Denver shines light on continued PPL inaction

By on March 2, 2016


Members of Denver Borough Council, at their Feb. 29 meeting, discussed with frustration the status of the streetlight system purchase of 344 lights from PPL.

More than two years ago, an attempt was made by the borough to switch to energy- and cost-efficient LED bulbs and start saving $50,000 a year.

The apparent lack of action by PPL has prevented this.

“We’ve been communicating with PPL over and over again that we are interested in partnering with them and making the best choice for our folks paying their utilities as well as citizens paying their taxes,” said President Blake Daub. “At some point in time, partnership goes away.”

Council plans to have one more face-to-face meeting with PPL with a representative from state Sen. Ryan Aument’s office attending.

Time is money according to Councilman Mike Gensemer, who attended the meeting via speaker phone.

“I get a little concerned spending thousands of dollars in legal fees and thousands of dollars in savings by not having these lights in place, the longer it goes,” said Gensemer.

In other news, council members discussed Adamstown and West Cocalico officials’ responses concerning sharing costs related to police calls at Cocalico Middle School and Cocalico High School.

Denver pays for all police calls at the schools, even when the call pertains to a student not residing in Denver Borough.

West Cocalico and Adamstown officials have made it clear that they are not interested in participating financially with any more police sharing costs. Both municipalities now contract their coverage with Ephrata Police.

“We reached out and asked them to help pay for the services to provide protection for their kids, and they said, ‘no’,” Gensemer said.

This comes after Cocalico Superintendent Dr. Bruce Sensenig, tried to “facilitate discussion” on this matter with multiple Cocalico municipalities.

Most police calls come from the high school and middle school, officials said.

“How many calls go to the elementary school?” asked Council Vice President Chris Flory, referring to Adamstown Elementary.

“West Cocalico has no elementary school, so they have no calls,” Gensemer said.

“This is one of the unfortunate byproducts when a community doesn’t continue to be a community,” said Daub.

Council members discussed for the first time a potential waste facility on the borough lot to manage debris being dumped that is “not necessarily helpful” to the environment.

Discussion centered on what type of dumpster is best suited to the waste material. Officials decided that a roof was needed to prevent water from getting into the container so it could not “seep out into the stream.”

With possible rails, concrete pads, maintenance fees, and height issues, the price could reach $10,000, officials learned.

“I think from our end as good stewards, we show that we are taking action to minimize and reduce as much as possible any type of run-off that could impact the creek,” said Mike Hession, borough manager.

Councilmen Matthew Stover and John Palm were absent.

Michele Walter Fry welcomes your comments at

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