Kennett swears in new part-time police officer

Southridge residents argue against emergency entrance

By Kelly O’Hara, Correspondent, The Times

New Kennett Township Police Officer Brandi McCoy is sworn in by District Justice Gwenn Knapp, Wednesday night, during the Board of Supervisors meeting.

New Kennett Township Police Officer Brandi McCoy is sworn in by District Justice Gwenn Knapp, Wednesday night, during the Board of Supervisors meeting.

KENNETT — The  township welcomed a new part-time police officer to the force at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday.

Officer Brandi McCoy, accompanied by her husband, was officially sworn in by District Justice Gwenn Knapp. This comes as the township is recognized as the Safest Municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Supervisor Whitney Hoffman proudly showed the award, which will be displayed at the township building.

Also on the agenda was a public discussion regarding the potential of adding a second emergency entrance to the Southridge development.

Southridge is a community in the township that is made up of 59 homes. Currently, the only entrance to the community is a 50-year-old bridge. The supervisors were concerned about the impact of a potential catastrophic loss of the bridge or flooding that would prevent residents or emergency personnel from accessing the development and invited residents to come to the meeting to discuss some of the solutions that they came up with for adding a second entrance. Roger Lysle, Public Works Director, answered questions about these potential solutions.

It was standing room only, as the residents of Southridge came out in force to strongly express their opposition to a second entrance. More than 30 residents of the community attended the meeting and most voiced their concerns about any changes to the development.

Resident Andy Blab, who would be directly impacted with part of the road going through his front yard, made several arguments questioning the value of a second entrance. The current bridge entrance is well maintained, inspected every two years and does not show signs of deterioration. Marla Palmer, another resident of the community, suggested that any proposed solution should be based on a thorough evaluation and report from a land engineer. There was widespread skepticism as to the necessity of a second entrance.

Hoffman reminded the attendees that one of the jobs of the township is to protect the safety of the residents of the township and they were concerned about the potential of not being able to access the community in the event of an emergency.

Due to the overwhelming opposition of the residents of Southridge, the board agreed to table the discussion and will not pursue the construction of a second entrance. Should that change at any time, they agreed to contact the Southridge HOA.

Other agenda items of note were the Board approval of the Sweetbriar conditional use application and the approval of the final land development plans for Hnos Lara, LLC.  The supervisors also approved the amended FEMA township maps which are available online on the FEMA website.

The next Kennett Township Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 6 at the Kennett Township Building.

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