Winter woes may delay Pocopson repaving until 2015

Salt costs run beyond budget; fire company funding sought

By Kelli Siehl, Staff Writer, The Times

Salsa

Pocopson residents may have less chance for whimsy this coming year (as seen in this image from the summer of 2013), as big costs for road salt will likely cut into planned summer paving projects in the township.

POCOPSON — Old Man Winter’s punch may cause scheduled paving of township roads to be pushed into 2015, according to the township’s Public Works Director, Mark Knightly.

During a recent Board of Supervisors’ meeting  and “probably again at the next meeting,” Knightly reminded officials he “will need to fill up the salt barn – again.” Officials conceded that the township’s budget for snow and ice removal is already blown for this year and those funds must come from somewhere — in this case, paving budgets.

Supervisors’ Vice Chair, Georgia Brutscher added that the township has been way under budget for the past four years due to mild winters, “so we knew it would hit us one of these times.”

In other news, Supervisors’ Chair Ricki Stumpo and Supervisor Matt Read, along with representatives from neighboring townships, met recently with officials from the Longwood Fire Company in an ongoing discussion of the company’s financial needs. Stumpo and Read explained that the fire company is hurting financially because of the area’s rapid growth and a sharp decrease in volunteers. Read noted that the ambulance service has paid staff, but the fire company relies exclusively on volunteers.

Last year, representatives from Longwood Fire Company gave the townships they serve an ultimatum to come up with 55% of the funds needed to serve that individual township in the next five years, or find another fire and ambulance service. In response, Brutscher said the township broke out the emergency services portion of this year’s tax bill so residents could see just how much of the budget is dedicated to paying for emergency services.  Stumpo said officials are trying to work things out through the Kennett Area Regional Planning Commission.

Supervisors unanimously voted to lease the farmland surrounding the Barnard House to Barnard Bailey for the next five years. Brutscher said Bailey uses the land to grow corn which he needs to support his dairy cattle.

Resident and former Unionville-Chadds Ford Board of Education Holly Manzone was appointed as the township representative to the Brandywine Valley Scenic Byway Commission.

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Tags: budget, longwood fire company, paving, Pocopson, road salt

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