Quick Notes - 2.3.2020
Tonight's meeting followed the agenda pretty closely. Mr. Baum served ad as the interim mayor until the appointment of Mr. Fred Wood and all council members were present
Natalie Andersen was sworn in to join the council.
Mr. Fred Wood advised that he was asked to step in as mayor and after giving a brief summary of his qualification was appointed by a unanimous vote and sworn in.
Public Comment: Chester Heights Neighbors Alliance Road Clean-Up
I announced our 4th Valleybrook Road Clean-up on March 28th, 2020 (9am-12pm). I invited the council and asked that they share our event on their Facebook page. I also shared that the following weekend on April 4th, 2020 The Chester Creek Clean up will be taking place. The group will meet at the Mattson bridge at 10am until work done. (Hope to see you there). If you would like more information about either event please send us an email. CHNA@CHNeighborsAlliance.org.
The treasurer's report was reviewed and approved with revenues of $29,971.45 and expenses of $44,361.84.
Voter Registrations Laws have changed in the state of PA allowing longer periods to register to vote and also permitting voting by mail among other reforms. See details on ACT 77 here.
There will be new voting machines in the entire county. The county will be hosting previews of the machines this week Feb 3rd- Feb 7th from 12pm-2pm at the media government center. The borough is open to the possibility of working with other municipalities and the Judge of Elections to perhaps offer machine training to our residents at a more convenient time.
Mary Gay Scanlon has invited the council to an event on February 14th in Newtown Square.
Several grant opportunities were mentioned and will be sent to committees.
Fire Marshall Comments
The Fire Marshal mentioned that the hunting is permitted in the borough and that the limitation is 50 yards from a dwelling. That being said no one is permitted on your property without your permission. He mentioned that we can mark our properties using the NO Hunting Purple spray paint to mark our property. This is apparently then standard for marking one's property as a NO HUNTING zone and is the law in PA.
Susan Sternberg, the library director, came and presented information to the council about library funding. This was prompted by some social media conversation about how the library is funded and who can and who cannot partake in the library's offerings. You can read more about that here.
Ms. Sternberg also mentioned that they will be doing a fundraiser on March 25th, 2020.
I did chime in on behalf of Chester Heights... we did raise our contribution to the library back in 2017 from $8k to 12K. However, Chester Heights resident library usage is 6% while our funding only contributes 3%...is it time to meet our obligation? Chester Heights does have a $1M surplus.
School District Report:
The school district will be evaluating the need for later school start times. This is just the beginning of the conversation and it starts with this presentation by Indira Gurubhagavatula, MD, MPH, on the sleep needs of adolescents. This presentation is open to our school community and will be held on Thursday, February 6th from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the Garnet Valley High School Auditorium.
Mr. Greg Chestnut was following up on a conversation that occurred during the Powell Property presentation on January 6th. During that presentation, the Presenters for Mrs. Powell asserted that only 15 students would be added to the school district from 52 add'l homes. Mr.Chestnut asked that the borough leave the calculation of how many students would be added be referred to the School District. Tonight (2.3.2020) he stated that a new study was ratified by the school board which will specifically take into account the potential impact of the Powell Property Development. This study will be based on the Brookefield development in Chester Heights approved back in 2014. The reason for using Brookefield is because this development has a higher than average student population and is indicative of the trends we are seeing in GVSD. Furthermore, GVSD, as we all know, is a great school district therefore it has become a destination district, especially for special education students. The special education students in the district make up between 20%-23% of the student population. And while it takes on average $19,000 to educate a student per year the costs for a special education student can be twice that up to $200K-300K per student.
Personally, I value our school district and want to make sure it can maintain its resources to serve our students. That's why it's imperative that we understand the full impact of new high-density developments on the school district from a financial and resource perspective. The new study should be available within 2 months.
The Easter Egg Hund Will be held on April 5th, 2020.
Additional Public Comment:
A resident from Lydia Hollows raised concern about the dumping of large items behind the new Ashleys REstaurant as the parking lot drops off.