Township adopts ordinance to bring it into compliance with state code; supervisors agree to support regional bike path grant application
By Mike McGann, Editor, UnionvilleTimes.com
EAST MARLBOROUGH — Crossing guards that work for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District will now have their training overseen by the township, after the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance bringing into compliance with state code.
As a Class Two township, the township can allow other entities, such as a school district, to employ crossing guards, but it must make sure that the guards are properly trained. Police Chief Gerald Davis will now oversee that training and specify what training will be needed for guards after a revised ordinance passed Monday night.
The school district has employed a pair of crossing guards on Route 82 in front of Unionville High School and Patton Middle School to manage traffic and protect pedestrians — in most cases, students — who cross the roadway near the schools.
While the informal arrangement has been in place for decades, supervisor Richard Hicks discovered that the state code requires the township oversee training — and that started the process to revise the ordinance. The impetus was a concern over liability in the event of an accident if the township was failing to comply with state law.
In other news, the board of supervisors signed off on a stipulation to resolve a dispute over gate access behind the SuperFresh on US-1. While the property’s owners had wanted to use a “lock box” to store keys to the locks on gate, township supervisors said they wanted an electronic gate switch, which would allow police and other first responders to open the gate without getting out of their car — a safety concern.
The property owners agreed to install lock boxes on both gates, but add an electronic gate control when they seek a building permit for a planned expansion of the SuperFresh.
Also, the township agreed to join Kennett and Pennsbury in seeking a county grant to build a bike path from the Delaware state line to Longwood Gardens along Route 52. While much of the funding is in place to complete the path from Delaware north to Hammorton, the final piece between there and Longwood has not been funded.
Although Pennsbury is expected to be the lead applicant for the grant, the effort is being spearheaded by Kennett, which has the largest amount of roadway involved in the project and already has grant money for the southern portion of the roadway, from Mendenhall to Hammorton.
The open question is what the final path will be and how much of it will be in the township. The current path calls for the bike path to cross US 1 at Hammorton and follow the roadway south, crossing the new Route 52 before running into Longwood Gardens. Potentially, the bike path could circle much of the Longwood property, putting much of the final path in the township.
Supervisors chair Cuyler Walker expressed concerns in agreeing to join the grant application. One, that agreeing to do so would not commit the township to spend money and that two, if the township decided it needed to withdraw, that it wouldn’t hurt the other township’s ability to continue on with the project.
Tom Nale and John Haedrich, representatives from Kennett who addressed supervisors during the meeting, assured Walker and his colleagues that neither was the case. If the grant is approved, between 80 and 90 percent of the project cost will be paid by the grant.