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Twp. Holds On To Emergency Declaration

Twp. Holds On To Emergency Declaration
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch

DINGMANS FERRY -- Two items that did not go to vote captured most of the discussion from a
larger gathering than usual during a Delaware Township Board of Supervisors workshop
session preceding a brief, routine general meeting.
One questioned whether the township should drop its Emergency Declaration regarding the
COVID-19 pandemic.
"If we drop the (emergency declaration) resolution, we may drop our COVID-19 funding," said
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson.
Henderson said that would include applying for reimbursement of expenses regarding the
emergency. As a case in point later in the regular meeting, the supervisors pointed to their
approved motion to spend $1,200.92 to buy 14 touchless paper towel dispenses from Amazon
for township buildings.
"It is worth keeping," said township Solicitor Thomas Farley, referring to the emergency
declaration.
The sentiment was to wait until action is taken by the state to remove emergency measures.
The other item involved whether the township should be declared a Second Amendment
Sanctuary, already was approved by Shohola and Blooming Grove townships. Henderson and
Supervisor Jane Neufeld expressed skepticism during a half-hour public discussion before they
later declined to advance it to a motion for the regular meeting.
"We're not trying to change any gun laws; it's a money resolution," said Bob Roche, a Second Amendment Sanctuary activist who presented the issue to the supervisors with Patti Coombs, who is a township resident.
Many of the gathering who came to hear discussion of the issue applauded at times over points
explained by Coombs about the Second Amendment Sanctuary that were also taken by them to
county and state government officials. Roche said afterward that 2,000 Pike County residents
have signed a petition favoring the idea.
They spoke at the workshop of what could become more oversight and a broader range of gun
ownership restriction and registration by townships that would incur greater expense.
Resident Stephen McBride shared the supervisors skepticism, saying that everyone in
government is sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment right to bear
arms. "That's a problem when everybody is making a personal discussion to fight the law,"
McBride said. "I don't think this is necessary."
Others shared that idea that the Second Amendment is all that is needed.
Some questioned use of the word "sanctuary," saying it could be confused with the idea of
sanctuary cities that harbor immigrants.
"I don't like the word sanctuary," said Supervisor Rick Koehler. "If the county passes this, it
sends the state a warning that people will fight back to defend the Second Amendment.
"Will this do any good? I don't know but if it makes people feel good about it, I think so," said
Koehler.
Roche said that word can be changed to "resolution."
Henderson said one amendment of the Constitution should not be singled out. "All of them are
important," said Henderson.
"It feels wrong for local government to put forth a resolution that is favoring rather than
containing all interests, said Supervisor Jane Neufeld. "We're declaring something here unlawful
and unconstitutional and I have a problem with that."
Roche said after the meeting that many residents expressed their support, but more might have
come because it was "on short notice put on the agenda for tonight."
"My opinion of this meeting is they'll hear from residents of the township to voice their opinion,"
said Roche.
During the regular meeting, the supervisors approved an Aug. 1 fundraiser from 2-5 p.m. at
Akenac Park and also for the Dingmans Ferry Theater, a private organization, to host a free live
performance for the public at the park on Aug. 22 featuring a Frank Sinatra Review by a state
impersonator, with proper liability insurance coverage and compliance with state guidelines.
Supervisors said people must bring their own chairs and facemasks to the show, which is being
funded by the township historical society through the Richard Snyder Foundation.
In road bids opened by township solicitor Farley, Wayco was the lowest of two bidders (Linde was the other) for projects for Ball Park Road ($46,151.10), Spencer Road ($29,044.20) and Weber Road ($27,750.92). It will be voted for approval at the July 22 meeting after a review of the bid prices by the township engineer.
Enid Resto was appointed seasonal part-time Akenac Park supervisor at a a rate of $14.25
and four lifeguards were hired for the lake. Township Administrator Krista Predmore was
tasked with finding two more lifeguards.
Supervisors tabled a motion to spend $18,294.70 to update the 30-camera township security
system for six locations under First Alarm Security. "Do we need all this stuff," said Henderson,
as supervisors agreed to find a local professional expert to evaluate the plan.
Supervisors agreed to amend the field use approval of the Pike County Women's Softball
League. The new dates are July 12-Aug. 23 for Sundays from 3:30-8 p.m.
Supervisors approved the request of the Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps for
township employees to mow the grass once a month on its property. Roadmaster Vince Flatt
said the township has been doing that during the pandemic and would be willing to continue
when it has the time for it.
During the workshop, a member of the Dingmans library acknowledged the decision at the last
meeting to close the library part of a building in Akenac Park shared by with the Dingmans Ferry
Delaware Township Historical Society to the society to accommodate its growing display but
also asked that a plaque commemorate the service of longtime library officers. The library
spokesperson said the historical society can use the library furniture for free if it wants to do
so.

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