In a preview of some of the discussions that go on during budget season in Limerick Township, Public Works Department head Bill Bradford and Parks Department head Scott Croisette brought information before the board on their departments' work and what they need for the future.
Bradford said his department had 10 full-time employees since 2000. In those 10 years, the miles of road they maintain has increased by approximately 15 miles to 94.32 miles of road.
Road maintenance doesn't just include plowing snow in the winter. Bradford said they have to paint lines, maintain streetlights, do maintenance and repairs in the township building and manage storm water issues, among other duties.
"We're not supposed to spend more than six hours in the truck to limit fatigue," Bradford said.
Bradford said he also handles all of the administrative tasks for his department.
"We're stressed," he said.
Bradford's appearance came just after the board voted to accept dedication of Lightcap Road from Possum Hollow Road to Evergreen Road now that construction in the and Philadelphia Premium Outlets area is finished.
"Lightcap will be a significant burden in the winter," Bradford said. "It's seven lanes and is a Priority 1 road. We'll have to get out there and clear it quickly."
Generally, Bradford said, the Public Works Department plows when snow accumulation is three inches or more. Lightcap Road will have to be plowed at a lower accumulation due to the amount of traffic.
When asked how many hours a week he works, Bradford said he works "50 hours a week."
"We have a great road system and I have a great crew," he said.
Similarly, the Parks Department manages large areas of township-owned grounds with four full-time employees and some seasonal workers.
Croisette said they mow 141 acres of land, including the township's parks (, , and ), as well as maintain the sports fields and do all maintenance of restrooms, basketball and tennis courts and pavilions.
The board also discussed a possible new fee structure for renting the park facilities to non-township residents or for sports tournaments.
"Our citizens' tax dollars are paying for other people to use the park," said Supervisor Joseph St. Pedro. "They [non-township residents] should be paying the same thing our taxpayers are."
"Tournaments can bring a lot of money into a township," Supervisor Thomas Neafcy agreed.
Neafcy said that the board might consider charging renters a fee that is "on the high side" and the township could reimburse the renters if the full fee exceeded any cost to repair township property.
Supervisor Ken Sperring said he isn't against renting to organizations, but that he would like to see some accountability from the organizations for damage to the park after an event.
"There was one organization last year that had cars parked everywhere, the grass was wet and it messed up the grass," Sperring said. "They had too many cars for the number of parking spaces and were just parking everywhere."
Township manager Daniel Kerr said that this meeting with Bradford and Croisette was informational, and that the board and staff will be talking about these issues more as the township begins developing next year's budget.
In other township news, the board announced and then voted unanimously to accept a new three-year contract with the Limerick Police Department's officers.
"We'd like to thank Officer Skelton, Officer Kehoe and Officer Roach for their work in the discussions of this agreement," Neafcy said.
The police department agreed to accept a reduced pay rate the first year of the contract, with the difference going to the other two years, in order to help the township with its 2012 budget concerns.
"Revenues are going to be tight for 2012, this gives us a little breathing room," Neafcy said.