Pattye Benson

Community Matters

St. Davids sidewalks

Sidewalks coming (finally) to St. Davids Golf Club!

Mark your calendars!

The “long and winding” sidewalk saga at St. Davids Golf Club is finally coming to an end. After more years than I care to remember, the infamous ‘sidewalk to nowhere’, as coined by some, is finally going to happen. At the end of tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Tredyffrin Township engineer Steve Burgo, announced that as of this afternoon, the project is moving forward. According to Burgo, St. Davids has hired a contractor and the sidewalk (path) installation work will start next week, on Wednesday, February 20th.

A process has a beginning, middle and an end. This path was included in a land development agreement between St. Davids and Tredyffrin Township signed many years ago. I did a search on Community Matters to see how long ago I wrote my first post on the St. Davids sidewalks topic — for the record, my first post written on this subject was November 15, 2009.

The St. Davids sidewalk saga actually got its start 8+ years ago, in November 2004, when representatives for the country club made a presentation to the township’s Planning Commission that included a sketch plan of their proposed new country club addition. Ultimately the sidewalks became a Planning Commission requirement in that land development agreement. During the intervening years since 2004, St. Davids completed their addition and in August, 2005, $25K was escrowed for the sidewalk component of the project. In July 2006, St. Davids was given a 2-year construction timeline to build the 4-ft. wide asphalt ‘path’ and until recently, the project never advanced past that point.

I recently learned from a former St. Davids board member, that the club had the cost of building the sidewalk in their budget all along, and was committed to building the sidewalk — simply stated, they were waiting for the township to tell them to build it. Wow. At this point, I don’t care who is responsible for the lengthy delay; I’m just thrilled that the ‘end’ of this process is finally coming next week.

Of course, the only caveat to the ‘shovel going in the ground’ next week, on February 20th is possible interference from Old Man Winter. But always the optimist, I’m counting on Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction earlier this month,indicating an early Spring, which will allow St. Davids to complete their land development agreement with Tredyffrin Township.

A Township Resident is Tredyffrin’s New Township Manager

Although there were only 9 residents at tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting there is significant news to report. Chair Michelle Kichline reported that the township has hired Bill Martin as Tredyffrin’s new township manager, effective November 19.

Martin comes to Tredyffrin Township from Bridgeport where he has served as their Borough Manager since September 2011. Martin started his career in Nassau County (New York) as a Legislative Assistant. In 2001, he focused his career in local government with Radnor Township, serving as Assistant Finance Director. For the ten years he was in Radnor, Martin served in many different capacities from Acting Finance Director, Right to Know Officer, Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator, Director of Administrative Services, Interim Director of Community Development, and Assistant Township Manager to Acting Township Manger. He left Radnor Township to become Bridgeport Borough Manager last year. Martin received a BA and MBA from Villanova University and here’s the best part … he is a Tredyffrin Township resident! Martin could be the first township manager to live in the township, which I for one think should always be a requirement!

In other news, Kichline reported that she had delegated the task of drafting a website policy to Phil Donahue. She explained that Donohue is seriously ill in the hospital, having had surgery today. I don’t have any further details but I know that you join me in wishing him a speedy and full recovery. Because of the illness, Kichline explained that she will draft the website policy and expects to make it public next month. Having been on the receiving end of what I believe was the misuse of the township website (and taxpayer dollars) by supervisor John DiBuonaventuro, I am hopeful that the new policy will stop anything similar in the future.

Six months ago, at the April Board of Supervisors meeting, I asked for an update on the status of the sidewalks at St. Davids Golf Club. At that point, it appeared that the sidewalks were finally going in with the necessary advance tree removal completed. Tonight Steve Burgo explained to me that due to the delay in the project, St. Davids had to update their permit with PennDOT before sending it out to bid. Unfortunately, this was exactly the same response that I received last April. I asked for follow-up and an update at the November supervisors meeting.

I inquired about Mimi Gleason’s consulting contract with the township and if there was an expected end date. According to Mike Heaberg, to date Gleason has worked approximately 50 hours under the new consulting contract, which he pointed out was less than what she would have been paid as township manager. It is expected that Gleason will work through the transition of Bill Martin starting as township manager next month. It appears that Gleason will be only working with the township a few days beyond Martin’s start date. I also asked about Gleason’s healthcare benefits – according to Tim Klarich, her township healthcare benefits ended September 30th.

That’s the highlights from the Board of Supervisors meeting. Tonight the School Board directors voted on the teacher’s contract so I look forward to hearing those details.

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