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News Article
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Marlborough Approves Skymount Remediation Plan
Written by Ernie Quatrani Correspondent

Planning commission downsized


            The Marlborough supervisors combined their annual reorganization meeting with the regular monthly meeting on Monday night. After Billy Hurst was again voted in as chairman, the board handled mostly routine matters, including approval for a proposal by Princeton Hydro to eliminate the invasive vegetation in Lake Skymount.

            For the past couple of years, the lake has been choked by plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil and hydrilla. The Parks and Recreation board has been advocating for treatment of the lake.

            "[The invasive plants] will ultimately take over the lake if we don't do something about it," Parks and Recreation Member Burt Shive warned at a February 2020 supervisors meeting. "And they can't be removed manually."

            The board voted to start the application process to allow Princeton Hydro to treat the lake with herbicide. Township Manager/Secretary Mary Beth Cody cautioned that the permit process, which requires approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, could take three or four months.

            By state regulation, herbicide application can only take place between April and October, and Princeton Hydro is proposing the first of two applications for late April or early May.

            According to a letter sent to Marlborough by Princeton Hydro, "There are no water use restrictions associated with the use of the lake for fishing or kayaking or negative impacts to aquatic life after each herbicide/algaecide application."

            The supervisors voted 2-1 to approve the application.

            "I won't be voting for it," Supervisor Bill Jacobs said before the vote. "I've got to be consistent with my thing about herbicides. I prefer mechanical, although I know that mechanical won't do the job very long."

            The treatment will cost around $15,000 and will be mostly covered by a grant.

            The board also voted to advertise an ordinance to downsize the planning commission from nine members to seven citing the fact that it has been hard to find people to serve on the commission.

            "It will also reduce the number of people who actually have to show up to have a quorum," Supervisor Brian Doremus pointed out.

            One of the seats on the planning commission has been open for a while and Joann Moyer asked not to be reappointed. Therefore, the ordinance can take effect immediately after it is adopted at the February meeting since two openings currently exist.

            The planning commission and the supervisors will hold a joint meeting at the supervisors workshop meeting on January 24.

            Cody proposed a mailing to township residents about dead and diseased trees in the township. The supervisors endorsed the idea of sending out an informative flyer about the trees with tax bills later this year.

            Doremus said the "emphasis" should be "on urging them to remove trees."

            The supervisors tabled a request from Lower Frederick to sign a letter of support for Pennsylvania Act 167 which deals with stormwater and pollution issues associated with waterways.

            The letter states that all Act 167 Plans associated with the Perkiomen Creek tributaries "are out of date and none address the watershed in its entirety."

            Given the recent flooding issues that have plagued the area, the letter urges Berks, Bucks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties to implement a study of the entire Perkiomen Creek watershed to "identify causes of flooding and mitigation measures that can be taken" to prevent flooding.

           The Marlborough supervisors did not want to inadvertently commit to anything until they had more time to study the letter.

            Police Chief Darren Morgan thanked the community and local businesses for the "very successful" toy drive that sent hundreds of toys to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and The Open Link. Two SUVs full of toys went to CHOP while two SUVs and a pick-up truck full of toys went to The Open Link.

            Morgan also announced that the Marlborough police will be getting body-worn cameras soon. The approximately $23,000 cost is fully funded by an outside grant.

            In the reorganization meeting, in addition to Hurst being reappointed, Doremus was reappointed as vice chairman and Cody was reappointed as secretary.

            The board held an executive session to discuss personnel matters before the reorganization meeting.

            The next board of supervisors meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on February 9.






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