Texas Township’s reopening strategy

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 5/12/20

TEXAS TOWNSHIP, PA — Like everywhere else in the world, Texas Township is trying to decide when and how to get back to business as usual. That it will not be a renegade-style reopening was …

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Texas Township’s reopening strategy

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TEXAS TOWNSHIP, PA — Like everywhere else in the world, Texas Township is trying to decide when and how to get back to business as usual. That it will not be a renegade-style reopening was apparent at the live May 4 board of supervisors meeting.

“People are calling in about Clean-up Day. They want to know if and when it will happen,” said secretary Joann Hancock about the township’s annual rite of spring cleaning that allows residents to bring bulky household items, like furniture, to a township site for disposal.

“I suppose we could do it in June, or whenever we reach yellow status,” mused supervisor Don Doney, referring to PA’s infection-rate map color. But even then, he thought self-dumping (done without the usual assistance from township personnel) would require masks, gloves and social distancing protocols. After consideration, the board decided to await direction from Gov. Tom Wolf before scheduling Cleanup Day.

In the interim, the board unanimously passed a resolution to uphold property tax relief measures emanating from PA Senate Bill 841. A Wayne County directive extends payment grace periods and waives penalties and fees for late payment of property taxes during calendar year 2020.

While the U.S. job market is at a historic standstill, there is movement in Texas Township. The board appointed Keegan Michael Werner as its new emergency management coordinator after he passed a standard Pennsylvania State Police background check. Hancock said, “He already has 90 percent of the certifications required for the position. I spoke with him for about an hour. He’s really gung-ho about completing the rest and getting started.”

Devin Ott, the township’s zoning officer for the past six months, has submitted his resignation. “I’m sorry to see him go. I’ve enjoyed working with him,” said Doney, adding that Ott has accepted a full-time job to replace his two part-time jobs, one with the township and the other at a factory closed by the pandemic. Ott’s last report, presented in person at the meeting, noted a stop-work order for renovation underway at the former Kozy Korners assisted living facility in Seelyville, the reason being failure to obtain necessary permits.

A township file management project, begun under Ott’s supervision, has identified thousands of records dating back to 1960 that must be destroyed in compliance with state-mandated privacy provisions. At $11 per box, shredding is estimated to cost approximately $2,000. “I think we should dig a pit and burn them,” said Doney. “And that’s just to start. There will be more.”

The roadmasters’ report was brief: no road work was done during April, with only urgent catch basin cleaning done, so far, during the pandemic shutdown. Pykus & Sons Excavating has been contracted to resurface Bucks Cove Road and work is expected to be completed by mid-June.

“Should we resume our normal two meetings per month schedule?” asked the supervisors, who last month held only one meeting per advice from the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors. “Do we need two?” they asked each other. The answer came back, “No.” There will be no May 18 meeting; the next meeting will be June 1.

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