Twp. Opposes Tolling On Route 209
Twp. Opposes Tolling On Route 209
By Wayne Witkowski
The Pike County Dispatch - Thursday, November 14, 2019
DINGMANS FERRY -- Delaware Township Board of Supervisors is sending a letter to the National Park Service opposing a toll on all vehicles traveling along Route 209 through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
That toll proposal, which is under study by the NPS as part of a Visitor Use Management Plan draft, would include all vehicles driven by residents of the township and neighboring municipalities who need to drive along the roadway.
That decision to draft the letter, passed unanimously by the board at last week's bi-monthly meeting, comes on the heels of a copy of a letter received by the township from Lehman Township, which expressed similar objections. It was discussed during the workshop that preceded the regular meeting.
The issue has gotten the attention of many Pike County municipalities, particularly after one of the National Park Service public input meetings held recently at the Lehman Township Volunteer Fire Company's firehouse on Evergreen Drive.
Also discussed during the workshop was amending township codes to include short-term rentals. Supervisors agreed to forward the matter to the township Planning Commission. The topic also has been discussed at length in meetings in Lehman Township, which plans on amending its ordinance at its regular meeting next month where more than 200 homes offer short-term rentals, many of them in private communities.
The ordinance amendment in Delaware Township would specify housing and occupancy guidelines for permitting. and may cover exterior restrictions as well.
No timeline was specified toward adopting the amendment.
The amendment in both townships also intends to curb problems in communities stemming from "party house" rentals.
Supervisors also unanimously approved two funding proposals, one for $3,577.86 for Emergency Management minor capital purchases and another for renewal of a TruGreen contract for the township athletic fields at a cost of $5,210.09, which includes lawn service, vegetation control, grub curative and lime application.
The board also approved Chris Kimble and Roadmaster Vincent Flatt of the township Public Works Department to attend the states's Local Assistance Technical Program (LTAP) Active Transportation training on Dec. 6 and to attend LTAP Introduction to Traffic Studies training on Dec. 18.
Supervisors discussed and approved Blue Ridge Tree Service quote of $2,900 to remove four trees at Akenac Park that pose a safety hazard, with 10 percent profits donated to the Delaware Township Recreation Commission.
Supervisors unanimously agreed to renew the Aetna dental policy for December with approval of United Concordia, effective January 2020 for township employees, and to renew Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance policy at a no increase for 2020 for township employees.
The resignation of Shane Williams from Delaware Township Public Works, effective Nov, 20, was accepted by the supervisors, who agreed to advertise for a full-time Public Works CDL driver.
Supervisors unanimously moved to authorize township Solicitor Thomas Farley to handle litigation involving the property at 106 Westwood Drive. The property owner was denied a variance by the township Zoning Hearing Board and the township has moved forward with litigation.
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson reminded residents at the meeting of a detour for motorists looking to use Brisco Mountain Road at the intersection of Milford Road/State Route 2001 because of repairs on the road. He also said that the next Reality Tour is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. Thursday at the Milford Bible Church at 110 Foxccroft Drive in Milford. The program shows the effects of drug abuse on the victims and their families, including fatalities, and re-enacts scenes from a hospital emergency room and morgue. Advance registration is required at $5 per person.
He said Smart Recovery Group for victims of drug abuse continues meeting on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Delaware Township Emergency Management building on 116 Wilson Hill Road.
Henderson said that Holy Trinity Food Pantry is collecting quick meal items, such as pasta, pasta sauce, egg noodles, canned tomatoes, soup, beef stew and canned meats, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The township recently approved a donation for the pantry's Thanksgiving food drive for needy families.
During the public comment period, supervisors responded to residents' inquiries, saying there are no new developments regarding the financially troubled Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps. They also said that groundbreaking and set-up work for construction of the Delaware Plaza shopping center anchored by a Weis Markets store is moving along.
Because of the Thanksgiving break, the supervisors have moved their two November meetings a week earlier, with the second one scheduled for Nov. 20.