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Local Government – Bensalem Township

Bensalem Council Restarts In-Person meetings with Live Streaming

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After closing down in person attendance at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last year, Bensalem officials announced the public will once again be able to attend council meetings beginning in June.

Council President Joseph Pilieri said meetings will once again be held in-person in the Township Council Chamber beginning with the June 14, 2021 Council Meeting.

Pilieri also announced that Council Meetings will be live-streamed also.

“I want to thank Mayor DiGirolamo and his administration for all that they have done to make sure that our Council Meetings have been accessible to our residents throughout the COVID Pandemic, and I am pleased that as we return to in-person meetings, our residents will have the option of viewing our meetings live on our Township TV Channel and over the internet,” Pilieri said.

Councilman Ed Tokmajian on his official Facebook page said “After years of requesting, pleading, and pushing the mayor and his administration, the township has finally agreed to live-stream our Council meetings. Residents can now participate from home, watching our meetings live and sending in questions and comments.

Council meetings will  live stream via the Township’s YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/bensalemtownship.

Details regarding protocols for the in-person meetings will be released prior to the June Council Meeting, said officials.

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

PECO: Treefall Causes Damage to Powerline, Roadblocks in Bristol

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A PECO power line pole in Bristol Township went down calling out area first responders Sunday night causing road blockages on Rt 13 and surrounding the area.

Bristol area first responders shut down access to Bath Road from Beaver Dam to Bristol Commerce Park, from Rt 13 and Bath St and even closed a small two block section of Bath Street in Bristol Borough from Buckley Street, to Rt 13.

Credit: Motorcycle Joe

PECO confirmed a fire-police call was initiated and their crews responded to the scene. They deemed the area safe from their standpoint and no outages in Bristol were reported, a spokesperson said.

Initial unconfirmed reports coming into Lower Bucks Source were a powerline pole caught fire.

The PECO Outage Map, as of 8:15 pm noted two outages in the Bristol -Bensalem area currently with over a dozen customers impacted.

There were no reported injuries.

In an unrelated incident, PECO said the Bensalem area is experiencing an outage and work crews are on-site with power restoration estimated to be four hours.

Efforts to reach area first responders for comment on the outage and reported fire were unsuccessful as of 8:35 pm

Updates as they come in

Credit: Motorcycle Joe

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Human Interest - Bensalem Township

Giant Donates 15,000 Thanksgiving Turkeys to Community Partners

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Today, The GIANT Company announced it will donate a record number of 15,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to food banks and community partners in the Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia communities it serves.

“Since 1923, The GIANT Company has been committed to helping its communities eliminate hunger year-round, but it’s especially important this time of the year to ensure that everyone can enjoy a warm holiday meal with their loved ones,” said John Ruane, president, The GIANT Company. “This year’s donations will deliver more than 125,000 servings of protein to families while creating moments to connect around the table.”

Turkeys will be donated to nearly 40 local food banks and community partners across its footprint. The GIANT Company team members will once again volunteer at food banks packing hunger relief boxes and organizing and restocking shelves in advance of the busy holiday season.

“We are extremely grateful for corporate partners like The GIANT Company for all they do in support of our work to feed the hungry in Berks and Schuylkill counties,” said David Delozier, chief development officer, Helping Harvest. “Together with their generous gifts and volunteer support we are able to make a difference for thousands of children, families, and seniors in our region.”

Customers are also invited to join efforts to combat local food insecurity this November. From Nov. 10 through Nov. 23, customers can also donate free turkey certificates at the register in-store to a local food bank. In addition, customers can purchase reusable bags to benefit Feeding America®.

For more information on the turkey redemption program, including how to donate your turkey certificate, visit giantfoodstores.com/pages/free-turkey-earn.

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Health - Bristol Township

Family Services Plans Buildout, Redevelopment of Levittown Shelter

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The Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter in Bristol Township operated by, Family Services Association (FSA), is planning to expand, overhaul, and build new facilities  

the nonprofit has been working on a plan to expand the shelter and provide better services to those experiencing housing displacement, officials say. 

“We have been thinking about how to make the shelter better,” said Julie Dees, the CEO of FSA, during an appearance at the October Bristol Township Council meeting. She was on hand seeking Council’s approval to submit a Statewide Local Share
Assessment Grant to the Department of Community and Economic Development
(DCED) for the Shelter in the amount of $ 1 million which they did.

Dees said, the shelter currently serves about 80 people, including children and has a wait list of more than 200 people.

The men’s dorm barely fits 20 guests, with cots lining right and left walls, and a narrow walking path leads to three bathrooms. The open space floor plan for the women’s side of the facility, where children stay, also presents all all sorts of issues, which the redevelopment will help solve with the creation of private rooms for guests, `Dees said.

The redevelopment plans consist of constructing a new two-story structure in front of the current site. The first floor would be for medical offices, case management and childcare services, the second floor would house 30 individual rooms with bathrooms for guests. 

The first floor of the building would be open to the public, she said.

The current shelter would remain open while renovations take place to increase living spaces also. It will also continue to house the cafeteria the largest common area space in the facility. 

The current communal living design is “not ideal,” and FSA wants to create a more “dignified” guest experience, Dees said.

Dees said about $7 million is already secured for the project, with the total cost expected to be in the $10 to $15 million range. 

“There’s such a need for a new and improved version of the shelter,” she said.

Dees also pointed out The new space would allow FSA to lease out parts of the first floor of the new building to bring in revenue. Adding the shelter often operates at yearly loss of  about $385,000.00 due to lack of onsite billable service offerings. 

With the anticipated new space, FSA will be able to provide on site many of the mental health substance abuse related services it provides at their Langhorne branch, Dee said.  

The proposed new building still has to go through the land development approval. FSA took over operations of the shelter 2012 from the American Red Cross.

FSA plans to hold a community meeting at the Levittown Library on November 17 for a more detailed discussion on the redevelopment project.

This is Bucks County’s only 24/7 shelter and is located in Bristol Township’s Levittown section. The property around and adjacent to the Shelter that’s owned and operated by Bucks County is also being redeveloped. Ground was broken  on that project in September

A possible indirect benefit for FSA’s expansion project is the where the new two-story building would be, now the parking lot. Homeless folks who are not “guests” at the Shelter often park their vehicles in the facilities lot. Oftentimes living out of cars, trucks, vans or often abandoning them in the lot. It has been an issue for staff to deal with in the past, officials have said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The project is expected to take about three years to complete, Dees said, once all the funding and approvals are secured. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We have been thinking about how to make the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter better,” said Dees.

 

 

The new building and renovation of the existing facility would be part of a rebound for the site, which sits a few yards away from the new Lower Bucks County Government Services Center.

 

Council President Craig Bowen and Councilperson Patrick Antonello both spoke in support of the project.

The proposed new building still has to go through the land development process.

The Family Service Association plans to hold a community meeting at the Levittown Library on November 17.

 

 

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