The regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors on April 2, 2018, has no icon on the Township’s web page, but the video is indeed up. It appears that I was the first one to watch it.
As usual, no embedding is possible so video can be found HERE.
This meeting clocks in at a very reasonable 63 minutes, perhaps because Villanova was playing for the National Championship at 9:30.
All in all, a pretty routine meeting, with a couple of issues worth highlighting.
Less than a minute to win it
Remember six weeks ago, when the Board actually tried (and failed) to come up with a legitimate justification to spend tax dollars to preserve a farm belonging to Laurie Higgins’ neighbors? It seems like just yesterday that the Democrats were grasping at the slim possibility of putting in trails to nowhere to legitimize this spend, even though the landowner was on record as having no intention of granting public access to his land.
Ah yes. Good times, good times.
This proposal had been before the Board three previous times and denied three times, (for all the reasons documented in detail HERE) and yet, despite no material changes to the proposal from the last time it was before the Board in October of 2017, by some miracle, it reappeared on the agenda a mere four months later.
At the 4/2 meeting, the Democrat Board majority didn’t even pretend that there is some kind of a public benefit for the spend on this land.
It took the Board less time to vote on giving Laurie Higgins’ friends $574,000 of your tax money than it did for John Pearson to read his insipid “tidbit of wisdom” at the start of the meeting. With no discussion, $86,100 of township tax dollars, with the balance coming from state and county funds, were spent on a property which offers our residents no amenities and pays a mere fraction of the property taxes you and I pay.
The vote went down along party lines, 3 to 2, but of course there was no executive session…
Anyway, there’s nothing else to say on this matter except welcome to a Fresh Perspective on fiscal responsibility.
Intersection of Opportunity
Silver Rhino came in with an interesting proposal for a development at the intersection of Route 29, Hopwood and Yerkes, arguably the Township’s most problematic intersection. Development has been thwarted here because of the requirement to improve that intersection. 29 is a state road, and therefore falls under the purview of PennDOT, but improving that intersection is not high on PennDOTs to do list.
The project that the developer presented was 45 units on 10.25 acres abutting the Perkiomen Trail and the creek. The units would be mostly 2 bedrooms, about 1,000 sf each. The developer places a premium of environmentally friendly design, and talked about reflective light roofs and green roofs to disperse a heat island effect.
Specifically, the developer was requesting a change in the zoning to R4, which is the township’s multi-family zoning, or approximately 12 units per acre. Additionally, they would need relief on the height restriction of approximately 35 feet to go to 55 feet.
The developer was looking for direction from the Board as to whether this is a project that the Township has interest in pursuing. Though there is a lot of ground to cover as far as designing and funding the improvements for that intersection, having a developer who is willing to work with the Township on this is a start. It will be interesting to see if this gets to the next stage.
The May Meeting
During Manager’s comment’s Tim Tieperman noted that Mike Jacobs called to request a meeting with the Board and Dr. Rifkin at the end of May. These folks are either the owners, or represent the ownership interests of the Parkhouse property, it’s kind of hard to get a clear answer on their roles. Since no purpose or agenda for this meeting was announced, I’m not going to jump to conclusions, but I will be keeping a very close eye on this meeting.
Various and Sundry
- The Board asked for volunteer to fill a vacancy on the Ag Security Council. If you care about what kind of land we’re going to be spending taxpayer dollars on, you may want to volunteer for this.
- The Board voted to reduce the speed of Linfield Trappe Road from 45 to 40 miles per hour.
- Chief Toomey noted in his report that the Department had reached out to the trucking companies on Hollow Road about cleaning up their trash. They recognized this was their responsibility and cleaned up the road.
- Toomey also noted that improved signage was placed on Hollow Road to prevent truck drivers from turning down and getting stuck at the 10’ bridge. There was nothing they could do about GPS.
- Toomey finally noted that the highway safety officer has been working with the school bus drivers on complaints about drivers passing stopped school buses. In addition to targeted enforcement, the police have also moved our lighted highway sign to problem spots around the township to increase awareness of school bus traffic safety. For their responsiveness, our police department has been thanked by the school bus drivers.
- Township Engineer, Bill Dingan, noted three grant opportunities for the township.
- A sewer infrastructure grant for 2,000 feet of sewer line on Old State Road connecting 8 residences.
- A PennDOT grant to replace a culvert at Second Ave between Hafner and Old State Roads.
- An offer to provide financial and structural assistance from a local business owner on the Schuykill River Trail connection project.
The Board’s special Fire and Emergency Services Meeting held on 4/4/18