The East Marlborough Township supervisors now know how much the municipality will have to pay to meet federal pollutant reduction requirements: more than half a million dollars over the next five years.
At their monthly meeting Monday night, the supervisors heard a presentation by James Hatfield, the township engineer, and Neil Carlson, his colleague at the Wilmington-based engineering firm VanDemark & Lynch, on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, part of the federal 1972 Clean Water Act, and its new requirements on reducing pollutants in stormwater.
Hatfield said the law requires municipalities to reduce the levels of sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen running into area streams after rainstorms. The engineers said reducing those pollutants will cost the township about $550,000 over the next five years.
Federal officials say the process is 'adaptive, iterative and dynamic,' according to the engineers, meaning the approach is meant to be flexible. 'It's going to morph over time,' Hatfield said.
Township Manager Jane Laslo pointed out an irony in the requirements, which is that they tended to focus on the newer, more intensive areas of development in the eastern part of the township while certain other areas, in particular Cedarcroft and Unionville, were exempt.
Laslo said the problem was that Unionville and Cedarcroft had been built before stormwater management systems such as retention basics were required, while the newer areas of development had such systems in place. The township might end up achieving only a minimal reduction in pollution under the current rules, while a greater reduction was possible if it could build stormwater controls where they did not currently exist, she said.
In other business, the supervisors heard a request from residents of the Traditions at Longwood development, just east of Unionville, that the township create an ordinance prohibiting solicitation. The residents said Traditions had been plagued by people aggressively going door to door seeking funds for various organizations.
Cuyler Walker, chairman of the township's board of supervisors, thanked the residents for bringing the problem the their attention. Putting an ordinance into effect didn't necessarily mean everyone would obey it, he said, but the supervisors had considered prohibiting solicitation and needed advice from the township solicitor about what sort of measures were feasible.
The supervisors considered two candidates of the four people who had applied to replace Susan Beach on the township planning commission. In the end they voted 3–2 for Charles Streitwieser. Walker said all the candidates were qualified, but Streitwieser stood out because he had gone through the county's master planner training program.
The board voted unanimously to hire a consultant to review the ordinances of the three townships-East and West Marlborough and Newlin-involved in a regional comprehensive plan. The consultant would review the townships' ordinances and help revise them to make the language and terminology in them consistent, Walker said. Part of the cost would be offset by grants, Walker said.
The supervisors also discussed the bikeway project meant to provide bicycling and walking paths between Willowdale and the roundabout at Unionville. Laslo said the next step was to choose an acquisition consultant to help the township acquire easements for 10 or 12 strips of land along Route 82 for various types of construction related to the project. Laslo said she had originally planned to simply talk to the residents along the road about the project, but was told by the authorities involved that they had to get a consultant and determine the land's assessed value.
As he has in the past, Supervisor Robert Weer argued that the project was unjustified and objected to spending tax money on it, even though the construction funding would come from PennDOT and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, not from township residents.
Walker pointed out that the funds were earmarked for such projects and if East Marlborough rejected them, they would go to some other municipality for a similar purpose. 'For better or worse, that money's going to be spent somewhere,' Walker said.
The supervisors decided to put off further action until they could learn more about what the township's responsibilities were in the project.