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Human Interest - Falls Township

Falls Seeks Volunteers to Fill Important Civic Roles

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Would you like to help guide the future business initiatives, share insight on historic preservation, and have a say in recreational programs in Falls Township, officials ask?

Falls Township is seeking volunteers to serve on seven advisory boards. The level of involvement varies, with some bodies meeting on an as-needed basis, while others play a larger or more active role officials announced last week.

“Serving on boards, commissions and committees is a great way for residents to stay updated about the topics of greatest interest. Volunteers can take pride in helping to shape their community now and into the future,” said the township administration.

Here’s an overview of the various board openings:

Planning Commission

  • The planning commission is comprised of five members and three alternates.
  • The commission meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.
  • The planning commission currently has one opening for an alternate position. Alternates serve four-year terms.

 Disabled Persons Advisory Board

  • The five-member board meets on an as-needed basis on the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m.
  • The board has two vacancies for a four-year term.

Historic Architectural Review Board 

  • The five-member board ensures historic integrity throughout the township.
  •  The board also advises owners of historic buildings regarding rehabilitation, repairs, maintenance methods and technologies, adaptive use, economic and tax incentives, and other historic preservation strategies.
  • The board has one five-year vacancy – to be filled by a registered architect or qualified building contractor.

 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

  • The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.
  • The board is comprised of seven members.
  • Each member serves a five-year term.
  • There is one vacancy for a five-year term.

Zoning Hearing Board 

  • The Zoning Hearing Board is a five-member board with members serving five-year terms.
  • The board is also comprised of three alternate members who serve three-year terms.
  • The Zoning Hearing Board meets every second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.
  • The board advises the Falls Township Board of Supervisors in matters such as appropriate land usage, parking facilities and signs, as well as adherence to lot dimensional regulations and minimum structural standards.
  • The board has two openings for a three-year term for alternate members.

Cable Advisory Board

  • The Cable Advisory Board is a five-member board with members serving three-year terms.
  • The board meets quarterly at 8 p.m.
  • The board has four openings available and one alternate vacancy.

Historical Preservation Commission

  • The Historic Preservation Commission is a five-member board with five-year terms.
  • The commission meets on a special schedule at 7 p.m.
  • The commission has one vacancy for a five-year term.

If interested in joining any of these volunteer advisory bodies email a letter of interest to the attention of the Falls Township Supervisors at admin@fallstwp.com.

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

New LBTQ+ Advocacy Group Fairness Pennsylvania Launches

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Fairness Pennsylvania (FPA), the first full-time statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights program in several years kicked off on Monday, June 3 with Pennsylvania organizers, advocates, and legislators  at the state Capitol.

“We are ready to hit the ground running,” said Sarah Hammond, Fairness PA’s State Director, in a press release. “There are so many engaged activists and strong voices working right now in communities across the state. Our first priority is to identify ways that a new, statewide organization can assist these dedicated activists to move the needle here in Harrisburg and around the state.”

Hammond said. “…FPA is dedicated to promoting equality and fostering nondiscrimination principles in PA so that our LGBTQ+ community can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in our communities across the state.”

In a statement, Governor Josh Shapiro said, “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of tolerance and understanding and I’m proud to stand alongside Fairness PA as they work to promote those values and build a better, stronger Commonwealth for all.”

Credit: Submitted

“No matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, you deserve equal protection under the law in Pennsylvania….” said Shapiro. “It’s long past time we put partisanship aside and pass a nondiscrimination law that protects LGBTQ Pennsylvanians,” continued the press release.

Hammond said that an immediate priority for Fairness PA would be passage of the Fairness Act, which would ban discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations in the state, according to the press release. The Fairness Act passed in the state House in April 2023 but has yet to be considered in the state Senate. Shapiro earlier this year called on on the General Assembly to finally come together and pass the Fairness Act.

Fairness Pennsylvania can be found online at fairnesspenn.org or @FairnessPA on social media.

For more information, please visit Fairness PA or contact Pete Shelly at pshelly@clearpointpa.com.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Randall Ave Bridge Restoration Project to Begin Next Week

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The long awaited and much anticipated work to the Randall Avenue Bridge in Bristol Township will begin in earnest next week, township manager Randee J. Mazur said Thursday.

We have an executed agreement with Haines and Kibblehouse based in Chalfont H & K) in the amount of  $1,085,260.00. The project was originally planned to start June 21st and was pushed back a week by Amtrak to now begin Friday, June 28th,” she said.

Mobilization for the work began earlier today, with  setting up the construction laydown areas. They plan to use a portion of Pitt Avenue that is closed and will set up temporary chain link fence with a lock to secure all materials and equipment, officials said.

The Project Schedule is as follows:

6/28/24 to 7/1/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 3 with nighttime outage on Track 2

7/12/24 to 7/15/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 2 with nighttime outage on Track 3

7/26/24 to 7/29/24 – 55 Hour Outage on Track 1 with nighttime outage on Track 2

The bridge work, with no delays to the schedule, should be completed by the end of July, Mazur said.

Randal Ave Bridge Closed
Credit: Lower Bucks Source

“Gilmore and Associates is finalizing the abutment project bid and details, should be completed early July and then we will solicit bids for this work.”

If the abutments are ready for work, then with contract awarded, this work could start as early as July or August and is estimated to take three months. The abutments are what is required for the 3.5-ton limit and there is discussion with the work being done that it may be able to be increased once completed. The township manager said, our police department was advised we will need truck enforcement for the bridge to enforce whatever weight limit there is while we continue to work on design and funding for a full bridge replacement.

The 169-foot span bridge in the Edgely section of the township has been closed since February of 2023 after chunks of the bridge fell onto the ground and onto the Amtrak and SEPTA rail lines below. For the 16 months township officials have worked feverishly reviewing solutions, applying for grants, speaking, and meeting with  civil construction companies and leveraging county, state, and federal officials seeking help and support.

A community meeting held by the township in January involving officials from state, federal, and Amtrak offices seems to have put the project in motion. For almost a year there was little to no movement on what exactly should be done, due in part to Amtrak’s specific guidelines and requirements, one official, who asked not be identified said.

The project has gone back to using hi rail equipment for some of the work. H&K has their hi rail inspection scheduled for June 26th. H&K is planning to mobilize today and start setting up the construction laydown areas today and tomorrow (6/20 & 6/21). They plan to use a portion of Pitt Avenue that is closed and will set up a temporary chain link fence with a lock to secure all materials/equipment, Mazur said.

 

 

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Health - Bensalem Township

THE Giant Co. & Customers Raise More Than $400,000 For Healing Our Planet Initiatives

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Through its Healing Our Planet initiative, The GIANT Company today announced it raised $403,360 in partnership with its customers to support Planet Bee Foundation™ and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful™. During the month of May, customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S and GIANT Heirloom Market stores were invited to round up their grocery purchases to the nearest dollar to support each organization.

“Action inspires action and small changes such as tree plantings and pollinator awareness can make a big difference when it comes to helping our planet, so thank you to our customers who rounded up at the register to support these green initiatives,” said Courtney Hopcraft, manager of charitable giving and community relations, The GIANT Company. “Over the four years of our Healing the Planet campaign, more than $6 million has been raised to grow health and sustainability initiatives centric to creating healthier communities and a more sustainable future.”

Announced earlier this month, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful in partnership with The GIANT Company announced it will award Healing the Planet grants later this summer to local community organizations for tree plantings across Pennsylvania. Additional funding from The GIANT Company will support Pick Up Pennsylvania and local clean up, recycling and greening events.

“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is grateful to The GIANT Company for their support of native tree planting in their operating areas in Pennsylvania. Funding will also support our Pick Up Pennsylvania program, so we can continue to meet the needs of families, friends, neighbors, civic groups, nonprofits and municipalities working towards a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania,” said Shannon Reiter, president, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Cleaning and beautifying communities tends to reduce littering and other illegal behaviors, making it a better place for all residents and providing a foundation for community and economic development.”

Credit: Submitted

Planet Bee Foundation drives awareness for pollinators and the importance of bees as a pathway to STEM, conservation, and innovations in agriculture. Funding raised by The GIANT Company will support local beekeepers, research programs, and school and community programs.

“On behalf of Planet Bee Foundation, I wish to extend our deepest gratitude to The GIANT Company for their donation, which has educated and impacted over 109,000 youth. Their generosity has sponsored STEM and Agriculture Education programs in schools, provided supplies to teachers, offered grants to local beekeepers, provided education at public events, and maintained beehives in community gardens, exemplifying their commitment to local communities,” said Debra Tomaszewski, founder and executive director, Planet Bee Foundation. “We are humbled and inspired by The GIANT Company’s commitment to sustainability, the health of our planet, and the well-being of the families they serve.”

For more information on The GIANT Company’s Healing Our Planet initiative, click here please.

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