STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED – March 5, 2015
Office of the Mayor
221 Spruce Street
Colwyn, PA 19023
State of Emergency
WHEREAS, On March 5, 2015 at 1600 hours a State of Emergency is declared by the Mayor due to the hazardous conditions that may appear in the Borough of Colwyn due to the snowstorm and dangerously cold temperatures on this date and,
WHEREAS, It is necessary to restrict vehicle parking on the Snow Emergency Routes in the Borough of Colwyn and,
WHEREAS, it may be necessary to take whatever measures are needed to activate and coordinate the preparation, response and recovery efforts for the storm and,
WHEREAS, the Mayor is encouraging all citizens of the Borough of Colwyn to stay off the roadways if possible so that First Responders and Public Safety Officials can safely respond to any emergency situation and,
WHEREAS, the only vehicular traffic allowed on the streets of the Borough of Colwyn are residents only with the exception of Emergency Personnel until the streets are cleared and made safe for passage.
WHEREAS, All personnel of the Colwyn Borough Police Department, Highway Department, and Emergency Management Team may take whatever actions are necessary to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the residents of the borough and,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, this State of Emergency is declared and will stay in effect for twenty-four (24) hours until March 6, 2015 at 1600 hours or until needed.
Signed and Sealed this 5th day of March, 2015
MAYOR – Colwyn Borough
ATTENTION COLWYN RESIDENTS: (From the Borough Manager)
At the October 9, 2014 Council Meeting – there was a motion made to suspend Colwyn Borough Fire Company Station 92 indefinitely from operating as the designated officially recognized fire company in Colwyn. An internal investigation needed to be conducted into possible financial and operational irregularities. However, President Patricia Williams, Councilmembers Martha Van Auken, Tonette Pray and Massa Kamara decided to allow the fire company to continue operating and tabled the motion to suspend.
As the Borough Manager, it is my duty to ensure that the borough residents are getting the best service for the high taxes they pay. It is also my duty to be transparent and bring to the attention of the council, wrongdoing so the Borough Council can take corrective action. They failed to do this.
I have brought three very important issues to the attention of the borough council and have supplied pertinent facts that indicate a possible misuse of taxpayer funds. Please take the time to read through the documents below.
$2,676.32 – in two months – written by the Treasurer Lauren Cellini to her mother Betty Cellini(President) and Gary Brice(Fire Chief) for “reimbursements”
While cleaning the borough manager’s office when I was first appointed in January of 2014, I found scattered on the floor, bank statements for the Colwyn Borough Fire Company for December of 2013 and January of 2014. The bank statements contained copies of checks that were written for those months. What stood out and gave cause for alarm, the checks were contained in one family. The treasurer is the daughter of the President and step daughter of the Fire Chief. Only one signature on the check was visible and the explanations written on the memo line were mainly for “reimbursements”.
$5320.44 in unauthorized fuel purchases – from a “burglary” at the firehouse that was not reported.
On August 5, 2014, I received an email from Pacific Pride gas – indicating that the Colwyn Borough Fire Company Station 92 gets gasoline at their gas station in Darby Township. The bill was not paid and the amount owed was $2683.79 – and the company was expecting payment.
I researched the bill the company sent me and discovered that a gasoline and diesel fuel credit card was applied for and received by Betty Cellini, the President of the fire company. As I researched the bill, I discovered that there was an enormous amount of gasoline purchased. Fire trucks do not take gasoline….they take diesel fuel. Therefore, it was obvious, individuals were fueling their own personal vehicles. The total bill for January to July was $5.320.44.
I brought this to the attention of the Borough Council. Councilman Fred Lesher decided to meet with Betty Cellini to get an explanation for this expense. Meeting with Betty Cellini was President Patricia Williams and Councilwoman Massa Kamara. The explanations for the bills varied from “gas was $5.00 per gallon”; “gasoline was purchased in cans for drill activities” to the final excuse that someone broke into her office at the fire house and stole the gasoline and diesel cards. However she did not report the burglary to the police. Betty Cellini inquired as to which “account” she should pay the gasoline money back from….
Unauthorized Use of a Borough Vehicle
During the months of July and August, a 1994 Chevy Mobile Command car, that was registered and owned by the Borough of Colwyn disappeared. Fire Chief Gary Brice sold or gave away, a Colwyn Borough vehicle that is owned and insured by the residents of Colwyn. Fire Chief Brice did not inform council. Fire Chief Brice did not have authorization to conduct this transaction. I informed Council that our insurance company was not going to insure a vehicle that we own, that we did not have possession of. The vehicle mysteriously reappeared after my inquiry. I discovered that Fire Chief Brice sold or gave this vehicle to a 19 year old male, John Corcoran of Glenolden, a member of the fire company, who was arrested for arson and approximately 38 charges while he was in possession of our vehicle.
ATTENTION COLWYN RESIDENTS: The PA Department of Environmental Protection’s West Nile Virus Control Program will conduct an Ultra Low Volume mosquito spray in Colwyn on Wednesday August 20, 2014 between the hours of 7:45 PM and 10:30 PM.
For a map of Spray areas click here: Colwyn_spay_map
The PA Department of Environmental Protection’s West Nile Virus control program will conduct an Ultra Low Volume (ULV) mosquito adulticide spray in portions of Colwyn, Darby and Sharon Hill Boroughs , as well as portions of Darby Township in Delaware County. Residential and recreational areas within this treatment area will be sprayed to control adult mosquitoes. This is a result of high trap counts and the identification of positive mosquito pools in the area.
Operations will take place in the evening hours of Wednesday August 20, 2014 provided that weather and environmental conditions remain suitable for the operation. If weather conditions or other unexpected events cancel or delay this spray operation, then a rain date is scheduled for the following evening. The PA Department of Environmental Protection will perform the work using truck mounted spraying equipment with the business license BU2626 visible on the equipment. The product used will be Biomist 3+15 applied at a rate of .75 ounces per acre. This product is designed to provide quick knockdown and effective control of adult mosquitoes. Treatment will commence at approximately 19:45 and conclude by 22:30 hours
The BEST prevention for West Nile Virus is to eliminate standing water.
Tips to eliminate standing water:
Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have accumulated on your property;
Drill holes in the bottom of containers that are left outdoors.
Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis.
Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows and birdbaths when not in use.
Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used.
Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
ATTENTION COLWYN RESIDENTS:
Congratulations to Colwyn resident Monique Boykins – who was selected as our new William Penn School Director for Colwyn. Thank you for serving us!
ATTENTION COLWYN RESIDENTS: Notice from the Borough Manager:
The Borough Hall MAY be closed tomorrow (7-1-14) until further notice.
There is a Fire Truck parked in our borough garage that is leaking water. The truck has damaged the floor.
The building was built circa 1903 so it’s about 111 years old and definitely not meant to park a fire truck into. There is a basement under the floor and there is damage underneath as well. I have notified the Council President to have the truck removed however she has not responded and it still remains in the borough garage.
We had a structural engineer survey the building and he determined that the building is not capable of holding a fire truck and it should be removed immediately (yesterday 6-29-14). The original fire Company #10 moved across the street to a separate building that can hold fire trucks in 1989 because the borough hall garage was not capable of holding the weight at that time. The borough garage then housed the Highway Department. However former Council President Tonette Pray created another fire company (Station 92) and disbanded the original fire company. She then moved the new fire company into the borough garage where the floor became unstable. Since that time, a fire truck still sits in the borough garage and the rest of the trucks are housed across the street in the fire department. Years of wear and tear and parking a fire truck on top of a basement has furthered the structural safety of the borough hall. Twenty five years ago, fire trucks weighed much less than they do today. Twenty five years ago it was not capable of holding a lighter fire truck, today it is much less capable of holding a heavier fire truck.
Since I have not heard back from the Council President, I will have no other alternative than to close the borough hall down until further notice. If the truck does not move, I will not jeopardize the safety of the residents or employees who work in the building so it may be closed until the truck is removed. The structural engineer report may be read here:
I will be available by phone, email or facebook for any residents that need assistance.
Paula Brown – Borough Manager
Mayor Michael Blue has recently started a monthly newsletter titled “Message from the Mayor”!
Mayor Blue’s first newsletter – Edition 1 – Volume 1 – June 26, 2014 is filled with lots of useful information for Colwyn Residents! You can view and download the Mayor’s newsletter by clicking on the link below:
Check back frequently for information from Mayor Blue and more!
Stormwater Tip of the Month
Large trees play a large role in managing stormwater. The best trees to plant in our area include oaks, maples and black gums. Avoid pruning the crowns of these trees to allow them to develop full canopies.
Large trees absorb thousands of gallons of rainwater through leaves and roots each year. These trees reduce soil erosion because of ground cover and leaf litter beneath the canopy. When there are no trees, the soil is more likely to break down and crumble, resulting in sediment carried to creeks and streams.
Most buildings have gutters and downspouts that collect and carry rainwater that falls onto the roof down to the ground. Downspouts should be positioned so that they dump the rainwater onto the grassy areas or a garden area that can absorb the water which provides for filtering impurities present in the discharge. Downspouts should not be directed onto sidewalks, driveways or streets. It’s fairly easy to reposition downspouts onto grassy areas. If you need additional information, contact the Borough Hall for guidance.
Most building gutters have downspouts that collect and carry rainwater falling on the roof down to the ground. Downspouts should be positioned so that they dump the rainwater onto grassy areas or a garden area that can absorb the water which provides for filtering the impurities that are present in the discharge. Downspouts should not be directed so that they empty onto sidewalks, driveways or streets. It is generally easy and inexpensive for homeowners to modify discharge to flow onto grass.
The winter season brings ice and snow. Rock salt is the most common deicer available for those slippery sidewalks, driveways and steps. However, rock salt is very corrosive and is not good for the environment. It can weaken concrete and pollute our streams when it is carried into stormwater. Encourage anyone using a deicer at your house to use as little as possible or purchase an alternative that does not harm the environment. Products made of magnesium chloride are better to sue. One such product is Safe Step Supreme 8300, which can be purchased as Ace and True Value hardware stores. Whichever product is used, just be sure to follow packing instructions and guidelines.
Did you know that your community’s storm drain system does not provide treatment for removal of pollutants? The system is designed to carry stormwater and snow melt directly to creeks or larger bodies of water. So, when litter, leaves, oil from the road or anything else makes its way into the inlet, it pollutes the waterway. This is a violation of Federal law. You can help by never dumping anything down a storm drain, and if you see something on the road that doesn’t belong, please pick it up and dispose of properly.
When winterizing vehicles, make sure ot check for and fix any fluid leaks. Even a small amount of oil that drips onto the pavement can pollute thousands of gallons of water. Also make sure to properly dispose of any antifreeze or oil, never dumping it on the ground or down the storm drain.
Fall is here! As you clean up your yard before winter comes, follow these steps to make sure you are preventing stormwater pollution:
- Keep leaves and grass clippings off the streets and storm drains. Yard debris gets into storm drains and make its way to streams and rivers where it can rob aquatic life of oxygen as it decomposes.
- Direct downspouts away from hard surfaces onto grassy areas that can absorb the water. Try to extend your downspout at least 10′ from your home to protect the foundation.
Never pour kitchen grease down the drain. Grease hardens and acts to reduce the pipe capacity. This can quickly cause blockages in sanitary sewer laterals (the pipes that carry the sewage from your house out to the street) and street sewer mains. When a sewer line backs up, it often causes an overflow onto the street, dumping raw sewage onto the street where it can ultimately flow into stormwater drains. Storm drains are not connected to a treatment system, so everything that flows down the storm drain goes, untreated, directly to the nearest body of water. This is a violation of federal law.
If you have grease left over from cooking bacon or other fatty foods, let the grease cool down until it solidifies. At this point you can dispose of the grease in your regular trash. If you need to get rid of the hot grease immediately, pour it into a metal can or heat-resistant glass container to cool down or put it in the refrigerator to solidify more quickly. Be sure to wipe the grease from frying pans and cooking utensils so that no grease goes down the drain when you are washing dishes. Another good reason not to pour grease down your sink – property owners are responsible for replacement of laterals when there is a problem and it can be extremely costly – thousands of dollars!
Severe storms can cause the movement of trash and debris that can be deposited into stormwater facilities or drain inlets. Make sure your trash cans are in a secure location. Pick up and dispose of trash properly from your property. If you see a clogged drain or inlet, please contact Borough Hall at 610-461-2000.
When rain falls or snow melts, the seemingly negligible amounts of chemicals and other pollutants around your home and yard get picked up and carried to the Borough’s storm drains and ultimately to local bodies of water. These chemicals can pollute our drinking water and endanger wildlife. What can you do to help protect surface and ground waters? Start at home:
- Select non-toxic substitutes as house cleaning alternatives.
- Buy only what you intend to use and apply as directed. This avoid disposal issues.
- Utilize the Delaware County Hazardous Waste Disposal days to dispose of these chemicals properly. Never pour down drain or onto the ground.,
- Use water based products whenever possible.
Resident Canadian geese are a major contributor to pollution in our lakes and streams. Geese droppings are high in nutrients from the plants that geese eat and when their droppings enter our waterways, they cause algal blooms and excessive plant growth. Please avoid feeding the geese. It encourages them to remain in our local area.
Litter on the streets finds its way into out local waterways through the Borough stormdrain system. Not only is litter a contributor to stormwater pollution, it also contributes to neighborhood blight. Here are ways a community can join together to reduce litter:
- Organize and particpate in a roadside litter clean-up event.
- Participate in Darby Creek Valley Association’s clean-up events.
- Educate your children on the importance of proper trash disposal.
- Regularly pickup trash on your own property
- Make sure your trash cans have tight fitting lids. Avoid using plastic bags as dogs and other animals can tear them open.
- Mark stormdrains in your community to remind people that street litter flows directly into the local waterway.
As homeowners start making improvements to their gardens, lawns and concrete in the spring, use these tips to reduce stormwater runoff:
- if your sidewalk needs replacement, consider adding a grass strip between the sidewalk and street.
- if your driveway needs replacement, consider putting a grass strip down the center where the tires doe not hit.
- plant a tree or two, making sure it’s suitable for an urban environment. This will help reduce the quantity of water runoff going to the street.
- if you are considering a patio, look at pavers as they allow rainwater to infiltrate into the earth between each paver.
Lawnmower season is upon us! Consider raising your cutting height. Not only will this improve the health of your lawn, it will allow the yard to absorb more water and reduce stormwater runoff. Cutting no more than the top one-third of each blade will encourage deeper root development. The lawn will ultimately need less fertilizing and watering.
This time of year, many residents consider pre-emergent weed control applications to encourage grass growth and discourage weeds. DO not apply these chemicals before heavy rains which could wash them into stormdrains and off your yard. Apply when the forecast calls for a dry spell. For fertilizing, consider a “time-release” nitrogen to leach into your soil slowly.
Are household products stored outside in safe locations? If stormwater reaches these products, chemicals can be transported to surface waters which, in turn, can be sent to local waterways. Keep these products (salt, swimming pool chemicals, fertilizers, etc.) stored in water tight containers on a shelf to avoid any contamination.