Chairman's Corner

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November 27, 2017

Veterans Day celebration – Earlier this month, on Saturday, November 4th, Uwchlan Township’s Veterans Committee celebrated Veterans Day at our new memorial on the township campus, also known as Baird Park. We had a bagpiper, Mark Ryan, start the ceremony, followed by Pastor Dan Mawson from Victory Baptist Church with the invocation. Army veteran Dick Stoudt led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Getting this memorial built was a long-time goal of mine and I was once again happy to organize this event and introduce our speaker, Lawrence Davidson, Director of Veterans Affairs for Chester County. His message was meaningful and was given from a veteran’s point of view to illustrate the issues they face as they return home.

As part of his message, he presented the Vietnam War commemorative pin to over 15 Vietnam-era veterans. The back of the lapel pin is engraved with the words “A grateful nation thanks and honors you, USA Vietnam War commemoration.” Two widows of Vietnam veterans also came forward to be recognized and received pins for their husbands’ service.

Uwchlan veterans Jon Groff and Sandy Lopacki then read the 28 new names that were added to the pavers of remembrance. For this celebration specifically, Glenn Gilbert, Commander of the Downingtown American Legion Post 475, presented a beautiful red, white, and blue wreath to celebrate this holiday. With prayer followed by the music from the bagpiper, we concluded the ceremony. It was an emotional and moving tribute to our veterans and the families that support them.

Many thanks go to our township staff and The Hankin Group for all their help with this event.

wreath

Industrial Development Authority – Several years ago, we founded an Industrial Development Authority as an initiative within the township that enabled us to facilitate non-profit companies and manufacturers with low interest, tax exempt financing from local banks. We are one of two entities that can do this in Chester County under Pennsylvania law and we partner with the Chester County IDA for administrative support.

On November 9th, I participated in a settlement and closing on a $3 million refinance package for St. Elizabeth’s parish through Wilmington Savings Fund Society. This was a months-long project that we were glad to see come to fruition. And working that day with all concerned, along with Monsignor Thomas Mullin, was indeed a pleasure.

Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors partnered with our police department to establish the Citizen’s Police Academy.

It is a 12-week program aimed at broadening community policing activities. The link below will take you to the township information page. At our next Board of Supervisors meeting on December 11th, we will be recognizing and honoring our first graduating class from the academy.  We are always happy to see more folks getting involved in local activities.

http://www.uwchlan.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/249

Just a reminder that the last Yard Waste Pickup will be on Saturday, December 9th. All yard debris must be bundled or in PAPER bags (anything in plastic bags will not be taken) and curbside no later than by 6:00am to ensure pickup.

Finally, we are all certainly blessed and I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. I have much to be thankful for. And for all of our veterans, thank you for your service and welcome home!

Joe Toner

610-594-2545

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November 2, 2017

I have been contacted by several people recently about some misinformation being distributed regarding the Sunoco pipeline. I’d like to take this opportunity to clear up the record and perhaps provide some additional pertinent information.

Below is the text from an email that I received from Lynda Farrell yesterday. Lynda is the Executive Director of the Pipeline Safety Coalition and is a trusted advisor to us as well as to other pipeline coalitions across the county. First, there were questions/rumors circulating regarding agreements between Uwchlan Township and Sunoco. They do not exist. Second, there was a rumor about open cutting of the pipeline between West Whiteland up into Marchwood. We have contacted Sunoco and we received this response from Matt Gordon, Energy Transfer Partners: "I’ve heard there are rumors that plans for the horizontal directional drill between Shoen Road and Devon Drive have been changed to open cut. That rumor is not true. We are planning to restart the drill when we receive permission from DEP to do so."

 Lynda’s email follows.

PSC responding to many emails: #1 - PSC encouraged all communities along the pipeline route to ask Twp if Sunoco had an agreement with them and if so, was Sunoco in compliance with the terms of the agreement. PSC has since confirmed that Uwchlan Twp and East Goshen Twp do not have agreements with Sunoco. If anyone has filed RTK(*) in these twps - you should withdraw - waste of time and money. #2 re: open cut in Uwchlan Twp. The agency to confirm with is DEP - not Sunoco - not twp. We've seen over the years that twps and county are misled or lied to by pipeline operators - we've seen cases where Sunoco is not any different. That's a prime reason PSC is working to forge relationships with municipal officials to work cooperatively - not adversarially - proactively moving forward - not looking back. Results have been seen in the Uwchlan resolution and in East Goshen following suit. Others are lining up (more when we have solid information), but this can only be accomplished by working together respectfully. Kudos to Uwchlan and East Goshen Twp for taking the first steps!

Lynda K. Farrell - Executive Director
Pipeline Safety Coalition 

 (*) RTK – Right to Know request

And let me just add an update on some other pipeline-related activities on our joint behalf. Through the summer, the Board of Supervisors worked in conjunction with the Uwchlan Safety Coalition to write a new resolution that would place caps on the number of pipelines in an easement and limitations on the products that can be transported in those pipelines. In an effort to move that process along, on September 26, I was in Harrisburg to address the PUC staff as part of the Consumer Advisory Council to review our resolution, No. 2017-25. The result of that was a request by the staff to distill the resolution into items requiring PUC action. Further, the Consumer Advisory Council directed the PUC staff to determine who has siting responsibility for gas pipelines. More to follow as I meet monthly with the PUC staff.

Subsequently, on September 28, Mr. Wade Lee and I attended a meeting of the Chester County Association of Township Officials to review our initiative, Resolution No. 2017-25. The outcome of the meeting is that the board wants to combine our resolution with a similar new initiative from East Goshen Township, Resolution 2017-170. In addition, the CCATO board is forming a multi-township committee to develop a county-wide approach to pipeline issues.

This afternoon, I will be participating in a panel discussion regarding the role of the municipality during pipeline construction. The objective of this meeting is to address the current situation in Pennsylvania, what local governments are able to do, and what changes might be necessary to protect the public.

Finally, in a letter dated August 14 to Gov. Wolf, DEP, PUC, and our County Commissioners, we are supporting a moratorium on the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction. That letter also requested that Gov. Wolf and the enabling agencies revoke the permits granting Sunoco the rights to construct the Mariner East 2 pipeline.

Sorry this got to be so lengthy. I’m hoping this clears up some of the issues surrounding this. You can also find previous comments about the pipeline below in some of my earlier postings.

Joe Toner

610-594-2545


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October 22, 2017

Veterans Memorial – Please mark your calendar for Saturday, November 4th, 2:00 p.m. for a dedication ceremony of 27 additional pavers that have been installed at the memorial site. Our Uwchlan Veterans Committee will host this event and, as part of the event, will read all of the veterans names that have been added recently. The Boy Scouts will be on hand also to place a wreath to commemorate Veterans Day.

Joining us for this ceremony will be Lawrence Davidson, Director, Office of Veterans Affairs for Chester County. He will make a special presentation of a commemorative pin to our Vietnam-era veterans. Pastor Dan Mawson from Victory Baptist Church will offer the invocation and benediction. Light refreshments will follow. This is a rain-or-shine event. Please join us to honor our veterans and their families and celebrate Veterans Day.

Log Cabin – We were very pleased to receive some great recognition from Bill Rettew, Daily Local News, regarding the log cabin that was constructed on the township campus that preserved our Uwchlan history and memorialized the gift of land by Mr. Joe Hoffecker for Lionville Park. This project was spearheaded by our own Supervisors Fred and Pat Gaines along with members of our Uwchlan Historical Commission, and the cabin was dedicated on July 8th in conjunction with our annual Community Day.

Much credit goes to Norman Glass for his construction of this period-correct cabin using some very uniquely notched logs. The flags that fly outside this cabin are the Uwchlan Township flag as well as a Colonial 13-star flag.

logcabin

Please take a moment to read this article for some extra detail.

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20171011/uwchlan-township-preserves-18th-century-log-house

Over the last couple of weeks, we have dedicated our three Little Free Libraries. As has been mentioned in my previous updates, these book boxes have been installed in three of our township parks – Windham Park behind Target, Williamsburg Park in the Williamsburg development, and Acker Park in Marchwood.

There was a small ceremony for each box where residents were able to help stock the books. We even had some help from a couple of our very young residents to place the children’s books. Dog treats have been added to each box to make sure our furry friends are welcome too! In fact, Suzanne Simonelli and Charlie stopped by to show their approval for the books and treats. Nancy Peterka added some very creative decorating to the box at Marchwood.  Cathy Baylouny easily wins the prize for the most books donated!  And thanks to our own local author, Kevin Ryan, for donating his own book, Thinning the Herd. I want to just say thank you to everybody who supported this project from the beginning.

thumbnail3Ackerbox










We hope to be placing a few more of these libraries in some of our other parks next year. This is something that is growing in popularity here in Chester County and beyond as part of an overall literacy project. Let us know what you think. Suggestions and comments are always welcomed.


Even though we’ve all been enjoying the extended warm weather, the leaves have begun to fall. Just as a reminder, our next yard waste pickup dates are October 28, November 4, and November 18. Details for how to put the yard waste out can be found on the township web site.

Halloween is just around the corner! As usual, Trick-or-Treating will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project? It’s a great national initiative that started just a few years ago designed to create a safe environment for children with food allergies or other medical conditions. If you place a teal pumpkin at your door or post a picture of a teal pumpkin, that lets trick-or-treaters know that non-food treats are also available. Those treats can be things like stickers, glow sticks, crayons, or markers.

Joe Toner

610-594-2545

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October 3, 2017

First order of business: We want to say welcome back to Township Manager Doug Hanley! I am delighted to announce that Doug has returned to full-time duty with us as of October 2nd after a lengthy illness. His professionalism, experience, leadership, and commitment to our township is without question. We are glad to have him back in the driver’s seat!

This writing of this most recent “Chairman’s Corner” was slightly delayed because my wife, Nancy, has had me locked away in a wood shop building book boxes for three Little Libraries that are being installed over the next two weeks. One of our neighbors, Nancy Peterka, has been working along with our Park & Recreation Board to start this fun and educational initiative. And our Park & Recreation chairman, Harry Ambrogi, is installing them for us.

Bookboxes

The “Grand Opening” celebrations will be:

Saturday, 10/7, 9:30 at Windham Park (Dowlin Forge Road behind Target)

Saturday, 10/7, 11:00 at Williamsburg Park on Burdette Drive in Williamsburg

Saturday, 10/14, 9:30 at Acker Park on Bauman Circle in Marchwood

Please join us for the festivities if you can …. and you can always bring a book to donate!

Logo-LittleFreeLibraryVERTICAL

Did you know there is an Exchange Zone in the parking lot of the Uwchlan Police Department, 717 N. Ship Road? This zone, which is under constant video recording, is for our residents to use to complete transactions related to online/internet purchases or sales from any number of sites such as Craig's List. Having an area like this lessens the likelihood of anyone becoming the victim of a crime while completing their transaction. This site can also be used by parents who are involved in the exchange of children as part of a child custody exchange.

PoliceExchange

If there are any Eagle Scout candidates in our midst, we have a township task that is a perfect fit for you. Within a few weeks, we will have a former US Postal Service mailbox to use as a deposit box for worn US flags. This box comes to us through Sandy Lopacki, a US Army Vietnam Veteran and a member of the Uwchlan Township Veterans Memorial Committee.

The task will be to develop scheduled ceremonies in conjunction with the Veterans Memorial for the proper disposal of worn US flags. It should include a schedule of all the steps necessary to accomplish proper disposal in accordance with federal guidelines and with the respect and dignity due this task. We are going to paint, refurbish, stencil, and place this mailbox receptacle at the memorial before winter sets in. So if you are a Life Scout looking for an Eagle Scout project, call me at the number listed below.

And … speaking of the Veterans Memorial, the committee will be meeting this week to work out the details for our next ceremony and dedication for pavers being installed to honor veterans past and present. There are approximately 30 new pavers to be installed. Our goal is to hold this second ceremony before Veterans Day. More details will be coming out about this. To all our veterans reading this, if you have any thoughts on this process, I’d love to hear from you.

Joe Toner

610-594-2545

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September 13, 2017

At Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, we promoted Uwchlan Police Officer James W. Hall to be our newest sergeant.  This highly-regarded officer has 10 years of service with us and recently completed a competitive promotion process that included a Board of Review comprised of police lieutenants from other Chester County police departments.  Conducting the ceremony was Chief Scott Alexander; and the swearing-in was handled by Judge Lori Donatelli.  Sergeant Hall’s family and relatives were in attendance, as were many fellow officers. 

Sergeant Hall is an honors graduate of the Municipal Police Academy, a graduate of West Chester University, and also of West Chester East High School where he attained National Honor Society status.  In addition, he served in the US Marine Corps and, as a young man, was an Eagle Scout.  Great profile!  His young children described the ceremony as a “Yayyy!” event.  I couldn’t agree more.  Congratulations, Sergeant Hall!

Sunoco Update

We have received no recent complaints reported to the township or our inspectors and no police issues were reported.  We also reached agreement with Sunoco for them to pay all of our costs associated with their drilling operations and inspections.  In June alone, these costs totaled $5,400. 

This past Tuesday, there was a report by a homeowner of discolored water in a stream near Baker Drive.  Appropriate parties were contacted and Sunoco assembled a response team on site within 30 minutes that included an environmental inspector and a geologist and immediately shut down drilling operations.  The Department of Environmental Protection also sent a water quality expert to the site.  The notification and response process worked very well.  It was determined that the discolored water and sheen was due to house painters working nearby that had either cleaned their brushes or dumped excess paint into the stream.  Follow up is being handled by Uwchlan Police.

Lionville Fire Company Clam Bake

This was, once again, an exceptionally well-run event and very well-attended.  Everyone had a great time, enjoyed the food, music, and especially the clams!  Deputy Chief Bill Minihan shared with me that they served over 5,000 clams in the first hour.  This event’s success is a direct result of many, many hours of volunteer time by so many folks.  It was evident from the festive atmosphere that everyone was enjoying the day.

Veterans Memorial

Since our dedication on July 8th, we now have 23 new pavers to install before Veterans Day.  These pavers honor and memorialize veterans past and present.  Our Uwchlan Veterans Committee will conduct a ceremony before Veterans Day in November where the names on the newly-installed pavers will be read. Those families will be notified in advance of the ceremony.  Further details will be forthcoming.

20170708_133932

Joe Toner

610-594-2545

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August 27, 2017

Sunoco Update

As you all might have noticed, at the access points of the pipeline sites, substantial metal gates have replaced the orange rubber mesh to secure the openings.  In addition, the mowing and trimming of easement areas has begun in accordance with our request to Sunoco.  Both of these items have been an irritant to all of us and involved our inspectors and the police securing the orange mesh many times due to carelessness on the part of Sunoco’s employees.

One other Sunoco item … earlier this week, a construction sign was placed in the 700 block of North Whitford Road near Crump.  The legs of this large sign extended over the sidewalk, causing a tripping hazard for one of our families.  Patrol officers had the sign moved for pedestrian access.

We will continue to monitor safety at these work sites.

Officer James Gallagher from Springfield, PA has recently joined our police force.  He comes to us with previous law enforcement experience from both the Easttown and Collingdale Police Departments.  Officer Gallagher was a Dean’s list cadet at the Delaware County Community College Police Academy.  The process to become an officer in Uwchlan is lengthy and extensive.  We are delighted to see him in uniform as he starts his probationary period with us.  Congratulations and welcome!

Last Monday night at the Board of Supervisors meeting, we appointed Elyse M. Jackson of Laurel Moors Drive to the Historical Commission.  Elyse has been an active volunteer, and we believe she will make great contributions to our most active commission.  Congratulations and thank you for your interest!

Mr. Swymer, from Reber Circle, contacted me for help in slowing down the traffic on Devon Drive from Route 113 to Whitford Road.  This has been a problem area for us, as well as other high-traffic areas in the township.  To date, we have monitored and tracked speeding on that portion of Devon Drive.  We have stepped up patrols and enforcement, as well as placed our electronic speed monitors for all to see.  The involved areas include the high school and YMCA with two crosswalks clearly marked and perhaps one other that needs to be striped.  We are looking at implementing some of the traffic calming solutions similar to what was done in Malvern on King Street.  Chief Alexander has engaged traffic planner John Caruolo for assistance.

With Labor Day weekend just ahead, don’t forget about the annual Lionville Fire Company clam bake.  It’s a great chance to meet with our neighbors and our fire fighters … plus the clams are delicious!  Here is a link for tickets and information.  http://www.lionvillefire.org/apps/public/news/newsView.cfm?News_ID=437

With school about to start, let me just say I hope you all enjoy the remainder of your summer! 

Joe Toner

610-594-2545

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August 20, 2017

Sunoco Update

Last Monday night, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a groundbreaking resolution concerning large-scale public utility/pipeline projects. The resolution established the “will and intent” of our municipality. Normally, a resolution is half a dozen lines of substance on a page. In this case, it was five pages that included noise, lights, hours of operation, caps on the number of pipelines permitted in an easement, as well as limitations on the products that can be transported by a pipeline company.

Also, among many other items, it addressed market value/assessment of properties impacted by pipeline activity and tax implications for the taxing authorities. This was a collaborative effort with many players involved, including the Uwchlan Safety Coalition. I’m very appreciative of their efforts on behalf of our community.

Next steps are to take this resolution, this legislative roadmap, and update our own ordinances to match its will and intent. This will include our own ten-year comprehensive plan.

More importantly, Mr. Wade Lee and I will be sharing this resolution with the executive board of the Chester County Association of Township Officials on Thursday evening for rollout across the county. It is an ambitious effort with an ultimate goal of statewide acceptance and the necessary legislation to follow.

-- As we start to get ready for the Fall season, just a reminder that Uwchlan now has additional yard waste pickups scheduled through the year. This link -- http://uwchlan.com/237/Yard-Waste -- provides the dates and details.

-- Monday, August 21 marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Supervisor Fred Gaines. I’m thankful for all his achievements here in Uwchlan on our behalf … and for the genuine friendship that we shared. It’s really quite a legacy of success and he is missed.

-- On the same subject, on Saturday, the first annual Fred’s First Responders 5K run was held to benefit first responders from Uwchlan Ambulance and the Lionville Fire Company. With Supervisor Pat Gaines at the helm, the family ran a great event at Wellington Square in Eagleview with many sponsors that really boosted attendance. Well done Pat and family!

-- On a more personal note, I wanted to share that recently, when leaving the township property, I noticed something that had been placed at the Veterans Memorial by the base of one of the five pillars devoted to the different military branches. As I got closer, I could see that a long-stemmed rose had been left there … and also saw that a rose had been placed by each pillar. I can’t tell you how touched I was by this gesture from a group or family or an individual. This was an emotional moment for me and I want to say thank you for the anonymous remembrance and gesture for our veterans.

Joe Toner

610-594-2545

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August 13, 2017

For my second installment here, I want to start by saying thank you to all of you who let me know of storm drain issues, road problems, park issues, or any other potential safety issues.  Recently, we fixed a broken storm drain off of Bough Road and patched a 16-inch by 16-inch square opening on Longwood Road.  Mrs. Samples, of Robin Road, while jogging very early in the morning, stepped into the opening and fell.  The cause of the square opening in the road is unknown; however, it was fixed by 3:00 p.m. the same day by our Roadmaster, Jimmy Peterson.

So if you see something needing attention and it’s not normal business hours, you can always call me at the home number listed at the bottom of this page.

On a personal note, many of you know our long-term township manager, Doug Hanley.  In early July, Doug suffered a stroke and was treated at Paoli Hospital.  During his rehabilitation, he’s been back at work for half days and is expected to return full time August 21st.  He expects to make a full and complete recovery.  Doug’s leadership and impact within our township has been clearly outstanding.  If someone in the county wants to know how to get something done, they call Doug Hanley.  He has been missed!

In conjunction with our Veterans Memorial and our local Boy Scout troops, for some time we have been trying to find an old, used mailbox with a pull-down flap.  We want this as a drop-off receptacle for worn American flags.  Discarded flags are required to be disposed of in a certain fashion and our local Boy Scouts will be assisting in that process.  I’m happy to report that Vietnam Veteran and Uwchlan resident Sandy Lopacki has found one for us.  We will get it transported here and refurbished/repainted for use. 

This Saturday, 8/19, will be the first annual “Fred’s First Responders 5K” held at the Eagleview Town Center.  Registration will be at 7:30 a.m., with the run starting at 8:30 a.m.  All proceeds will benefit first responders of Uwchlan Township.  This is in memory of Supervisor Fred Gaines, who passed away last August.  Registration:  Runtheday.com.

Sunoco Update

As you know, each week I meet with our Police Chief Scott Alexander, our E.B. Walsh inspectors, and Wade Lee from the Uwchlan Safety Coalition to assess Sunoco activities, any shortcomings, problems, and complaints.

This week was, again, relatively quiet.  There was an issue raised about grass cutting on the pipeline easement and there were no police complaints for the week.  During a conversation on Friday evening with a Sunoco representative, I was informed they are re-committing to our No Smoking policy on the pipeline easements as well as grass cutting and trimming along the easements.

Also, Sunoco is going to replace the orange plastic netting that’s currently being used as a gate and will replace it with a composite gate material that can be closed and secured in a more substantial way.

Talk to you next week!

Joe Toner

610-594-2545

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August 5, 2017

Thanks for taking a look at the Chairman’s Corner. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and hope to post updates every week or so as events dictate. What a great, active, and vibrant community we live in!!

So here goes …

First, our annual Community Day is an exceptionally popular event, all run by volunteers. The fireworks are spectacular! This year, we added two events to the day: the dedication of the Uwchlan Log Cabin and the Veterans Memorial.

Supervisor Patricia Gaines led the Log Cabin dedication and discussed its creation and financing as well as the origin of the logs. This historically accurate cabin was built from logs that were embedded in the Hoffecker house on Route 113. Mr. Hoffecker donated the land that is now Lionville Park.

It’s a great story and a great effort thanks to our Historical Commission!

The Veterans Memorial dedication was a large recorded event put on by veterans from our township with support from outside groups such as the Junior ROTC from Coatesville Senior High School. Our local veterans raised the American flag as well as the POW flag while Uwchlan native Tom Force played “To The Colors” on the trumpet. Additional music was provided by Victory Baptist Church. Congressman Ryan Costello was our speaker and Pastor Dan Mawson gave the invocation and benediction.

I was more than gratified with the meaningfulness of the dedication. Veterans took turns reading the names of the veterans on the pavers to honor them and the families that wanted to remember and celebrate their loved ones past and present. We had over 100 people come out on a very hot afternoon. My thanks go out to the Uwchlan Veterans for their efforts.

Of special interest, Congressman Costello provided us with an American flag that had flown over the US Capitol on June 26, 2017. This flag was flown in honor of the Veterans Memorial at the request of Congressman Costello.

Sunoco Pipeline

Sadly, this is not a good thing for our community. Each week, I meet with our Police Chief Scott Alexander, Inspector Dan Daly, and Wade Lee from the Uwchlan Safety Coalition to assess Sunoco’s activities and any shortcomings, problems, and complaints. This week was relatively quiet – one township complaint of a damaged sidewalk on Whitford Road and no police complaints. The sidewalk was not damaged enough to be a tripping hazard. But if it does become one, it will be replaced with asphalt until a permanent fix can be made.

I expect drilling activity to pick up as the Court permits, and we will all be doing our best to limit the impact on our community.


Questions or comments?  Feel free to give me a call at 610-594-2545.

Joe Toner