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NPS Commended for Bridge Quick Reopening

NPS Commended for Bridge Quick Reopening
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch - Thursday, September 16, 2021


DINGMANS FERRY -- Sula Jacobs vowed when she was appointed Delaware Water Gap National Recreation superintendent, and told the Delaware Township Board of Supervisors when she introduced herself at a meeting shortly after her appointment, that she would be attuned to the community as a native of the Northeast Pennsylvania region.
She proved that commitment in resolving a recent road dilemma involving the closure of the weather-damaged road to Dingmans Bridge.
In fact, Delaware Township Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson commended the National Park Service for doing a "wonderful job" on its response to "frustrated" residents' complaints and comments that Henderson said were numerous on Facebook when he spoke during the comment period at last week's bi-monthly meeting.

"There is a small PennDOT bridge between the light on (Route) 209 and the Dingmans Ferry bridge across the Delaware that sustained significant damage due to the storm (Tropical Depression Ida)," explained Henderson. "This caused that short portion between 209 and the Dingmans toll bridge to be impassable. There is a bypass road used occasionally by the Park Service, formerly an extension of Johnny Bee road, normally not used for traffic."
Henderson told the gathering at the meeting that he was contacted by township Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker to see if the National Park Service would allow that Johnny Bee extension that runs through the National Park to be used.
"I, in turn, called the Park Service. Park Superintendent Sula Jacobs returned my call within a few minutes. After a brief discussion about the situation and our concerns and suggestion, she set the wheels in motion. In addition she assured me she would call with an update.
"Within two hours the bypass was open for traffic and Krista (Predmore, township administrator) was contacted with an update, info was posted on various sites, and I received the promised call from Ms Jacobs. To her credit, when I thanked her, she responded that many were involved in the process -- PennDOT, many in the Park Service, etc. That's leadership. Other than expediting traffic flow on a busy holiday weekend, the ambulance (services when called) had a much shorter route to New Jersey hospitals."
Henderson expressed dismay that new complaints from commuters surfaced on Facebook even after the matter was resolved.
The Dingmans Bridge was reopened a few days later.
Also during the meeting, supervisors received the resignations of Terasa Tarquini, Mandy Librizzi and Steve Wollman from the township's Recreation Commission that they said in their joint letter is "effective immediately."
"Due to the new law pertaining to agendas, no Board of Supervisors action was taken regarding the Rec resignations so, legally, nothing happened," said Henderson in an email. "I am sure we will accept such at the next meeting."
Tarquini said that, although the Rec Commission successfully ran four events this year, tension has been building from January for the three Rec Commission members who resigned. It came to a head recently regarding the purchase of pumpkins for Harvest Fest scheduled for Akenac Park on Sept. 25..
Supervisors at two prior bi-monthly meetings had tabled the motion to purchase 350 pumpkins from True Value at a total cost of $700 for the festival. The motion came up for a third time at the latest meeting. Neufeld suggested to the supervisors to pass the motion, which they did unanimously.
"The BOS tabled the request for funding for pumpkins on two occasions awaiting the required post-event accounting from the Rec Commission regarding recent events," Henderson explained in an email after the meeting. "We recently received the accounting and the BOS (at its meeting) approved the expenditure. The BOS has an obligation to account to the taxpayers for all expenditures. End of that story."
"It's too late to get them now," said Tarquini of the pumpkins after the meeting.
The resignation letter read, "We were excited to plan our first Harvest Festival, which we know to be a beloved event for the community, but it is clear that all of the hard work was done in vain since we were not given permission to purchase the pumpkins that are expected by the public each year.
"Though we have enjoyed bringing these events (four this year) to the community and wish we could continue to do so, the stress that we have been put under has been too great of a burden to bare any longer."
The letter thanks the township's Public Works Department and the fire police as well as the Lions Club, supervisors, township office staff and the public for their support.
Supervisors approved $20,358.98 to Wayco Inc. for the Sproul Road leveling paving project, more than the original awarded bid cost of $19,647.40, because of six additional tons of material needed.
Eight bids were opened for culvert replacement at Long Meadow, Log & Twig and Spencer roads. Bids were tabled until the next meeting on Sept. 22, pending examination of the bids by the township engineer.
Supervisors approved a free Shred-It event, sponsored by Belle Reve, at Akenac Park from 10 a.m.to 1 p.m.on Oct. 2.
Supervisors also approved a Sept. 24 fundraiser at the Dingmans Ferry Theatre. Dennis Lee, head of the theatre, pointed out that reservations are needed for limited seating of about 50 people. Sponsors can put their name on the back of a theatre chair for $100 per chair. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.
Supervisor Jane Neufeld brought up during the workshop prior to the regular meeting the American Rescue Plan allocation to the township of $700,000. There was a detailed 70-age report that even township Administrator Krista Predmore regarded as "really complicated." Neufeld, who handles the township budget with Predmore, explained there are four categories for how to spend the allocation but said she knew of two companies "with experience working with government structure." The supervisors agreed to contact one of the companies for advice and direction on the funding.
At the Sept. 9 Planning Commission meeting, members passed a recommended draft of a short-term rental ordinance after solicitor Tom Farley confirmed the draft with corrections. The commission advanced to the supervisors a draft of a noise ordinance, using Shohola Township's ordinance as a guideline.
Under announcements at the end of the supervisors regular meeting, Henderson pointed out that vendors are needed for the Harvest Fest. ... Supervisors thanked Beodeker, Public Works and the township's volunteer fire company for their efforts when Tropical Depression Ida hit recently. ... The township continues to attempt to fill a Zoning Hearing Board vacancy. Submit letters of interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Monroe County Conservation District Environmental Educator Roger Spotts will lead a guided nature hike at the Rock Hill Property off Route 739, 1 p.m. on Sunday. It is sponsored by the Pike County Scenic Rural Character Preservation Program. Rock Hill has an oak forest with a wide variety of animals and plants, including some unusual ones at a unique pond there. Wear sturdy footwear and bring water. Sun block and bug spray are encouraged but not required. RSVP at (570) 296-3500.
Carbon Monroe Pike Drug and Alcohol will hold a recovery event celebration at Akenc Park Saturday. ... Pike County Elections needs a Judge of Elections in Delaware No. 1 (Holy Trinity Church). Anyone interested can contact Elections Office Director Nadeen Manzoni at (570) 296-3427.

Park Service Seeks to Close Vestigial Road

Park Service Seeks to Close Vestigial Road 
By Wayne Witkowski 

DINGMANS FERRY -- Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Superintendent Sula Jacobs visited with the Delaware Township Board of Supervisors during their bi-monthly workshop prior to the regular meeting meeting to discuss the National Park Service's wish to close Doodle Hollow Road.
The road, which is paved only a short distance at its beginning off Route 739 at a time when a shuttered post office operated there, is largely a dirt road that runs through National Park Service land on either side. The few homes that at one time were there were bought out by the NPS and abandoned.
Resident Steve McBride pointed out that, although the roadside is empty, many outdoorsmen travel it for hunting and fishing.
Supervisors were not opposed to the idea saying, "Close it and let it grown in," referring to grass and shrubbery that would grow on the road. They pointed out that other roads have been closed by the park in the area. Roads to the Zimmerman Farm recently have been closed to the public.
"People still walk down and observe nature," said Jacobs.
One idea was to put up a gate. Old Mine Road has a gate at the entrance on the New Jersey side of the National Park. "If you put up a gate, that's not the answer. It prohibits people from using it," said McBride, referring to the hunters and fishermen.
But they pointed out that there are four Jersey barriers near the road that can be positioned at the head of the road. Jacobs approved of the idea as Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson commented, "Problem solved."
At the workshop, Supervisor Jane Neufeld gave an overview of the American Rescue Plan funding from the federal government to municipalities in response to expenses incurred by COVID-19. "We have a one-time windfall and hopefully use it wisely," said Neufeld.
Supervisors during their brief regular meeting approved $200 funding support for the Dingmans Ferry-Delaware Township Historical Society's program, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" at the township building on Oct. 21. Jonathan Kruk, a professional storyteller regarded as the best storyteller in the Hudson Valley who has appeared on national television programs, will narrate.
Mike Moffa was appointed as assistant roadmaster at a rate of $21 per hour, effective immediately.
The board approved the request from Carbon, Monroe Pike Drug and Alcohol to use the Akenac Park recreation hall and kitchen as well as the grill, public address system and 15 tables and 30 chairs for a Sept. 18 event.
They approved the Milford Valley Quilters Club's use of the municipal hall for a program on Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Also approved was the use of Akenac Park by Long Meadow Chapel on Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon for its annual baptism and picnic.
Supervisors announced that Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's planned work on Wilson Hill Road originally scheduled for July through October has been moved to the spring. Pike County Elections is looking for a judge of elections in Delaware No. 1 (Holy Trinity Church). Anyone interested can contact Nadeen Manzo, director of Pike County Elections Office at (570) 296-3427.
Supervisors will hold its first budget meeting on Sept. 22, to be followed by meetings on Oct. 13 and 27 (the latter for fire and EMS). It will advertise the budget for public scrutiny on Nov. 17 and take an approval vote on Dec. 15. The schedule was approved at the previous board meeting.
After the meeting, Dennis Lee, head of the Dingmans Ferry Theatre, said he was "absolutely encouraged" by the "Live from the Lounge" Frank Sintra tribute show held recently near the Akenac Park Maintenance Building that drew about 400 people -- nearly double the first time it was held the previous summer --and will plan future evening outdoor shows there by his group of 15 volunteers.

Public Input Sought to Help Update Pike County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan

Public Input Sought to Help Update Pike County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan
July 22, 2021

MILFORD, PA ― The Pike County Office of Community Planning is leading the process of updating the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) to help reduce vulnerability and enable local communities to become more resilient to disasters. Public participation is essential to ensure the new plan is effective.

 An online Mitigation Survey is available to provide the community an outlet to contribute to the development of the updated HMP. The questionnaire will take approximately 15 minutes and consists of questions about current hazard and disaster issues, and information regarding potential areas vulnerable to disaster. Feedback collected from the survey will remain anonymous. The Public Mitigation Survey is available at www.pikepa.org under the “What’s New” tab.

Visit pikecountypahmp.com for more information about the Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Supervisors OK Safer Parking Lot for New Life Fellowship

The Pike County Dispatch
July 1, 2021

Supervisors OK Safer Parking Lot for New Life Fellowship
By Wayne Witkowski

DINGMANS FERRY -- A potentially dangerous parking situation at Dingman's New Life Christian Fellowship should be resolved soon.
Engineer Joe Hudak of Kiley Associates LLC presented a reconfigured parking plan as he and church owner Genaro Dellarocco talked during a public hearing at the Delaware Township Board of Supervisors meeting last week about avoiding situations of cars backing out of the property or parking on the edge of Silver Lake Road, where the church is located, which can pose traffic and safety hazards. They expect the new plan, with parking moved away from the roadway, to remedy the problem with a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation highway permit they received.
The plan allows for eight paved parking spots, with a grassy area to accommodate more cars if needed.
"Is that enough," asked Supervisor Rick Koehler.
"We have room to grow," said Dellarocco.
Supervisors, at the end of the brief public hearing, approved the plan.
During the workshop prior to the regular meeting, supervisors had a lengthy discussion with owners Mike and Livia Casagrande and employee Lisa Iribarren of SideStreet Bar & Grill on Dingmans Court to discuss neighbors' concerns about loud music on weekends. Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson commended the "wonderful job" of improvements to the establishment by the new owners, who took over in March of 2020.
"It was tough in the beginning because we opened up during the (peak of the) COVID," said Mike Casagrande afterward.
"We're not against you. We're working together to resolve the problems," said Henderson.
Resident Matt Light said that loud music often is heard throughout the area past midnight and said that on a weekend early this month loud music was heard to 2:15 a.m.
Township Solicitor Tom Farley cautioned the owners that their state license "can be at risk" if noise complaints go to the state Liquor Control Board.
Light pointed out that more people are coming into the area and are shooting off fireworks as late as midnight with the approaching July 4 holiday and this just adds to the situation.
"We're trying to be family-oriented," said Livia Casagrande, who presented to the board photos of sound barriers they plan to build soon around the establishment. They said they also plan to lower the volume of music, although Farley pointed out that part of the issue could be avoided if speakers are turned toward the bar and not outward.
Henderson said a noise regulation for the township may be considered in the future.
During the regular meeting, the board unanimously voted to terminate the township's COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration resolution.
The board also accepted, with regret, the resignation of Liz Forrest from the township Planning Commission, effective immediately. The commission's July 6 meeting has been cancelled
The township Planning Commission at its last meeting on June 15 agreed to table any decision on the township Comprehensive Plan until 2020 Census information is received.
Supervisors also need to fill a vacancy on the Zoning Hearing Board. Letters of interest can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
They said during the workshop that they plan to advertise to fill the recent vacancy of the township representative on the Pike County Planning Commission.
Supervisors plan to advertise for a Public Works position with the resignation of Jeffrey Ireland, effective July 1.
Supervisors announced that Wilson Hill Road will be closed July 26-Oct. 12 for slide repair. They said during the workshop that extensive work on Myck Road and for Spencer Road remains on schedule, at this point, for next year, with funding in place, but the board needs updates from the township engineer and PennDOT.
Supervisors agreed to renew a three-year agreement with Portland Contractors Inc. for certified water operations at Akenac Park. The cost will be $460 per month from Aug. 1 2021 to July 31, 2022 and increase to $475 for the following 12-month period and to $490 per month from Aug. 1, 2023 to July 31, 2024. The agreement states that the company will not be responsible for any equipment malfunction of the township or acts of God that will affect the quality of operations and is not responsible for snow or ice removal on roads or walkways to the facility.
They said that the township Rec Committee's Movie Night showing of "Jurassic Park" will be held July 10 at Akenac Park.
At the workshop, Dennis Lee, head of the Dingmans Ferry Theatre, said he would hold off on pursuing a lease for Cabin 21 at Akenac Park and the supervisors approved during the regular meting that he head an ad hoc committee of the theatre under the township's Recreation Committee. Lee said that better handicap accessibility is needed for the cabin.
Lee said afterward that plans are going well for a return of a Frank Sinatra tribute performer for a free outdoor show adjacent to the maintenance building at Akenac Park on Aug. 14. "More singing groups that also are in the show are preparing and we're working on dancers, some back from last year's show," said Lee.

Department of Health Mask Order Reflects Latest CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Department of Health Mask Order Reflects Latest CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals 

May 14, 2021
Harrisburg, PA - Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam announced that the commonwealth’s mask order reflects the announcement made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier today.

On March 16, 2021, the SOH amended the commonwealth’s mask order by adding language directing to the CDC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people allow for no face coverings. That means that today’s CDC guidelines automatically go into effect in Pennsylvania. Masking requirement will still be in place for unvaccinated individuals until 70 percent of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

“Today’s guidance from the CDC affects only people who are fully vaccinated” Acting Secretary Beam said. “This is another incentive to get the vaccine that is now easily and conveniently available. Once 70 percent of Pennsylvanians over 18 are fully vaccinated, we can completely lift the masking order.”

The CDC today provided guidance that fully vaccinated individuals can resume activities that they did prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or physically distancing except where required by law, rule, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

For more information on the CDC guidance, visit here.

People can find vaccination locations near them using Vaccines.gov, also known as Vaccine Finder. Individuals also can text their zip code to GETVAX (438829) for English, or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish and receive three possible vaccination sites in their area.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Barry Ciccocioppo, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

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