East Penn Press

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Thursday, August 30, 2018 by VICTORIA SMITH Special to The Press in Local News

Residents encouraged to contact township about flooding damage or loss

The Lower Milford Township Supervisor’s meeting Aug. 16 went late into the night as administrative staff addressed pressing concerns throughout the area.

The supervisors met prior to the meeting for an executive session for litigation purposes.

Assistant Township Manager Zach Cooperman reported on the flash flooding damage which occurred over the past weekend.

“We drove through the township and blocked off a couple roads. There was a lot of property damage. It ripped up floors, flooded basements and took down trees. There are roads cracked up – we have exposed pipes. It’s been pretty extensive damage.” He said the township’s first priority was to clear Urffer Road.

Supervisor Donna Wright noted the effects had been felt across the township.

“I don’t think there’s a single road that doesn’t have a washout or a ditch.”

Residents who have experienced property damage or loss are encouraged to contact the township office to make a report. According to the Lower Milford Township Facebook page, a record of damages will be submitted if the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency releases funding.

In other meeting news, the board voted to support Sharon and Gary Boyer’s request for variance to subdivide two acres of the Boyer Farm property pending a letter of support in advance of a zoning hearing on their behalf. The Boyers intend for the remaining 60 acres to be historically preserved after the land becomes eligible in 2019. The hearing was scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at the township building.

The Lower Milford Township Annual Fall Festival became the subject of debate toward the close of the meeting, as Supervisor Michael Snovitch raised concerns about using the road crew to set up for this year’s event in the wake of flood damage.

“I want to know how much time and effort it takes to set up for the festival on behalf of office staff and in particular, our road crew. We’re talking about taking a week out of four months of concentrated work. We’re scraping and I really question the festival.” Snovitch advocated for recruited volunteers to take on all setup responsibilities.

Township Manager Ellen Koplin disagreed about the extent of the road crew’s involvement and maintained they are a necessity in certain cases.

“Some things they have to do and we can’t ask the volunteers. They do the tents and mow the week of [the festival]. This is an agricultural community and I see more residents come to this festival than anything else that we do.” When asked if it would be possible for the road crew to complete their duties within two days, she agreed. The board decided to prepare an accounting of time and effort for all parties involved in the setup process, while recruiting more community volunteers and expanding existing volunteers’ involvement.

Residents interested in volunteering may call the township building directly. The fall festival is scheduled 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 22 on the township building grounds.

At the close of the meeting, resident Stephanie Stevens addressed the board about the frequency of speeding cars which she has witnessed on Bell Gate Road.

“Cars are literally flying down so quickly I can’t capture license plates. It’s dangerous. I have a daughter; I know that’s a public road but these people are flying down and there’s a 25 mile per hour sign.” Stevens was advised the board had already conducted several radar strip tests in the past out of concern for residents. The board agreed to draft a letter to the Pennsylvania State Police requesting a larger presence throughout the township to enforce speed limits.