The tree-lined roads of Hereford Township are beautiful, but after the October 29 storm, the trees seemed more of a burden than a natural treasure.
“It was just a horrible time,” stated Hereford Board of Supervisors’ Chairman John Membrino at the board’s Nov. 1 meeting, regarding the clean-up efforts of the road crew following the storm.
“Snow removal was quite easy,” he continued, “but roads with the most canopy were an absolute nightmare.”
Membrino said road equipment failures, no electricity and broken windshields, headlights and snapped-off mirrors on their vehicles contributed to the crew’s clean-up woes. He noted that the township may be filing an insurance claim to cover the costs of repairs.
“The road crew did the best they could,” he said.
Township resident Ed Mosheim noted that one of the remaining problems was bunches of tree debris sticking out into the roadway and volunteered to assist the crew in removing the debris where it poses a hazard to motorists.
Membrino reported that though the roads were all open, many residents were still without power.
Township staff member Maryjean Sell said that township residents without power may come to the township office on Seisholtzville Road between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to warm up, use the restrooms, and get a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or bottled water. The office is closed for lunch from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sell noted that some agencies are reporting that outages could continue until Monday.
“Whatever we can do for our residents, we’ll do,” stated Membrino.
During the public appearances period, Tim Krall discussed how to keep unlicensed massage parlors out of Hereford and other communities. Krall and his wife Vicki, residents of Cumru Township, Berks County, were representing an organization called FREE – Freedom and Restoration of Everyone Enslaved – which is fighting human trafficking on the local level.
Krall stated that he wanted to address the board because of the past problems with a massage parlor at 59 Star Road in Hereford that had been shut down twice in 2010 and 2011. He noted that this problem had been occurring in small communities in the county and FREE was trying to raise awareness on how municipal governments could prevent these operators from coming to their communities.
He noted that an amendment to the zoning ordinance, which would then be able to be managed by the township zoning officer, was “by far the better route to go” than depending on law enforcement.
Krall stated that Pennsylvania had passed a law that required licensing for massage therapists to prevent these types of practices “that are being used illicitly.”
He further noted that an ordinance could require “the zoning officer to receive copies of these licenses before they could establish their business.”
When asked if this could be done legally, township engineer Jennifer McConnell stated, “I believe it can,” and noted that licenses are required for restaurants, hair salons, and similar businesses, and that an across-the-board requirement could be made for any professional, licensed practices so as to not single any one out.
“We are allowed to propose reasonable performance standards,” stated township solicitor Eugene Orlando.
In engineering news, McConnell reported that Upper Milford Township was requesting usage of Stein Road in the township for truck traffic related to repairs of the Yeakel Mill Bridge in Upper Milford. The supervisors agreed if Upper Milford’s third party contractors named Hereford as an additional insured on the insurance certificate, given that Hereford residents use the bridge to access route 100. The project is pending until Upper Milford reviews bids for the repairs.
At the close of the meeting Membrino acknowledged the service of Mary Young to the Upper Perkiomen School Board.
“I want to thank you for your service to the school board,” he said, and praised her for “level-headedness and your research.”
Young served for eight years. “School board is a thankless job,” stated Membrino, “and I don’t think people say thank you.”