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Upper Frederick Planning Commission Chair Resigns
Written by Mark Nolan, Correspondent
2024-04-17

            Planning Commission Chair Rick Buckman resigned on Monday, April 8 after supervisor board Chair Bill Landman decided to maintain the township's Planning Commission and Open Space Committee as separate entities. Buckman had wanted the planning commission to assume the responsibilities of the open space committee.

            Supervisor Sean Frisco read Buckman's resignation letter, addressed to Landman, aloud.

            Landman responded to Buckman, not present at the meeting, by reading the letter he had sent to Buckman explaining the rationale for his decision. "I gladly accept his (Buckman's) resignation," stated Landman.

            The board engaged in a lengthy discussion regarding new appointments and reappointments to the planning commission. Landman emphasized the need for commission members to be proactive in protecting the rural nature of the community and to attend relevant training classes.

            Board Vice-chair Lisa Fischer also emphasized the need for commission members to be proactive and attend appropriate training classes. "We cannot wait until someone sells their farm to a developer and then try to fight that developer."

            She also expressed concerns about maintaining continuity on the commission. In conclusion, the board deferred any decisions until they consulted with the township solicitor.

            Fischer emphasized the need to inform residents of the board's intention to reinstate the open space committee and to solicit applications from interested residents via the township's website. Applicants would be required to discuss their qualifications publicly at a future board meeting.

            The board authorized LTL Consultants, Ltd., a municipal engineering and code enforcement firm employed by the township, to submit a bid for the Faust Road project once all documentation is ready for review by the township's solicitor.

            Landman informed the community that he had contacted the state regarding the historical significance of the schoolhouse, owned by the township and located adjacent to the township building. He has not received a response to date. The township was awarded a $100,000 grant to renovate the building but is exercising due diligence before taking action. The total cost to renovate the building could be over $500,000. The board intends to hold a public referendum to determine how the schoolhouse property should be managed.

            Two appointments are needed to fill the UCC/Board of Appeals, a judicial board that makes judgments on matters concerning building construction, structures and the general health, safety, and welfare of the community. Applications are posted on the township's website and Facebook page.

            Although the transition to the township's new website is still underway, the website is live. Township Manager Kate Hanna is in the process of uploading documents to the new site.  It may take several weeks to complete the process.

            The board authorized Luce Architects to proceed with the design of the drive-through building at the salt shed for $2,000.

            During the closing public comment period, township Constable Bill Karaffa accused Frisco of engaging in a criminal conspiracy and demanded his resignation for his role in actions leading to the adjudication from the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission against previous board Vice-chair Bill Tray in 2021, while Frisco was board chair. Karaffa requested Landman contact the Montgomery County District Attorney's office to request an independent investigation into Frisco. 

            Landman stated he would discuss the topic with the township solicitor at the next opportunity.

            Upper Frederick Fire Chief Doug Kenna reported that the fire company responded to 11 calls in March - all were in the township. The total in-service time was 4 hours and 53 minutes spent fighting fires. The daily log hours totaled 525 for March and 1,145 year-to-date, which includes training, maintaining the trucks and equipment, etc. Fire company members are currently training in the proper handling of hazardous materials and the use of the newly arrived air packs.

            Upcoming fundraising events include Painting with a Purpose to be held at 1240 Bridge Road, Skippack, on Thursday, May 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and a community yard sale and vintage market to be held in Green Lane Park on Saturday, June 22 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Residents interested in joining the fire company are encouraged to visit the firehouse on Monday or Wednesday evenings.

            Plymouth Community Ambulance responded to 22 calls in March, 13 of which were at Frederick Living.

            The township will host the Swamp Creek Stomp 5K trail run on May 11 to raise funds for maintenance of the township's parks. The Swamp Stomp is one of the most significant township events, attracting more than 200 runners. Runners can register online. Volunteers are welcome.


 

 

 

 

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