"Please don't feel you are isolated," said Lt. William Teper, commander of Troop J, which operates out of Embreeville. "If you have any problems, just give us a call."
Teper made his remarks at the July 8 meeting of the West Nantmeal Township Board of Supervisors. "We can call in police from all over," he added.
According to Teper, State Police presence has been increased since May, when State Police Sgt. Frank McCorkle had attended the township's monthly supervisors' meeting. "You may not see a police car every day, but the police are present," said Teper. He added that State Police from Berks and Lancaster counties are available and on call.
Since May, according to Teper, additional efforts have been made to control speeding on Chestnut Tree Road and on Route 82. He said there have been 86 traffic checks in problem areas.
In the first six months of 2002, Teper said there were 113 reported incidents in West Nantmeal Township. These included 20 vehicle accidents including one fatality. Two drivers were arrested for DUI with one traffic accident attributed to a DUI.
He further stated that no burglaries were reported but there were four reports of theft. There were no calls for an emergency response team.
Teper cited two examples of the State Police's presence in the township. He said a trooper on patrol was asked to help a motorist in distress at 3:20 a.m. along a township road. Five teenagers were also discovered in a field drinking beer, and were apprehended.
Teper expressed concern over the reaction of residents to State Police protection that Sgt. McCorkle noted at the May meeting. According to Teper, Sgt. McCorkle said those attending appeared "polite but dissatisfied."
"We are trying to make changes and add people," said Teper in light of the residents' reaction.
Concern continues to grow over traffic issues in the township.
Chairman Gary Elston noted there will be increased traffic once school starts. He pointed out that traffic increases on Route 82 and on Chestnut Tree Road when students cut across from Honey Brook. Elston said there was another accident at the intersection of Routes 82 and 401 when a motorist went through a stop sign. He reported Elverson Borough Council is trying to work with PennDOT to determine why motorists fail to stop at the stop signs posted on Route 401 at that intersection. Elston said a four-way stop sign at that intersection is not advisable. He suggested rumble strips on Route 401 and 'stop sign ahead' signs.
Supervisor Ray Beiler said he has seen teenagers on dirt bikes and four-wheelers on Isabella, Bollinger and Chestnut Tree roads. He said they go 50 to 60 mph on Chestnut Tree Road. Beiler says he thinks he knows who the teenagers are. Teper said, "When you get a problem like that, call us.'
In other business, Township Secretary Susan Ward said the board had a review of the basics of a Township 537 Plan (waste water treatment) prepared by Gannett Fleming. Township Engineer Fred Turner will be involved in the planning. The cost of the contract is almost $40,000. One-half of the amount will be reimbursed. A motion was approved to start work on the 537 Plan which would be available, if needed, in the future.
Ward said there have been several new applicants for inclusion in the Act 43 Agricultural Security Zone. An Ag security zone is an area of 250 acres or more where the landowners are protected from nuisance complaints such as long hours of work, noise or odors. Inclusion in an Ag Security area permits entry into other land conservation programs.
Ward said every seven years there is a review period during which applicants can get into the program, get out of it, or make changes. Letters noting these options will be sent out to landowners.
Elston said landowners can make application to Act 43 any time. August will be the best time, he said. There are plans to review and update applications to Act 43 in August. The applications are reviewed by the West Nantmeal Planning Commission and the Chester County Planning Commission.