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Discoveries at Finland Road Park Discussed in Marlborough
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent

            The Marlborough Township monthly Board of Supervisors meeting was dominated by a pair of mysteries at Finland Road Park and the approval of the township's first Medical Marijuana Ordinance.

            Public Works head Jake Ferguson reported on a couple of unusual occurrences while he was inspecting the park for, among other things, Valley Soccer's impending use of the fields for practice.

            A farmer, who claims he has had a verbal agreement with Marlborough since 2006, has been spraying and farming the fields since that time. Ferguson did not completely identify the farmer.

            According to Ferguson, who had a conversation with the farmer, "He said, 'Obviously it's the Township's land. You guys can do whatever you want with it.'"

            But the farmer has already spent money on fertilizer this season and is going to make his first cut in June and spray fertilizer again and make his next cut in September, according to Ferguson. He suggested that the farmer be allowed to make his June cut and have soccer use it after that.

            Chairman Brian Doremus expressed concern about the spraying, noting that the township was never approached about the process.

            Ferguson responded that he was told the spraying had to do with restoring nutrients to the fields.

            Doremus reiterated that Valley Soccer needs a field for practice in the short term, and that other improvements the soccer organization has in mind for the park will develop over time.

            He promised to contact the organization and have them attend the June 6 Park and Recreation Committee meeting and to communicate with the farmer about coordinating with soccer and to discuss the issues of spraying and grass cutting.

            Ferguson also reported on a minor mystery at Finland Road Park where he discovered that the pond had been discolored.

            "Everything was blue, almost like a dye. The branches and the leaves, and everything that dried...was dyed blue. And if you look, there was like a weird sheen on the water."

            Earlier this week, Ferguson updated the situation via email after a water sample was sent to a lab. Ferguson is "waiting for results, but [it] is most likely copper sulfate to kill the algae; we are just not sure who would have put it in."

           On the advice of solicitor Mark Cappuccio, the supervisors approved a Medical Marijuana Ordinance in order to have a say in where the facilities would go if Marlborough is approached with a proposal.

            "The Act provides for two distinct uses: first, to grow it. There would be greenhouses, etc. for where the marijuana is grown, and then for the dispensaries...to get your prescription filled," Cappuccio reminded the supervisors.

            The ordinance gives the township the power to grant "conditional use" to growers and dispensers and mandates the zoning requirements that comply with the state law.

            Ordinance 2018-01 passed unanimously.

            Township Secretary Marybeth Cody reported on Marlborough's participation in a state program to recognize the value of volunteer first responders. Act 172 of 2016 seeks to provide "incentives for municipal volunteers of fire companies and nonprofit emergency medical service agencies". The township is just getting into discussions with other area municipalities who have been working on incentives for a longer period of time.

            Doremus added, "I think the consensus in the Valley was that we could all follow the same type of a program."

            Police chief Darren Morgan informed the supervisors that his department will be switching to a new on-line records system this week and will be in the first group of county agencies to make the transition after just four hours of training.

           The cloud based system is not completely ready to go, for example the ability to instantly print a citation will not be ready until July, but Morgan is looking forward to improved and faster communication with other law enforcement entities.

         Marlborough's star-crossed speed trailer program had another minor setback when the replacement for the trailer demolished in a November collision arrived with some damage which will be fixed before Marlborough makes payment. Chief Morgan is still hopeful of using the trailer by Memorial Day.

            Morgan was also part of a discussion about the supervisor's proposal to solicit bids for a property line survey of Ziegler Nature Preserve. Knowing the exact boundaries of the park would allow for more efficient enforcement of restrictions on ATV use, which is causing damage, and in regulating hunting activity.

           The next Board of Supervisors meeting is on June 13 at 7.





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