By Colleen Mahoney
A decision to reduce the Great Valley Planning Board from seven to five members was postponed at the March 14 meeting of the Great Valley Town Board following a public hearing on the matter.
As Supervisor Dan Brown explained, “It’s hard finding members … when we had an abundance of help we moved it to seven members,” Brown said of the planning board. “Now, we’re looking to move it back.”
With no input from the public, Brown closed the public hearing and opened the regular meeting, when the board voted to table the proposal until the board’s April meeting, at Brown’s suggestion.
“They’re in the middle of the cell tower discussion, Brown said, adding that “I don’t want to change anything,” until that decision is made.
Noting that, Brown publicly thanked planning board chairman Chris Schena and the board members for their work on the cell tower, which has been in front of them for a year. Brown noted that it hasn’t been easy, but he appreciates their work.
Brown also reported that before the most recent planning board meeting, he contacted the Sheriff’s office, which sent two deputies to ensure the meeting was orderly.
Some of the planning board meetings regarding the cell tower have been contentious.
“When you walk through that door … you have to be respectful of everyone,” Brown said. “I think [the deputies] being here made a difference.”
The town board also delayed opening bids for Great Valley’s lawn mowing. Town Attorney Peter Sorgi said the project may have been advertised incorrectly and he was looking into whether or not the board must offer to pay the “prevailing wage” for the service.
A prevailing wage, established by the Department of Labor, is the hourly wage plus usual benefits and overtime that is paid in the largest city in each county.
Sorgi said the board should err on the side of caution and not open or award the bids until he can verify if they need to pay prevailing wage.
“We would have to repost the bid,” Sorgi said. “We want to make sure we get it right.”
The board discussed replacing the windows in the town hall and highway department shop. The windows in the hall are beginning to leak, Brown reported, and the shop windows are in bad shape. The board will look into options for the windows, including material and design. Brown said they anticipate advertising bids in April.
The Great Valley Town Board will meet next on April 11, at 7 p.m. in the Great Valley Town Hall.