The Marlborough supervisors voted not to go along with a new county radio purchase proposal that would require all police departments to replace their existing radios with radios costing $6,404 each. Pottstown and Collegeville were among the other Montgomery County municipalities also rejecting the program.
Locally, Pennsburg, East Greenville and New Hanover Township voted to either lease or purchase the upgraded radios.
“After the upcoming election, the commissioners will roll out some other program,” Supervisor Carl Ascoli predicted. Ascoli said the two commissioners in favor of the new radios, Democrat Joe Hoeffel and Republican Jim Matthews, will be out of office and that the new board of commissioners will take a second look at what is Montgomery County’s biggest capital spending proposal ever – $48 million .
The supervisors also considered and rejected a county-offered lease for the radios which would have had the township pay $850 per year for each of five radios, at a total ten-year outlay of $42,500.
Marlborough Police Chief Ray Fluck told the board that some of the current radios need repairs and that parts for the 10-year-old radios are unavailable.
Fluck also said the state may impose a one-dollar tax on all cell phones to pay for the radios.
“I’m concerned about paying ten years of lease payments for radios that might not last ten years,” said Chairman Brian Doremus.
The vote was unanimous: the supervisors are going to wait to see what proposals a new board of county commissioners can come up with.
In other township business:
As of last Wednesday’s supervisors’ meeting, DEP representative Daniel Mensah had not yet issued a report on the continuing stormwater runoff controversy at the vicinity of the Finland Mennonite Church and the John Wood property, even though the township had asked for a report months ago.
The supervisors voted to contact State Rep. Marcy Toepel and State Senator Bob Mensch to step in on the matter and to pressure DEP for a report. They also asked Township Manager Paul Williams to arrange to have Mensah appear at the August 10 supervisors’ meeting.
The supervisors voted to pay all of the bills except one: their solicitor’s bill, for $950, until the bill could be audited for incorrect charges. The withholding of payment came as a result of objections by Joan Smith, who said the bill did not provide enough detail.
The supervisors also voted to draft a letter expressing support for an Upper Hanover Township request to have PennDOT keep one lane open during an upcoming bridge reconstruction project near Palm.
PennDOT has announced that Route 29 will be closed to allow the repair of bridges crossing the Hosensack and Perkiomen Creeks, but area businesses in that vicinity had objected to the closure.
Williams told the Marlborough board that having one lane open would lengthen the time the bridges would be under repair and would also add as much as $1 million to the cost of the repairs.