Kennett supervisors plow on

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped Kennett Township from conducting business, despite stay-at-home orders that have been in place for more than 50 days.

“We’re under extraordinary circumstances that changed the way we live and work,” supervisors’ Chairman Richard Leff said at the supervisors’ virtual public meeting on May 6. The meeting was held over the online app Zoom and drew 26 people, including township staff and residents.

In their second virtual public meeting, which lasted about 44 minutes, the Kennett Township supervisors briefly discussed a civil suit against the former township manager, adopted resolutions about the sale of Chester Water Authority and about police mutual aid, approved the minutes from meetings in February and March, and paid the bills.

Civil suit

Regarding former township Manager Lisa Moore, supervisors talked about the civil action the township initiated against her and her significant other, Brian Gore, late last month.

“There may be other aspects that get involved with the civil action as time goes on,” Leff said. “It’s one of the many ways we’re going to be able to recover funds.”

Moore is facing criminal charges for allegedly embezzling more than $3.2 million from the township.

The township announced the civil suit on April 30.

“According to a Dec. 10, 2019 press release from former District Attorney Tom Hogan, Moore created a phony marriage to defraud the township, resulting in medical benefits for Gore in excess of $50,000,” according to the township’s April 30 press release.

CWA sale

Regarding the possible sale of Chester Water Authority, the board unanimously approved Resolution 2020-8, which reinforced their position that CWA shouldn’t be sold to a private company.

CWA provides water to municipalities in western Delaware County, Southern Chester County – including Kennett Township – and parts of Lancaster County, according to the CWA website (chesterwater.com). It also controls the Octorara Reservoir.

A number of municipalities, community groups like the Brandywine Conservancy, and government officials have already come out in support of CWA and against the possible sale. Kennett Township’s resolution urges Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and the Department of Community and Economic Development to “immediately and publicly commit to Chester Water Authority’s continued existence as an independent municipal water authority, to protect public access to the Octorara Reservoir, and to advocate for the best interest of over 200,000 Chester Water Authority ratepayers.”

Kennett Supervisor Scudder Stevens said that back in 2017, the supervisors publicly came out against a possible sale.

“It’s appropriate we reaffirm what we did in the past,” he said.

The supervisors were unanimous in their support of keeping CWA independent.

“A lot of residents have been emailing us,” supervisors’ Vice Chairwoman Whitney Hoffman said.

“Public water really should stay in the public hands,” Leff said.

Police mutual aid

The supervisors unanimously adopted Resolution 2020-6 that establishes a police mutual aid agreement with the township, the boroughs of Oxford and Kennett, and the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department.

Township Solicitor Dave Sander referred to the approval as a housekeeping item.

“At the last meeting, the board ratified the agreement itself,” he said, adding that the board needed to adopt it and ratify it by resolution in order for it to be official. “That’s what this motion does.”

The inter-municipal agreement would cover mutual police and emergency protection “during a declaration of disaster emergency,” according to the resolution. It would allow the police departments in Kennett Township, Oxford and Kennett boroughs, and the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department to provide backup to each other in case of an emergency, township Manager Eden Ratliff had said at the April 15 meeting.

Other business

The supervisors met in executive session on April 16 to discuss the acquisition of real property and also to discuss personnel matters, according to Sander.

The board also approved minutes for the Feb. 19 and March 4 supervisors’ meetings.

The board unanimously approved the May 6 bill voucher, which totaled $423,434.40. There were also $38,170.81 in transfers. Bill vouchers are available to be viewed on the township’s website, Kennett.pa.us, under “Finance and billing.”

 

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About Monica Fragale

Monica Thompson Fragale is a freelance reporter who spent her life dreaming of being in the newspaper business. That dream came true after college when she started working at The Kennett Paper and, years later The Reporter newspaper in Lansdale and other dailies. She turned to non-profit work after her first daughter was born and spent the next 13 years in that field. But while you can take the girl out of journalism, you can’t take journalism out of the girl. Offers to freelance sparked the writing bug again started her fingers happily tapping away on the keyboard. Monica lives with her husband and two children in Kennett Square.

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