By Betsy Wallace

Five Springfield Township residents attended the Springfield Township Board of Commissioners(“BOC”) monthly public workshop meeting held on Monday, Feb. 10. Here’s a snapshot of the issues discussed at the February Workshop meeting.

Springfield Township Receives Sustainable Pennsylvania Gold Certification

Assistant Township Manager, Brandon Ford, announced that Springfield Township received a Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Gold Certification for its sustainable municipal operations, policies and practices. The Township was one of three municipalities in Montgomery County to achieve that honor. Ford said that the Gold Certification will help the Township qualify for grants to fund its Mermaid Park project.

The Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, a project of the Pennsylvania Municipal League and Sustainable Pittsburgh, recognizes municipalities that are applying sustainable municipal operation, policies and practices. To earn certification, the Township had to provide documentation of their sustainable operations, policies and practices and meet a total of 131 criteria in nine different categories. The certifications are based on a point system and range from Platinum (203 to 300 points), Gold (136 – 202 points), Silver (80-135 points), and Bronze (35-79 points), to Associate level (1-34 points). Springfield Township’s score was 177. Montgomery and Lower Merion Townships also received Gold Certifications.

Yard Waste Program Update

The township is starting kickoff educational campaign about its new yard waste program. Volunteers will canvass neighborhoods with leaflets and door hangers describing the new weekly curbside residential leaf waste collection program running from the last week in March through December on regular collection days. Weather permitting, there will be a special yard waste collection in the last week of February.

Under the new program, grass clippings are no longer considered yard waste. Leaf waste is limited to the following: leaves, garden residues, shrubbery and tree trimmings and similar materials. Grass clippings must be placed in plastic garbage bags or garbage can and will be picked up with residential garbage.

Refinancing Construction Loan re: the Municipal Campus

Springfield Township is in excellent shape financially, carrying very little debt. In an effort to save more money, the BOC is looking into refinancing the original construction loan for the municipal campus as the rates are now between 1.5% and 1.6%. The rate on the original loan is 2.26%. If the BOC decides to proceed with refinancing, it may save about $100,000.

Traffic Signal request at Thomas Road and Germantown Avenue

Residents of the Hill at Whitmarsh say that the traffic on Thomas Road in Springfield Township, from Flourtown Ave to Germantown Avenue, that the intersection is congested and has poor sight lines, especially for drivers making left turns from Thomas Road. The ongoing road construction on Stenton Avenue makes traffic problems worse. The residents want the Township to install a traffic light to avoid accidents.

The Township cannot conduct a traffic study until Whitemarsh Township’s construction projects nearby are completed. The commissioners suggested that the Hill at Whitmarsh residents (who live in Whitemarsh) reach out to the Whitmarsh Board of Supervisors for a solution.

School District Will Not Purchase the Vacant Lot at 380 Haws Lane.

The owner of the vacant lot at 380 Haws Lane, recently sold the property to the 380 Haws Lane Partnership Ltd. after a failed attempt to get a zoning change to allow for an apartment complex. Residents in the area want to keep the land as a green space. At the BOC’s request, Commissioner Wilson met with the School District about buying the land for the District’s use but the School District declined because they would not be able to meet the State’s criteria for justifying such a purchase.

Interviews for Township Commissioner and various Board vacancies

The BOC interviewed four candidates to replace James Garrity who is stepping down: Kate Harper, Timoney Knox LLP, who was the former Solicitor for Lower Gwynedd Township; Andy Freimuth, Wisler Pearlstine LLP, a fellow partner in the law firm with James Garrity; Peter Amuso, Rudolph Clarke LL; and John Walko, Hamburg, Rubin, Muller, Maxwell & Lupin, PC.

The BOC approved two candidates for the new 5-member Historic Commission, T. Scott Kreilick, president of the Springfield Township Historical Society and owner of Kreilick Conservation, and Albert M. Comly Jr., an architect. Scott Kreilick and Al Comly both served on the Planning Commission Historic Overlay subcommittee and helped draft the Historic Resource Overlay District Ordinance passed by the BOC last year.

The BOC will approve a new member for the Library Advisory Committee, Ms. Renee Brooks, Wyndmoor resident for over twenty years and an educator for 44 years, and two school district appointees to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, Michael Needleman and Janice DePaul.

Walgreens and LabCorp request for signage

Township Solicitor Jim Garrity was directed to contact Walgreens to negotiate additional signage that did not include lighted signage at the intersection. Garrity reported that Walgreens agreed to eliminate signs in its east-side window, and on two of its four doors, and to limit its rolling message sign to no more than 2 message changes per hour. They will install a new sign near the drive thru that only illuminates the letters on the sign against a dark background.

Township residents can listen to the audiotape of the entire workshop meeting – just contact Mike Taylor, Township Manager: 215-836-7600. Check the Township website for all Public Meeting Agendas, minutes and video-recordings of the Township Business meetings at Springfieldmontco.org

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