In West Cocalico, it was all about safety

By on November 18, 2015

 

It was all about security at the West Cocalico Township supervisors meeting Tuesday morning.

The two issues dominating the discussion centered on safety for the office staff and safety for motorists in the township.

Norma Enck, former township manager, asked the supervisors why they were considering placing a partition between the office staff and the visiting public.

A small lobby area will separate staff behind a security window and locked door from visitors.

“I think it puts an unnecessary barrier between you and your constituents,” said Enck. “It makes the experience of the public too impersonal.”

Supervisor James J. Stoner said while the decision to create the partition has not been finalized, he favors the action.

“The three of us (supervisors) at a prior meeting were adamant about security here,” he said.

“I think we have an obligation to our employees on a daily basis,” he said. “I’m not saying a thing like Paris (the attacks of Nov. 13) will happen here, but we need to look to the future and keep up with the times.”

Enck countered that she believes there is little to no risk of trouble or violence by township residents and said neighboring municipalities do not have security barriers in their offices.

However, Stoner responded that both East Cocalico Township and Denver Borough have both installed security windows.

“I guess I haven’t visited them lately,” said Enck who retired 4 1/2 years ago after serving 28 years as West Cocalico manager/secretary/treasurer.

Along with the security window/partition, the board is also considering replacing the original windows in the township meeting room and office areas for more energy-efficient ones.

Stoner and Carolyn Hildebrand, township manager, noted there is money available in the 2016 budget to do the projects.

The supervisors also voted to install flashing lights on the stop signs at Indiantown Road at the intersection of Schoeneck Road.

Photo by Stan Hall East Cocalico Township police said Nerissa Leininger, 48, Lebanon, was attempting to turn from Indiantown Road onto Schoeneck Road at 6:02 p.m. Nov. 12 when she pulled out in front of Corinn N. Martin, 24, of Ephrata, who was traveling south. Leininger was entrapped in her vehicle and then freed by Denver Rescue. She was taken to Lancaster General Hospital by Ephrata Ambulance.  Police said two passengers were also taken to LGH.  Martin was taken to Wellspan Ephrata Community Hospital by Reinholds Ambulance. Two children in the Martin vehicle were released to their grandmother's care. Both vehicles were towed. Schoeneck  Fire Company and Medic 4 also assisted at the scene.

Photos by Stan Hall
East Cocalico Township police said Nerissa Leininger, 48, Lebanon, was attempting to turn from Indiantown Road onto Schoeneck Road at 6:02 p.m. Nov. 12 when she pulled out in front of Corinn N. Martin, 24, of Ephrata, who was traveling south. Leininger was entrapped in her vehicle and then freed by Denver Rescue. She was taken to Lancaster General Hospital by Ephrata Ambulance. Police said two passengers were also taken to LGH. Martin was taken to Wellspan Ephrata Community Hospital by Reinholds Ambulance. Two children in the Martin vehicle were released to their grandmother’s care. Both vehicles were towed. Schoeneck Fire Company and Medic 4 also assisted at the scene.

The intersection has been the site of numerous accidents, including a two-vehicle crash on Nov. 12 which injured four.

East Cocalico Police Chief George Beever whose force covers West Cocalico acknowledged there continues to be a high number of crashes at the intersection.

“We have to do something,” said Supervisor Terry Scheetz. “This is just getting to be ridiculous.”

Ironically, said Beever and Tom Showalter, West Cocalico roadmaster, most accidents involve local residents who pass through the intersection frequently.

The men said the biggest issues are motorists speeding on Schoeneck Road and blowing that stop sign and motorists on Indiantown Road misjudging the violators’ speed rate as they pull out.ER20151118_schoeneckIndiantown15

“I just don’t get it,” said Stoner, “there are just too many accidents without obstructions there.”

Hildebrand said a number of residents living near the intersection have spoken with her to request either flashing lights placed on the stop signs or rumble strips on the road surface.

“Anything would be an improvement,” said Beever.

The supervisors agreed that battery-powered flashing lights would be best initially. Showalter said costs for rumble strips are in the area of $3,000. He noted it would be better to hold off on those till the spring.

In other business: the supervisors:

* Noted their annual salaries are $2,500 in accordance with the second-class township code. They do note receive any other compensation or benefits.

* Noted a line item redundancy in the 2016 budget discovered by the auditors. The budget has been changed to correct the error and will be properly re-advertised prior to the vote in December.

* Instructed Hildebrand to take necessary action if Benuel Stoltzfus of 685 Wollups Hill Road, Stevens, does not file the required zoning application for his dog kennels by the Nov. 18 deadline.

* Approved the purchase of a new Toshiba copier for $6,942. Hildebrand said the service provided by Toshiba and the long life of the old copier factored into her recommendation for the purchase.

* Approved Leslie Rhoads to prepare the stand-alone floodplain ordinance for $750.

* Appointed Hildebrand to represent West Cocalico for settlement on the township-owned property at 350 and 360 West Route 897 on Nov. 30.

“That settlement date is the first day of buck season,” said Stoner with a smile. “There’s not a lot of us available that day.”

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