The Aug. 8 town hall meeting in Honey Brook Township was simply an opportunity for people to come in and talk, said Supervisor John McHugh.
He and Supervisor Joe Fenstermacher introduced Alice Horan, an advocate of drug prevention programs and a member of Kacie’s Cause, at the meeting.
Horan said Kacie’s Cause was founded by Andrew Rumbert, who when entering his daughter’s room, found her dead of a heroin overdose at age 23.
Drug awareness and Kacie’s Cause will be topics at the Kennett Square town hall meeting planned for Oct. 2, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Kennett Square High School. A similar program was held at a Parkesburg community meeting on Aug. 10 at Octorara High School. The website for heroin awareness is maintained with pride by the Keystone Valley Fire Department of Parkesburg. Everyone who shares a common goal of eliminating drugs in the community is welcome to get involved.
Rumbert is speaking at town hall-style meetings to raise awareness of drug-related problems. He is very passionate, said Horan.
There are 200 volunteers and a core group. Rumbert is trying to get a ‘Good Samaritan Act’ passed that will protect friends or acquaintances from charges if they call authorities about a dangerous situation involving drugs. People need to be educated, Horan said. Parents in the organization offer help for those affected, and people are free to offer their experiences.
Sometimes, when it is right in front of you, you can’t see it, she said. Grades may fall, there may be truancy and a young person may start stealing things. But when people start to take an interest in others and offer help it takes the stigma away.
McHugh said there is a problem in the community. “We don’t see it, but it is there,” he said.
Lenny Brown, who works in Honey Brook’s emergency services, said he told the ambulance crew he was coming to the town hall meeting.
“There is a drug issue in Honey Brook,” he said. “Alice is 100 percent right. There are a lot of issues behind the scenes. The Good Samaritan Act is a right step.”
He said he is behind the program 100 percent. There will be a table with information on drug awareness and programs to combat it at Harmony Day.
Fenstermacher said the Honey Brook supervisors recently attended a meeting in West Brandywine Township on July 30 where residents met to voice concerns about the condemned bridge over the Brandywine on Icedale Road. No West Brandywine supervisors were present on the lead panel to monitor the discussion, but State Reps. Becky Corbin and Tim Hennessy, and a representative from State Sen. John Rafferty, Jr.’s office were among those who addressed the 60 residents in attendance.
There are people with health problems who could be affected by the bridge closure. The area was closed off for 13 hours because of flooding in 2012. The damaged section of the road is in West Brandywine Township, and funds to build a new bridge will be difficult to get, said Fenstermacher.
Other requests at the meeting included a better township web site and a better schedule for publications of the Honey Brook Township newsletter.
The township wants to publish the newsletter on a quarterly basis. So far they have had only one issue this year.
McHugh also brought up special events in Honey Brook. He said the township needs someone to be a primary contact for events such as Harmony Day to help coordinate. The township also needs volunteers to maintain the raised bed gardens, he added, and those interested in helping should call the township office.
Honey Brook Township is the only municipality participating in the Chester County Food Bank program, McHugh said, and he recently informed the county commissioners of this. The commissioners were very impressed with the township’s effort.
Honey Brook Township is working with West Brandywine to provide emergency services in the event there is flooding on Birdell Road. The solutions that were discussed are short term solutions but long term solutions to mitigate the flooding problem must be addressed, McHugh said.
One resident said the township needs to get the word out on what is going on. People want something done for their tax payments. He mentioned a regular publication of the newsletter.
Another resident was concerned by illegal use of dirt bikes, motorcycles and dumping of trash and tires. A resident commended Roadmaster Don Johnson and the road crew for keeping the township clean.
Fenstermacher said each supervisor is looking out for the welfare of the residents. There will be another town hall meeting December 12.
The township also plans to gather a more complete list of military veterans and the names will be placed on a plaque in the meeting hall, said McHugh.