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Rec Board Feels Pinch Of $4,000 Event Budget

Rec Board Feels Pinch Of $4,000 Event Budget
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch
Thursday, January 30, 2020

DINGMANS FERRY -- Dennis Lee and Steve Tarquini of the Delaware Township Recreation Board attended the workshop of the Board of Supervisors prior to its regular meeting last week to discuss allocating more money for township rec events from the budget and to discuss other committee issues.
The discussion, which took up half of the hourlong workshop, began with Lee asking if more than $4,000 can be set aside for the 2020 Recreation events, which have been expanded from seven to 10 for this year. It includes separating the movie night from a night of music into separate events.
"We're trying to do the best we can with the budget," said Lee, who pointed out that last year's events ended up costing $4,610.  "We paid a band $400 last year and it costs $500 to $700 these days to pay for a band that's any good."
"I cannot see how $4,000 can do all of those things," said Recreation Board member Steve Tarquini.
"We want more money to make events bigger and better," said Steve's wife, Terasa Tarquini.
The Recreation Fund, collected from a 1.5 millage rate on property owner taxes, is $141,601 but that also includes line item wages for Akenac Park employees, park operating supplies, repair maintenance supplies, lake management and water systems testing and telephone, Internet and electric services, along with the $4,000 allocation for Recreation programs. There also is added revenue from events that goes toward the fund.
The seven events include the Harvest Fest in September, a Halloween Trunk or Treat and a Christmas event as well as the movie and music nights in the summer.
"There were possibilities for people (from the Rec Commission) to come to the budget meetings to say, 'We need (more) money,' " said Board of supervisors Chairman John Henderson, referring to budget workshops through the fall and the budget approval meeting in December.
Steve Tarquini pointed out that the events schedule was expanded late last year.
Supervisor Jane Neufeld suggested that the Rec Commission move forward with its already approved $4,000 allocation for events and then return to the board at a time when more money may be needed. "But don't wait until the last minute," cautioned Supervisor Rick Koehler.
Lee also pointed out during the discussion that the board has seven members and asked about the reason behind that number. 
Supervisors said it had to be an odd number (for tiebreaking votes). But Lee said there have been other people coming to the meetings as well and why have a board in the first place?
"To have a township event, it has to go through the (Rec) board," said Neufeld as Henderson showed a printed passage indicating that Second Class Townships, which includes Delaware Township, need to have a Recreation Commission under state codes.
Also at the meeting, the board accepted the amended fiscal year 2020 budget that was presented at the previous meeting.
The board also approved the Tri-State Geese Police proposal for environmentally safe Canada goose control at a weekly cost of $400 and an added charge of $100 per nest (removal). Henderson called it "an amazingly effective program" and Roadmaster Vince Flatt said there was a noticeably significant reduction of geese last summer when the program was first implemented.
Delaware Township Fire Company was approved for ice rescue refresher training at Akenac Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 1. Also approved was firefighter operational park training on Tuesday nights as needed from May 5 to Oct. 27 from 7-10 p.m.

Pocono Environmental Education Center was granted permission to use the quarry in the township from 9:30 a.m. to noon on April 12, 15 and 18 for a geology class as well as Delaware Valley Elementary School's request for a kindergarten classes field trip to Akenac Park from 10 a.m. to 1:30 on May 20, with a rain date of the following day.
Pike County Women's Softball League again was approved for use of fields 1 and 3 on Sundays from 3:30-8 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:15-9 p.m. from June 5 through Aug. 9. Supervisors also approved the Couples Fall Softball League use of fields 1 and 2 from noon to 6 p.m. on Aug. 23 to Nov. 22. 
The board tabled a township Planning Commission memo regarding amending Ordinance 110 on signage. Supervisors discussed the matter during the workshop and determined more clarity was needed on defining "window signs" and specifying when political signs are to be taken down after elections, although it was mentioned that timeframe is listed elsewhere in township codes. 
The amendment also would specify the size and brightness of large signs, but the supervisors implied the need for better language on that subject and to meet to further discuss the issue.

Budget Adjusted For Replacing Township Building Roof

Budget Adjusted For Replacing Township Building Roof
By Wayne Witkowski
Pike County Dispatch
Thursday, January 16, 2020

DINGMANS FERRY -- The first phase of financing and the work on the Delaware Township municipal building roof is under way, supervisors announced at their latest board meeting last week.
Supervisor Jane Neufeld pointed out that revisions to the 2020 budget included setting aside $105,443 for replacing the roof that was not originally listed in the potential spending for 2020. It brings that total to $174,175.
"When they (H&P Construction) submit for a CO (certificate of approval permit) in a few weeks, they'll put in for final payment when they get it," said township Administrator Krista Predmore after the meeting
The potential spending already earmarks $5,000 to repaint the building, $24,162 for security cameras on township property, $29,870 to replace a Public Works vehicle and $8,900 for Blue Ridge Communication contract fees.
The additional funding for the roof replacement is available in the General Fund surplus to be assigned to potential spending, said Neufeld.
Supervisors during the meeting unanimously approved a motion for the first payment of $53,190 for the roof replacement to low bidder H&P and a change order of $12,887 for it to install a continuous snow guard, which was decided by the board after the bidding process was completed.
"The revisions are minor," said Neufeld of the budget changes. They include $4,509 more toward the Recreation Fund, bringing it to a $141,600 total. It covers the financial shortfall of income from recreation events minus spending.
The revisions include $7,181 more toward wages and $1,000 less toward General Government Administration.
There also is $392,436.08 allocated into the reserve for potential work in 2021 on Myck Road.
The meeting included lengthy discussion during the public comment period to resident Steve Tarquini asking for an update on emergency ambulance service. It has become an issue since the Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps scaled back service hours. Bushkill Emergency Corps has picked up some of those additional calls with its Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support services.
Dingmans Township Volunteer Fire Company, which offers ambulance service, and other regional ambulance companies have picked up some calls.
Supervisors said there are no new developments on the issue aside from a recent $10,000 subsidy to Bushkill in lieu of its many responses to service calls in the township in 2019, said Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson. He pointed out that the township has had many meetings with Bushkill on the issue and also has met with officers from its own township ambulance company requesting financial data so they can determine how much to give to that company but the board still awaits complete financial data.
Henderson said the supervisors also have an informational meeting set for later this week with Dingmans emergency responders to discuss how they handle their ambulance services.
Supervisors called ambulance service a "major issue" not only in the township but statewide amid the shortage of volunteers. 
Henderson said, when asked, that there is no update on the seven municipalities working together to establish a countywide ALS/BLS service.
Neufeld then read a statement clarifying her opinion on details concerning the last 12 months of ambulance service, pointing out that Bushkill Emergency Corps is strictly an ALS/BSL ambulance service that is not for profit.
The statement reads, "We are very fortunate that Bushkill, in addition to a number of other neighboring ambulance services, had been providing mutual aid and responding to Delaware Township 911 calls when Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance has not.
"All efforts by the Board of Supervisors has been done according to Pennsylvania laws and regulations: The board has consistently talked in public at meetings; board minutes have been available to those (residents) not at meetings; as much as it has done, there has been news available in the Pike Dispatch coverages of our meetings. Nothing has been hidden or has any 'agenda.' "
She commented on the money given to Bushkill Emergency, saying, "They asked. As with any request for money, they filled out the township donation request form. They provided financial information and we had info regarding the number of times they have been dispatched to Delaware Township in 2019.
"Our efforts to ascertain the viability and condition of DTVAC has provided us with someinformation, enough to question that DTVAC can provide good service or will be able to in the future.
"Looking to see if a different ambulance company can provide what we need, our efforts have been and are continuous. We have had discussions with other ambulance businesses as part of the multi-municipality group and as one township. The criteria is simple:
- We want the best possible everyday response that can be counted on.
- We want response that is faster as Delaware Township's primary provider.
- We want capable, certified ambulance people that care.
- We want an ambulance company that we know we can afford.
- We want an ambulance company that is a well-run business.
- We want to know that, in a real medical emergency, when anyone in Delaware Township calls 911, an ambulance is on the way."
Henderson added after Neufeld's statement, "I concur with that."
Also at the meeting on payment of bills was included $3,036.09 for its 2019 fourth-quarter Delaware Township Volunteer Fire Company's tax distribution. Township fire company President George Beodeker submitted the company's financial report to the supervisors.
The board approved paying Wayco Inc. the remaining $38,301.64 for the Doolan Road paving project.
The resignation of Rebecca Gray from the township Recreation Committee as of Feb. 1 was accepted "with regret" by the supervisors, who agreed to advertise for the position.
Also accepted "with regret" was the resignation of longtime member Ida Walker as well as Lawrence Walsh from the township zoning board. Both vacancies will be advertised as well as a vacancy for the township Building Hearing Board vacancy.
Per the recommendation of the Planning Commission from its Dec. 18 meeting, the board approved the Kresnik subdivision on Long Meadow Road and a resolution for a plan revision for new land development for that subdivision.
The board approved an application for a license to operate a junkyard by Kathleen and John Henderson at 1756 Route 739 in Dingmans Ferry.
The board approved for Predmore, Neufeld and Supervisor Rick Koehler to attend the Local Government Responsibility of Emergency Services class 1 p.m., Feb. 13. It also approved Neufeld attending the Effective Relationship with Volunteer Fire Companies and Municipal Officials class 6 p.m., Feb. 13. Both will be held at the Pike County Training Center.

During the workshop, the board tabled, after discussion, the township Planning Commission's memo to amend Ordinance 110 regarding the size and brightness of business signs. The recommendation comes with the construction of the Weis Markets at Delaware Plaza and would include that project and future ones.
The township reorganization meeting coverage in the previous Pike County Dispatch did not include the appointment of Liz Forrest and Jeff Opitz to the township Planning Commission for four-year terms.

Delaware Holds Plaza Hearing At Reorg Meeting

Delaware Holds Plaza Hearing at Reorg Meeting
Pike County Dispatch
By Wayne Witkowski
Thursday, January 9, 2020

DINGMANS FERRY -- John Henderson was unanimously approved for another year as chairman of Delaware Township's Board of Supervisors, which steamrolled through a status quo agenda during Monday's reorganization meeting that reflected a past year of efficient government and no tax increases.
Virtually all appointees were holdovers from the previous year as supervisors saw no need to discuss most of the 55 agenda items. Jane Neufeld remains as vice chairman of the board and township treasurer while Supervisor Rick Koehler is township secretary.
Krista Premore was appointed to another year as township administrator, assistant treasurer and Right to Know officer while Vincent Flatt continues as roadmaster. George Beodeker remains township emergency management coordinator.
The Pike County Dispatch is one of the official township newspapers along with the Tri-County Independent and the Pocono Record.
After the reorganization meeting, the supervisors conducted a hearing before giving approval to amendments for the final Delaware Plaza Land Development Plan. Henderson expressed regret that the session was not listed in a public advertisement as a public hearing but rather as a meeting, which drew barbed online posts from angered residents.
"It's my fault it was not advertised as a public hearing," said Henderson.
"We are grateful to any township residents who come to the meeting and for people on Facebook to come to the meeting as well," said Supervisor Jane Neufeld.
At the hearing where engineer Joseph Hudak of Kiley Associates LLC again presented the revised blueprints, Thomas Farley, approved for another year as township solicitor, encouraged the supervisors to give final approval to the project that was held up for a month when the amended plans were first presented. The site had been cleared and grading was under way when work was halted for the plaza that is expected to be built and opened by later in the year.
"The changes are not really major at all, except for the size of the supermarket, storm water (management) that is better than it needs to be and a drive-through pharmacy that is necessary (for residents)," Farley said.
Delaware Township Planning Commission reviewed and advanced five conditions posed by township Engineer Boucher & James during a Dec. 18 meeting and the Pike County Planning Commission also wrote an approval after its examination.
"We have complied with the direction of the (township) Planning Commission and made the revisions and gotten the approval from Pike County Planning," said Hudak.
The foremost point was Weis Markets anchor store announcing in the December meeting that it was reducing the square footage from 63,299 square feet to 47,900, a nearly 25 percent shrinkage. The remaining space would be a grass surface that will enhance stormwater drainage, which was another condition. Weis management said it would have the same sewage treatment setup for the original sized supermarket.
"What if Weis may come back and ask for expansion," asked Farley
"We have the potential for that," said Hudak, referring to the leftover parcel.
It was learned that is the reason why the parking lot still allows for 347 spots, unchanged from the original plan, which is 48 spots more than required.
"If there is no need for additional parking spaces, why have them," asked Henderson.
"On the chance there could be expansion," answered Hudak. "We have stormwater (drainage) set up for that."
Another concession is to move the fire protection tanks that are four feet below ground from the parking area to a place where there is no traffic.
Another change involved a drive-up pharmacy added to the plans. Originally U-shaped, the driveway now is L-shaped and two lanes wide with a sidewalk area over the exit of the drive-through. "That (idea) was voiced favorably by township engineering, said Hudak.
Alex Orerbia, who oversees Land Development for Weis Markets, again attended the meeting and, just like at last month's meeting, said when he was asked that there are no tenants yet for the bank and fast food restaurant in the plans. "At this point, it's still in negotiations; we don't know," said Orerbia. "There's some interest but I won't be told until there is some certainty by the developer." The gas station in the blueprints is part of Weis Markets.
As for the rest of the reorganization agenda that preceded the Delaware Plaza hearing, the township's Treasurer's Bond is set at $2.8 million and the assistant bond at $100,000. Wayne Bank, Dime Bank and PLGIT remain the township's depositories. Kirk Summa & Co. LP is the certified public accounting firm to replace the elected auditors.
Robin Jones again will serve as the full-time administrative/human resources assistant and as deputy tax collector as appointed by township tax collector Mary Lou Corbett. She also was re-appointed to serve as secretary to the township's safety committee where Chris Kimble, Russel Sioretti and Kyle Wright were appointed to one-year terms and Bud DeVries was named as an alternate.
SFM Consulting LC was appointed as the township's residential and commercial building inspectors as well as the township's zoning/code enforcement officers.
Ron Tussell is sewage enforcement officer.
Along with being appointed for another year as township solicitor, Farley also again is serving as solicitor for the township planning commission. Robert Bernathy is the alternate in both roles. Stacey Beecher is township zoning hearing board solicitor and Predmore again will serve as secretary. Beecher also is township building hearing board attorney.
Lori McCrory is zoning hearing board secretary and Sharon Franks is planning commission secretary as well as township representative to the Pike County Council of Government.
Flatt again will represent the township on the Pike County Road Task Force, with Kimble as alternate. Neufeld, Koehler, Flatt and McCrory will attend the 2020 Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS) Conference in Hershey in the late spring.
Steve McBride was appointed as township vacancy board.
As for meeting schedules, the supervisors again will meet for the workshop at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month except November and December when those meetings take place on the first and third Wednesdays because of the holiday schedules. The planning commission meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. or as necessary. The safety committee meets the first Tuesday or the month at 8:30 a.m.
The township zoning hearing board and the building hearing board meet on as needed basis.


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