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Marlborough Township Ordinances Inching Along
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent
2019-10-16

            The Marlborough Supervisors spent an inordinate amount of time discussing ordinances at last week's marathon township meeting.

            The good news is that two of the five ordinances on the supervisors' plate were moved closer to the next stage while three were kicked back for more review.

            "We're not obligated to rush this," Chairman Brian Doremus noted during the three-hour-and-forty-minute meeting.

In the Health Insurance Ordinance, the supervisors propose giving dependents and part-time time employees access to the township's health plan.

            Regarding dependents, Doremus stated, "I don't think they should be penalized if they have a family."

            A note of caution came from Manager/Secretary/Treasurer/Right to Know Officer Marybeth Cody.

            While emphasizing that the township budget is currently healthy and that there is money for many projects, Cody expressed reservations about the Health Ordinance proposal.

             "I am concerned with this added expense of health insurance for the supervisors especially with the newest full-time (police) officer coming up to his base salary and what the impact on the budget will look like in a few years."

            Cody estimated $60,000 to $70,000 as the extra money that would be needed to cover the health care costs for supervisors and their families.

            The supervisors voted unanimously to advertise the ordinance.

            The Village Commercial Ordinance, the least controversial ordinance, will also be ready for advertising after some formatting and language tweaks.

            But, no such luck with the Nuisance and Drive Ordinances drafts which were once again referred for further study. And, once again, the sticking point was penalties for infractions, the up-to-a-$1,000-a-day dictate built into the ordinances.

            Supervisor Bill Jacobs stood his ground when it came to the fines, championing an "incremental" schedule of amounts.

            "I wanted something milder," he said, citing East Greenville's ordinance as a model that should be adopted and modified by Marlborough.

           "I think the $1,000 number works as a good deterrent," said fill-in Solicitor Zachary Sivertsen.

            The Sewer Ordinance also got an airing. Sivertsen explained that Green Lane's solicitor "took it upon himself" to correct the ordinance with the goal of aligning the borough, the township and the Green Lane Marlborough Joint Authority more closely.

            While Green Lane is prepared to adopt the ordinance, Marlborough Supervisor Billy Hurst advised Marlborough against it.

            "I got a lot of concerns with it," Hurst stated. "It's the worst written thing we've had yet."

            "There's a fair amount of inconsistency," Sivertsen added, in regard to the responsibilities of the township, the borough and the authority.

            The supervisors decided that the Sewer Ordinance needs further review and that Green Lane should be asked to hold off on adoption.

            While it was not discussed at the supervisors' meeting, a move to have the sewer authority take over Candlewyck's private sewer system is currently in the works.

            According to the minutes of the September 23 supervisors' work session meeting, "The Candlewyck Homeowners Association is looking to get out of the sewer business and the authority is favoring the merger."

            Bob Zimmerman, the president of the association, was once again on hand to press the supervisors about the township taking dedication of the development. Dedication is being held up by issues related to repaving Knight Road and by unrectified items on the punch list, such as storm water management.

            Cody reported that the developer is now having problems with permits that have expired, an issue that does not involve the township.

            "Until the developer goes through that punch list and addresses all those issues," Sivertsen said, "there's really nothing the township can do."

            The board approved the sale of the police department's 2007 Tahoe for $4,351.

            At the Sept. 23 workshop, at Chief Darren Morgan's request, the supervisors approved advertising for an additional part-time officer for 2020. No additional funding would be required.

            With local elections looming in early November, Doremus reminded attendees that polling has been moved from the township building to St. John's in Sumneytown.

            There will be a work session on Oct. 28. The next meeting of the supervisors is on Nov. 13.


 

 

 

 

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