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New Hanover Delays Ambulance Discussion with Douglass Twp.
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            New Hanover's supervisors postponed indefinitely a presentation from two officials from a neighboring municipality. Without casting a vote, they determined last week that a presentation from the supervisors chair and emergency management coordinator from Douglass Township on ambulance service could not be held until an issue with Gilbertsville Ambulance Community Ambulance Service (GACAS) is resolved.

            During the April 6 regular meeting, New Hanover supervisors Chair Marie Livelsberger announced that the members would not discuss the issue with Joshua Stouch and Andrew Duncan – the supervisors chair and emergency management coordinator, respectively from the neighboring township – until an investigation into the Gilbertsville Ambulance Service is completed.

            Last summer, Douglass Township police opened an investigation of the service regarding financial issues. The department started its inquiry in July following the service's temporary suspension of service.

            "We know there are a few discrepancies," police Chief Barry Templin said during a Douglass Township's Emergency Services Board meeting in July. "We don't know how big they are."

            Douglass Township officials hope to foster a relationship with the other townships being served by GACAS and encourage appropriate and responsible EMS funding. According to a text message from Stouch, he and Duncan were selected to be the "pursuers" of communications regarding funding assistance from other townships being served by the ambulance service. It states that Douglass Township is presently footing a large part of the bill for the agency with little to no assistance from other municipalities.

            "Our residents are seeing it as an unfair burden," Stouch wrote.

            According to Livelsberger, committing to fund the GACAS without further deliberation would be unfair to those residents who already contribute to another ambulance service. New Hanover currently receives ambulance service from five separate organizations.

            The members voted to award a contract to a Zionsville company for a stream restoration project.  Stonewood Landshaping, Inc. will be paid $148,011.33 to restore 100 linear feet of Township-owned property along Swamp Creek near Middle Creek Road.

            The project, a recommended implementation activity in the Township's Pollutant Reduction Plan, is expected to remove 4,488 pounds of sediment per year from the watershed by preventing future stream bank erosion, reestablishing the stream-floodplain connection, and creating a riparian buffer for Swamp Creek, according to a project overview from the manager to the supervisors.

            The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection lists Swamp Creek as an impaired waterway. According to the overview, the stream is significantly eroded and in poor condition showing stream bank erosion and channel incision due to the instability of its banks and disassociation with its floodplain. It states that these issues result in poor quality for the stream itself and are a source of excessive downstream sediment transport that contribute to the impairment of Swamp Creek and the Perkiomen Creek watershed.
            Stonewood Landshaping provided the lowest of five bids, according to Township Manager Jamie Gwynn. Township officials estimated the cost of the project as approximately $167,400. The manager said the project must be completed this year.

In other news, the board announced that rescheduled ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the township's renovated municipal building, located at 2943 North Charlotte St., and the new police station, located on Hoffmansville Road, would be held consecutively on May 4.
            According Gwynn, the police event, which includes an open house, has been scheduled for 4 to 5 p.m. He said the similar municipal building ceremony is slated for 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.  






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