Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ambulance Order Cancelled, Cell Tower Unopposed

Upper Providence Township Supervisors took two votes Monday night undoing actions taken by the previous board.

The first was to rescind instruction given by the previous board to oppose at a zoning hearing an application by a company with Verizon as its client to build a "stealth" cell tower at 248 Rittenhouse Road, near Pope John Paul II High School.

Newly installed Board president John Pearson said he was inclined to let the zoning board "do its job" without having the township solicitor there objecting.

There was no shortage of residents opposed to the project objecting at last night's meeting. Supervisor Al Vagnozzi voted to continue the township's objections with the zoning board, but Pearson was joined by supervisors Helen Calci and Laurie Higgins in letting the matter be decided without township input.

The second vote stirred more passion when the board voted unanimously to cancel an order for a new ambulance and take 60 days to come up with a broader plan for emergency medical services.

It grows out of concern that response times in the township, generally under 10 minutes, are still too long and that an ambulance needs to be stationed in the township to improve them.

Although Vagnozzi voted with the majority, he was the one defending the previous vote to buy the ambulance saying that it had been discussed for years and it was a way to defray costs for one of the two companies now providing service, Trappe and Friendship.

But Pearson and Higgins, who interrupted Vagnozzi several times as he tried to speak, described the action as haphazard.

Vagnozzi ultimately agreed that the new board members should be given more time and suggested a committee of himself and Calci work with the administration to come up with a plan.

But despite the general agreement, some bickering continued with Pearson saying "you can threaten me all you want" after resident Michael Fil said if anyone died because of a delayed ambulance during the 60-day delay on which the supervisors agreed that would "bring it back to this board."

And, when resident Kevin Holohan began a lengthy response to Pearson's evidently rhetorical question about previous board action, Pearson turned to Vagnozzi and said "Al, do you want to call your dog off?"

Holohan told Pearson to "enjoy your time back on the board while you still can."

The board also approved final site plans for a new Starbucks on Egypt Road.

You can read all about it below in the live Tweets and video from the meeting.

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