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Chester County Press

Penn Township gets grant for new sports park

05/10/2016 01:41PM ● By J. Chambless

(Photo courtesy Jim Mundell) Russellville Grange members were awarded certificates for Penn Township’s Storm Drain Art Contest.

By Nancy Johnson

Penn Township operations manager Karen Versuk could barely contain her excitement when she announced at the May 4 Board of Supervisors meeting that the Chester County Commissioners had awarded the township a $400,000 grant for a sports park.

“This is amazingly good news,” Versuk said. “The people we have been interacting with at the county on a number of things have just been fantastic.”

This grant, and another for which the township has applied through Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, are awarded to encourage municipalities to preserve open space.

Versuk also reported that she has received word that FEMA will reimburse the township approximately $35,000 for expenditures incurred during snowstorm Jonas in January. “I hope we never have another mess like that snowstorm, but we are doing everything we can to be prepared,” said Curtis Mason, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “We are in the process of building our own salt shed, and we want to have more, larger trucks available for snow removal.”

Roadmaster Don Urban has been tasked with soliciting and reviewing bids for snow removal in sections of the township. “I’ve talked to 17 people,” he told the board. He explained that he is having a hard time finding any contractors who can meet all the requirements in Penn’s bid package.

“If they can’t meet our template, don’t go any further,” Mason said. He then explained that a big part of the problem in finding qualified snow removal contractors is that PennDOT is now subbing out their work, so many contractors will be busy just doing work for them.

Skip McGrew reported that the Planning Commission has sent comments for the Chester County Planning Commission to consider for the update of the administrative section of Penn’s zoning ordinance. Updating the ordinance is a daunting task that Penn Township's planning commission has taken on with help from the Chester County Planning Commission. The county’s work is funded through a grant.

Progress is continuing on the Red Rose Inn. Supervisor Jay Ennis said, “We have electric in the Red Rose Inn for the first time in ten years.”

Ennis reported that a permit has been issued to remove the dormer on the building, and he is working on getting the brick repointed. The supervisors discussed the three methods of repointing that Ennis described: Cement, a traditional lime mix, and a lime wash.

“Do it right the first time,” said supervisor Radar O’Connell, indicating his preference for the traditional lime mix. The rest of the board agreed.

When the restoration work is complete on the Red Rose Inn, an area inside will be dedicated to the history of Penn Township. Versuk noted that the Historic Commission has been revived with great enthusiasm at a recent meeting. Their first task will be to review, catalog and clean up the current stockpile of items. Following that, the community will be invited to share items.

Young members of the Russellville Grange were awarded certificates for their participation in the Storm Drain Art Contest. Each drew a poster and submitted it. The public chose the winners at Penn’s Public Safety Day on April 16. At a date to be determined this summer, winners will, with help from Penn’s staff, each paint one of the township’s storm drains. The runners-up will help by stenciling other storm drains.