Penn Supervisors deal with construction and proposals
By Nancy Johnson Correspondent
Anyone driving in the vicinity of Jennersville Road and the Route 1 bypass has noticed that the long-anticipated Jennersville Medical Building, a Penn Medicine endeavor, is underway.
The construction firm has now asked for a change order to the approved plans for the building. At the recent meeting of the Penn Township Board of Supervisors, township engineer Kevin Matson explained that shortly after beginning construction, the builder encountered a higher water table than expected, and they need to adjust the stormwater management plan. He added that amending the plan will withdraw plans for Phase II of the project, a third level to the building.
Looking at the proposed revision, supervisor Victor Mantegna said, “We’re not looking at a large area. It’s basically eliminating some parking spaces in two areas.”
Planning Commission chairman Skip McGrew said the group had reviewed it and recommended approving the change plan. “I don’t see that there is any risk in it,” he said. The supervisors did not appear to have any issue with the request, although board chairman Curtis Mason noted, “I just want to see it all in writing. Have them put in the detail and a revised set of plans.”
Nodding, Matson said, “I will tell the applicant that the board doesn’t have an objection, but just wants documentation.”
The supervisors approved spending $22,310 to have their engineers, McCormick Taylor, prepare a preliminary design for reconfiguring the problematic Route 796 and Baltimore Pike intersection. Mason said that while they hope to receive substantial grant money for the actual work, a plan must be submitted first.
The board granted an extension until Dec. 3 to Qihe Food Corporation to submit land development plans. At last month’s meeting, McGrew had explained to the board that they had questions regarding the company’s plans to grow Shiitake mushrooms, since the growing method is different from other varieties of mushrooms.
In other business from last month, Dansko’s request for a zoning amendment that would make their building on Federal Drive suitable for a potential lessee has been put on hold by township solicitor Sam McMichael. McGrew told the supervisors that several members of the Planning Commission had visited visit the current operation of the potential lessee of the Dansko building, Anholt Technologies in New Garden Township.
“It’s a pretty impressive operation,” he said of the company that designs and manufactures surgical equipment for cancer treatments. He added that the functions they planned to move to the Penn Township site did not appear to pose any issue as far as noise or heavy traffic.
The board turned its attention to another returning business item: The Avon Grove Regional Emergency Management (AGREM)’s efforts to have its municipalities support a locally managed information AM radio station. Chuck Freese of AGREM told the supervisors that he had presented the idea to all the surrounding municipalities, as well as to Penn last month, and has “gotten about 99 percent positive response, as well as some good media attention.” He added, “I came back to see if you have any other questions, and AGREM would like to know where Penn Township stands on it.”
He confirmed that the dollar figure he was requesting from Penn, based on population, would be $5,728. He emphasized that AGREM was asking early so to give municipalities time to put it in their 2015 budgets, but added that if they could swing it in 2014’s budget, that would be even better.
Mason asked supervisor Bill Finnen, who also serves as secretary/treasurer, if it would be possible to pay the township's portion early, so that AGREM would some working capital for the project. Finnen agreed to let Freese know by the October board meeting. “This board is committed to helping you out,” Mantegna said.
The Annual Community Picnic and Health & Wellness Fair, a joint effort between Penn Township and Jennersville Regional Hospital, will again take place in Penn’s park on Sept. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mason announced that the funds raised for the event slightly exceeded last year's, and the entertainment and food (while it lasts) is free to the public.