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Damascus Township Friday closures

By Linda Drollinger
March 19, 2014

DAMASCUS, PA — To offset unusually high winter road maintenance costs, Damascus Township offices will be closed all Fridays and federal holidays until further notice, effective March 21. The decision was announced by Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey Dexter at the board’s March 17 meeting. Seeking to reassure Damascus residents that essential services will not be curtailed on closure days, he explained that calls to office staff phone numbers will be automatically forwarded to staff home and cell phones. Operations supervisor Steve Adams also guaranteed that the office would be fully staffed in the event of any emergency situation. And Ed Lagarenne pointed out that any emergency causing or necessitating road closures can be reported by calling 911 and selecting the non-emergency option.

The board also announced its decision to reject the Upper Delaware Council’s (UDC) request to revoke permission for installation of two Verizon conditional-use cell towers within the township. Dexter explained that the decision was made after consultation with the township’s solicitor, who advised that reneging on the agreement could expose the township to civil action and legal fees. The solicitor also argued that the UDC’s request was based on faulty interpretation of an agreement clause defining major and minor commercial sites. Supervisor Joe Canfield noted that the “commercial sites” in question consisted of a single pole and nothing more.

Numerous calls from residents whose mailboxes were displaced and/or damaged by snowplows prompted passage of a resolution relieving the township of responsibility for mailbox damage incurred as a result of snowplow activity. Adams described how plow drivers’ roadside views are often obstructed and said that they cannot be held liable for damaging something outside their field of vision.

After discussion of the township’s limited capacity for records storage, the board voted unanimously to destroy official tax roll registers in accordance with the Pennsylvania disposition schedule established by Act 424 of 1968. All records prior to year 2007 will be shredded, at no cost to the town, by Josh Sheard. In response to privacy concerns voiced by members of the public, township treasurer Delores Card emphasized that the documents slated for shredding include no personal information, such as Social Security numbers or birth dates.

The supervisors voted uanimously to adopt a new, downloadable and printable 2013 Ordinance Compilation, and to accept an indexed version of the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO), changes intended to make ordinances more accessible and user friendly.