News Article - February 01, 2007

Council Reaffirms Position On FAA Plans  
>  Delaware County Council Member John Whelan said at last week's council meeting that a large chunk of ice that crashed through the roof of the Ridley Township home is another factor in safety, health and welfare issues regarding the FAA's proposal to send planes at lower altitudes over county homes. The ice allegedly plummeted from a plane passing over the residence, smashed through the roof and attic, continued on its destructive trajectory through the master bedroom ceiling, narrowly missing the bed, stopping when it banged into the bedroom floor. Fortunately, no one was injured, but the frightening incident underlines the inherent dangers of air traffic over residential areas, Whelan said.

  "Eight thousand students attend schools in Ridley Township. . . . The ice could have landed in a school or in a school yard." The incident has caused us to "renew our energy" in a fight to dissuade the FAA from their current proposal to send low-flying planes over county neighborhoods, Whelan said. Council Chair Andrew Reilly said efforts would continue vigorously to fight the issue. County Council is in constant dialogue with FAA officials who are expected to give a report in April in response to Council's request that the flight proposal be redesigned, Reilly said. "We hope they (FAA) will comply with our request."

  Public hearings are scheduled in each state that will be affected by the proposed flight traffic proposals, to allow the FAA to discuss proposed plans and to hear residents' comments. Council is pushing to have the Pennsylvania hearing held in Delaware County. A final FAA statement is expected in June, with approval coming in August. "While we support the (Philadelphia International) Airport and its valuable economic development, we will maintain communication with them (FAA and airport officials) to protect our resident's quality of life and safety issues," Reilly said.

  In agenda business, council accepted a $200,000 Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) grant to fund anticipated Multiple DUI Offender costs from January 2007 through December 2008. Council also accepted $92,411 PCCD money for the Rights and Services Act Grant for the same period. This is a small portion of the total PCCD funds allocated and the first year that individual agencies have been able to apply separately for grants, District Attorney Michael Green said. Previously, agencies such as Women Against Rape, Domestic Abuse and Senior Victim Services shared in one over-all grant.

  Council approved an additional $35,000 revitalization funds for the Ridley Park Town Center Street Improvement project. The award supplements a $200,000 grant. Ridley Park Borough will match the current allocation with funds of its own according to Ridley Park Council President Perry Artese and Borough Manager Bob Poole who accepted the donation. Whelan advised Delaware County dog owners that they are required to get 2007 dog licenses as of Jan. 1. State law requires that owners of dogs three months and older must get a license each year. The state Bureau of Dog Law will mail a reminder and license application to all county residents, he said.

  Following the mailing, a "sweep" is slated in March when a state dog warden will canvas the county with local animal control officers to be sure that dogs are licensed. The fine for having an unlicensed dog is $300. A license tag also helps animal control officials to reunite lost dogs with their owners, he said. License fees are $6 for neutered male dogs and spayed females; $8 for other dogs. A reduced senior citizen dog owner fee is $4 for neutered and spayed dogs and $6 for other dogs, he said.

  Additional council approvals included authorizing to advertise for bids to furnish and deliver gasoline for county vehicles for one year; $215,400 to Parente, Randolph of Media to audit the county's general purpose financial statements for the year ending December 2006; and memorials for the graves of the late deceased service persons Robert Earl Abbott of Wallingford; Charles A. Keitz, Jr. of Secane; Hugh T. McGlinn, Jr. of Brookhaven and Joseph E. Reid of Broomall.

Source - Town Talk