PENN >> Ensuring the safety of township residents has a price. At its Oct. 1 meeting, the Penn Township Board of Supervisors voted to approve a formula for funding the West Grove Ambulance service. The ambulance serves seven municipalities that have been struggling to determine a fair way to share the costs associated with ambulance service.

The plan approved by the supervisors uses three factors to set each municipalities obligation: number of calls, population, and millage. For Penn, this would mean a contribution of $90,254 for the year. Under the previous proposed system, based half on calls and half on population, Penn would have paid $102,000. Penn Township is in an unusual position because it is home to several age restricted communities that generate a higher percentage of ambulance calls.

“This seemed to be the fairest as far as everyone’s concerned,” said Supervisor Curtis Mason.

The formula will need to be approved by all of the municipalities in the ambulance’s coverage area. The cost of fire protection is separate, as is Medic 94 service. The figure for fire company service given by Supervisor Victor Mantegna was $129,908.07.

A cost approved for payment now is the township’s portion of starting a new a.m. radio channel for Avon Grove Regional Emergency Management (AGREM).

Penn Township’s share of the first year cost of $32,336.40 is $5,728 with future costs at a lower rate. For the second year, the total to all municipalities in the group is $9,240 dropping to $7,070.40 in the third year.

Robert Grabus from the Chester County Economic Development Committee spoke briefly at the meeting about the work of the Route 1 Corridor Economic Development Committee.

“Our charge is to reach out to the municipalities. This corridor really bisects the township, you of all the townships down here have done the most to diversify your tax base and you work force,” Grabus told the board. He also told the supervisors that he would support their efforts to find funding for improvements to the intersection of Baltimore Pike and Route 796 in Jennersville.

TMACC executive director Tim Phelps was also at the meeting with an update on the SCCOOT bus system and a request for continued funding from the township.

SCCOOT buses will be getting a new paint job so that they can be wrapped with advertising to generate income, plus there will be new bus stop signs that include a stop ID number and a QR symbol. The next step is to have the information integrated into a program for a smart phone so you can find out if your bus is on time and when it is expected to arrive.

There are eight SCCOOT bus stops in Penn Township. Last year the supervisors contributed $1,000 to help support the buses.

Under the Roadmaster’s report, line painting has been completed for this year with the exception of the two roads that are still to be paved. Briar Drive and Valley Road will be paved at the end of October or beginning of November.

Marcella Peyre-Ferry reports on meetings and other events in southern Chester County.

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