groundbreaking originally was scheduled for this past spring. "It's moving forward," commented Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson.
"We're told they plan to break ground in the fall and to open next spring. That's what they say," said Supervisor Rick Koehler with a critical smile.
Also at the meeting, the board agreed to reopen Doodle Hollow Road, which had been closed for the past six weeks. It unanimously agreed to rescind a resolution in 2018 that allowed the National Park Service to close Doodle Hollow Road to vehicles. "It will remain open," said township administrator Krista Predmore.
The motion followed a lengthy discussion during the workshop that customarily precedes the regular meeting.
A lot of the discussion centered around the idea proposed a few months ago of turning the road over to the NPS because the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area surrounds the township-owned road on both sides. The road has been closed for about six weeks honoring a request by the NPS, but the supervisors switched gears at the meeting.
"If you abandon that road, they (the NPS) are going to close it," said resident Steve McBride during the workshop.
"If the state (Game Commission) stocks that stream (near the road) why do it if no one can go there," McBride asked. "Almost everyone I've seen there has fishing gear. The township and township people are going to lose an asset. I beg you, I've hiked there and it's a beautiful area. You're keeping away good people who want to use it."
But Supervisor Jane Neufeld questioned how many people aside from residents and visitors "in the know" use it. "We're struggling to keep something open that I'm not sure many people use," Neufeld said. By the time the motion came up in the meeting, all three supervisors were convinced the road needs to stay open.
The board also agreed to execute a Monroe Loan Share Account (from casino gaming revenue) for $150,000 for construction costs for work on six roads and equipment purchases to support the township Public Works. The township has to match that amount and is using $72,000 of it for equipment and $56,788 for a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado MD dump truck from a dealership under the state CoStars program that seeks out the lowest priced vendors for municipalities.
Tar and chip work will take place at Pocono Acres, costing an estimated $36,527.37; Nichecronk Road ($18,625.44); Mary Stuart Road ($21,724.88); Johnny Bee Road ($14,596.72) and Emery Road ($26,661.60).
Also at the meeting, supervisors said they still have not decided on a request by the Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps for financial help in repairing its ambulances. The board earlier this year had rescinded its release of funds to the corps and said it needs more financial data. "We've asked them for one thing weeks ago and still haven't gotten it," said Neufeld.
The board also discussed buildings at Akenac Park. During the regular meeting, it approved a change order request on the park's Recreation Building pier repair project reducing the price by $1,095. The board, on recommendation of township Engineer Jon Tresslar, agreed to pay Mar-Allen Concrete Products Inc. the second and final payment of $37,262.75 for the Rec Building pier project in a separate motion.
During the meeting, supervisors discussed whether to raze three remaining log cabins or to pay the $200 annual insurance for each one and the $9,000-$12,000 estimates to repair roofs and building piers.
"If the cabins go away, it will cost a lot more if, 15 years from now under a new Board of Supervisors, they feel bad they do not have a place to display," Neufeld said.
Board Chairman John Henderson disagreed and wondered how much use the cabins were getting aside from the annual Christmas program there. "I was elected to the board to curtail some of the spending in Akenac. It would be foolish to spend $200 for insurance for each one and $12,000 in total repairs to let them sit."
Henderson said he had not heard any feedback about what purpose the cabins could serve and McBride encouraged the board to wait and see if there is any public feedback now following this discussion. He said removing them and replacing them with prefab buildings might be cheaper.
"I've worked here five years (recently as roadmaster) and every year the park has doubled in usage. It has increased 200 percent," said Vince Flatt. "We have to draw the line at some time to see what the plans are." "We should spend money on buildings that are actually being used," McBride said. But Neufeld said she is "not in a hurry to take down the cabins and spend money to do that while the community has been rediscovering the park." Supervisors agreed they would survey companies to see the cost of razing and removing the three cabins.