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Berlin Township: old electronics, new floodplains

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BEACH LAKE, PA — On a blustery evening that followed an afternoon of flooding rains, the April 15 meeting of the Berlin Township Board of Supervisors addressed a timely issue: an updated floodplain ordinance. The board voted unanimously to advertise the proposed ordinance in advance of its May 20 meeting, when the public is invited to submit comments on the ordinance to the board. After public commentary, the board plans to vote on adoption of the ordinance.

Supervisor Cathy Hunt said the new ordinance is a revision of the floodplain ordinance adopted by the township in 2013. Both the original and updated ordinance contain language required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If the township fails to adopt the new ordinance, it risks losing eligibility for FEMA emergency funds.

The updated version differs from the original in that it requires permits for all new construction and development within specified Berlin Township floodplain areas, which FEMA defines as “any land area susceptible to being inundated by floodwaters from any source.”

Essentially, the proposed ordinance sets forth certain minimum requirements for new construction and development within areas subject to flooding and establishes penalties for any persons who fail to, or refuse to, comply with the requirements or provisions of the ordinance. The full text of the proposed ordinance is available for public inspection by calling the Berlin Township Office: 570/729-8073. The public can find FEMA floodplain maps by visiting the organization’s Flood Map Service Center (www.fema.gov/flood-zones), or at its county planning commission office, or from

www.dced.pa.gov/local-government/pennsylvania-flood-maps.

In other business, resident Jim Barth mentioned during public commentary that he’s never before seen so much roadside litter. “Who has responsibility for cleaning it up?” he asked. Supervisor Rob Mahon said the board sometimes uses work-release program participants for roadside litter cleanup.

Supervisor Charlie Gries said he recently came upon an electronics dumping site along one township road that already contained a half dozen television sets and some microwave ovens. “It’s a real problem,” he said. “People don’t know what to do with their obsolete and nonworking electronic devices.” A bold notice on the Wayne County Recycling Center’s website homepage

www.waynecountypa.gov/330/Recycling announces that “Wayne County cannot accept electronics for recycling at this time.” It does, however, accept used cell phones with chargers for donation to Victims Intervention Program clients.

Gries mentioned that the YMCA offers a one-day pickup of electronics. That will take place at the Wayne County Fairground, 270 Miller Road in Honesdale on Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information and fee schedule, visit  www.bit.ly/CleanWayneTRR.

Barth said that although that pick-up day is better than nothing, he thinks electronics recycling should be offered on a regular basis, such as one day per month.

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