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Chester County Press

The Public Works Department earns township accolades in London Grove

03/21/2021 11:31PM ● By Steven Hoffman

The members of the London Grove Public Works Department were the stars of the show at the township meeting on March 10.

At the beginning of the department’s report, Dave Mattson was presented with a citation for his 17 years of service to the township on the occasion of his retirement.

Supervisors Chairman David Connors praised him for his years of dedication during which he gave unselfishly and exercised sound judgment.

Connors also thanked Mattson for his years of serving as the certified host inspector for SECCRA, the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority, which sits within the boundaries of London Grove. He will be replaced in that role by township fire marshal Robert Weer.

The supervisors also announced a letter of thanks from resident Russ Losco, who fell on ice and needed emergency medical response. Connors relayed the information given by Losco that when the ambulance crew was unable to make it through the ice to attend to him, Public Works Director Shane Kinsey and crew member Nate Hughes jumped into action to assist the EMTs.

“They were outstanding. I am eternally grateful, and they should be commended for their commitment to other people,” Losco was said to have written in the letter.

In a related comment, Connors complimented the road crew on responding to six snowstorms and clearing the roads. 

“We’ve gone from some the worst roads to best roads in Chester County,” he said.

Later, Sue Geiger and Walter Borys, the township’s representatives on the Avon Grove Library Board of Trustees, thanked the supervisors for their annual support. Borys said London Grove consistently donates five dollars per resident to the library, which is the request set by the library board. The library is also supported by five other townships, state and county contributions, donations from patrons, and fines.

Library director Lori Schwabenbauer described how they came through the past year of quarantines and closings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that after the library was closed for four months at the beginning, it reopened. She said people have told her that they did not know what they would have done without the library services during that time.

Through the library staff’s creativity, they live-streamed story time, put their programs on Youtube, and set up programs to distribute craft kits for adults and children.

One woman told Schwabenbauer she was even able to read to her daughter in Florida.

The library staff also enhanced their e-book programs and streaming of audio books.

Ironically, Schwabenbauer said, with the increase of the online spread-out presence, “We are seeing people we never saw before.”

The library is open 54 hours a week and shares material with 18 libraries in the county.

Later, Open Space Committee consultant David Sweet reported that there are ongoing conversations about altering the qualifications for people to obtain conservation easements.

Conservation easements are legal agreements that allow people to protect their land by voluntarily preventing it from development. In return, the government or municipal body grants them certain benefits, like tax credits or other financial benefits.

Sweet said the conversation has been whether to consider changing what have been five strict prohibitions for obtaining the easements into a list of permissible items, provided certain conditions are met.