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Heidelberg supervisor discusses emergency responses

All three Heidelberg Township supervisors were present for the July 16 board meeting, which was held in person at the township municipal building.

To begin the monthly reports, Chairman Steve Bachman said the Regional EMS Steering Committee met the day before and all members are following COVID-19 safety protocols.

He also noted calls have slowed over the last quarter.

Furthermore, Bachman reported first responders are having issues getting their trucks to fit into private driveways, and responders will not risk damaging vehicles into uncleared driveways.

He said the truck sizes will be noted in a township newsletter.

“If they can’t get in, your house is at your own risk. So keep your trees clean,” Bachman said.

In the Emergency Management Coordinator report, township EMC Dawn Didra said she attended numerous webinars regarding communication with the public during a disaster situation.

She said more compliance with mask-wearing results in less coronavirus transmission.

Didra also noted she is still looking for additional funding sources, following county, state and national updates on COVID-19, and working on the township’s pandemic and continuity of operations plans.

For the ambulance report, Bachman said Northern Valley EMS responded to 18 calls in June and had one missed call handled by another party, for a 94 percent coverage rate and a 9.1-minute average response time.

NOVA responded to 108 calls for the year.

In other matters, Vice Chairman Jonathan Jakum noted in the office operations report that the video intercom system will be installed shortly, after which the office will begin holding regular hours again, with the vestibule open to public access.

Road Superintendent Kevin Huber reported the road maintenance department’s new trucks are under construction.

They are expected to be completed and operational by winter.

He also noted the road crew has been busy mowing, cleaning and clearing pipes and helping with oil and chipping in surrounding townships.

Huber said they will continue pipe work, erosion maintenance and fixing drainage issues on Saddle Road.

In his engineer’s report, Chris Noll said he looked into sewage issues at 6065 Memorial Road and noted the property and the adjacent homes do not have a current, legitimate septic system.

He said there is room to install a holding tank on the property, and there is some land off Bake Oven Road to possibly tie the properties into the septic system, but this would be dependent on the landowners’ willingness to allow the township to install lines, or on the township’s use of eminent domain to acquire the necessary land.

Noll also noted that under Act 537, municipalities are required to provide sewage disposal service to residents.

He would need to inspect the existing pipe work to learn more about the system and ensure it is not flowing into Jordan Creek.

In closing, Noll told the homeowners to contact consultants and the Department of Environmental Protection to devise a solution for the septic issue.

He asked Didra to send letters to the other two affected properties and ask for their cooperation.