Springfield meeting discusses support for Asian American and Pacific Islander community and meets with Oreland residents affected by flooding

by Betsy Wallace
Posted 3/24/21

Here are the highlights to the March’s Springfield Township Board of Commissioner Workshop and Business meetings held on March 8 and 10, respectively.  Among other things, the Board also …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Springfield meeting discusses support for Asian American and Pacific Islander community and meets with Oreland residents affected by flooding


Here are the highlights to the March’s Springfield Township Board of Commissioner Workshop and Business meetings held on March 8 and 10, respectively.  Among other things, the Board also discussed the Rotary Club’s plans for an Oktoberfest and a Winter Festival and applying for a County Block Grant to remove the industrial buildings at the Oreland Tank Car site in order to make it a park.

Statement on hateful acts against Asian-Americans

At the outset of the Business Meeting, Township resident Susanna Ratsavong urged the Board to take a stand on the recent acts of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Pennsylvania and nationwide, such as the recent murder in Georgia and many other incidents of hate speech and assaults nationwide. 

Ratsavong said, in part, “Our Township is comprised of many diverse communities including those from the Asian American and Pacific Islander diasporas.  We want to make it clear to our neighbors that Springfield Township is a place that supports the safety and security of all people….And one act of xenophobic discrimination negatively impacts us all no matter who we are… [W]e stand united with our Asian American and Pacific Islander community members and categorically condemn any act of discrimination and violence against any person particularly borne out xenophobic and racist views.”
You can read the Township Board of Commissioners Statement on Asian American and Racial Discrimination and Violence at springfieldmontco.org and also listen to Ratsavong’s entire statement on the video recording of the Board’s March 10 Business meeting.

Township delegates meet with Oreland residents about flooding

Commissioner Cobb, Public Works Director Don Sirianni, and Township Engineer, Timothy Woodrow, met with Burton Road homeowners whose properties border on the Sandy Run Country Club about storm water flowing from the abutting golf course into their basements causing serious flooding problems. Woodrow said that “the problem is fairly large,” adding that golf course grass is not that permeable.  He suggested opening up a dialogue with the Country Club to see what can be done in terms of better water retention on the course, to which the Board agreed.

Three Private Land Development Projects Approved

The Board waived the formal land development review process for small projects at SeaVic LLC on Ivy Hill Road (the division of space among multiple residents on the property), and Burkes Brothers Landscaping on Cheltenham Avenue (relocation and expansion of its corporate offices on its property with some conditions such as, moving back the jersey barriers at the corner of Mermaid Land and Cheltenham Ave. and promising not to oppose the Cresheim walking trail if/when it is constructed).  The Township Planning Commission was consulted on both of these projects.

By resolution No. 1524, the Board approved the Chase Bank construction project on Bethlehem Pike, replacing the empty Sherwin Williams Paint store with a bank and ATM drive-through.

Enfield Athletic Fields Project

The Board discussed two issues with regard to the School District’s Enfield Athletic Field construction plans, namely, a paved walkway and stormwater management.  The District Plan includes a paved walkway through the athletic field that would be disconnected from the existing walkway near Lantern Road.  Connecting the new and old trails would require running it through private property.  Township Engineer Woodrow thought that there “may be some room for solutions” and that there might be a way to find a less-expensive asphalt walking trail that has less impact on private property.  Commissioner Graham asked that the Lantern Street residents be brought into any negotiations over the trail.  The School District plans to demolish the old Enfield School this Fall at the earliest.

As for stormwater management work in the proposed athletic field, Commissioner Wilson recommended that Woodrow start working with the School District on proposals.  Woodrow thought that extending the stormwater basin would not be that expensive. 

Springfield authorizes Inter-Governmental Agreement for the Wissahickon Clean Water Partnership

By resolution No. 1525, the Board renewed its commitment to participate in a unique clean water partnership of twelve municipalities (that cover most of the Wissahickon Watershed) and four sewage treatment facilities.  The EPA is focused on reducing the amount of phosphorus flowing from sewage treatment plants into the watershed but is open to alternative approaches.  The Partnership’s goal is to create a comprehensive Water Quality Improvement Plan for the Wissahickon Creek that significantly reduces sediment flow to achieve a cleaner watershed, based on the results of studies done for the Partnership by Temple University.  The Partnership has submitted a draft proposal and is now in negotiations with the EPA and PA DEP.

Drive-Through NARCAN giveaway event, Saturday March 27

The Springfield Township Opioid Action Committee is giving out free NARCAN kits on a first come, first served basis, at a drive-through event at the Township’s Community Center, 1200 Willow Grove Ave., from 11 AM to 1 PM.  The event is hosted by Senator Art Haywood and the Township Board of Commissioners.

Public Works Director Don Sirianni Retires

Commissioner Lee announced the retirement of Public Works Director Don Sirianni this summer.  Mr. Sirianni began his employment at the Public Works Department in 1972, rising up through the ranks to serve as Director from 2013-2021, all-in-all devoting 49 years of service to the Township.  Commissioner Wilson stated that “we owe Mr. Sirianni a huge debt of gratitude… [T]his is the guy who makes sure that when it snows you can still drive around the Township and he picks up your trash, and your recycling.”  Commissioner Cobb said that “This is an extraordinary loss of institutional knowledge. He will be very hard to replace.  He’s a tremendous guy.”

Township residents can request an audio recording of the Workshop Meeting by contacting Michael Taylor, Township Manager, by email: mtaylor@springfieldmontco.org.  Residents may view the Recorded Business meetings and check all Public Meeting Agendas and Minutes here: https://www.springfieldmontco.org/government/meeting-agendas-minutes/.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment