Pocopson asked for school house work approval

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By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, The Times

LocustGroveSchoolHouse

Pocopson’s Locust Grove School House, where the township’s Historical Committee is seeking permission to continue restoration work on the building, which would be paid for with grant funds.

The Township’s Historical Committee gave officials an update on plans to place a tree and marker in Pocopson Park in memory of Bill Sellers, who dedicated countless hours of service to protecting and preserving the township’s history and natural beauty.

Newly appointed committee chair, Kris Firey-Poling asked Supervisor’s to allow the committee to move forward in bringing electricity to the school house, to recruit volunteers to help drywall the ceiling and to gather bids to fix portions of the basement wall in order to ensure the building’s structural integrity.  Firey-Poley said that all work would be paid for with grant money.

Supervisors and residents commended the township Public Works Department on their excellent job of clearing local roadways during the recent snow and ice events. Public Works Director, Mark Knightly said the township is receiving salt deliveries on a regular basis.

Supervisors’ Chair, Ricki Stumpo told audience members the township is working on a new website which will be more interactive than the present site. Stumpo said the site will allow residents to download and print information from their computer – currently accessible only by visiting the township office.

Pocopson resident, David Ziegler and two family members, asked Supervisors to investigate his concerns about the township’s Deer Management Committee.  Supervisor Matt Read, who is the liaison to the committee, assured Ziegler that officials would look into concerns and will set up a meeting for all parties to discuss the allegations.

Another resident inquired if the township would be liable if someone using the trails were to become injured due to slipping on ice if the trail was not cleared. Officials answered that the township is protected from liability under a state ruling and that the township carries adequate liability insurance.

Supervisors’ Vice-Chair, Georgia Brutscher, a member of the Barnard House Steering Committee, explained that recent state grant money awarded to upgrade surrounding parkland and establish handicapped bathroom facilities is being called the “Wawaset Road Project.” Brutscher made a motion to accept a professional services authorization from Richard Jensen, the township Zoning Officer, to render services as the project manager. Several residents expressed concern about Jensen’s being the project manager since is already a member of the Barnard House Steering committee and a township employee. Residents said they view the appointment as a conflict of interest.

Supervisors said Jensen could resign his position from the steering committee and explained that they felt he was the best candidate for the position because of his expertise. Jensen said the position was not a conflict because his job “would be to represent the residents of the township” and to make sure they receive the best deal for their money. Despite assurances, residents insisted the township solicit bids from other contractors, even though the service does not require following the bid process. Stumpo suggested the decision be shelved until the next meeting and officials agreed.

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