Police fitness discussed

June 20th, 2015 12:06 pm

First Posted: 4/4/2012

CLARKS SUMMIT - At the Clarks Summit Borough work session March 27, Councilman Herman Johnson proposed an idea to start a physical fitness program for borough police officers, firefighters and other personnel. He believes such a program would in the long run save the borough money by helping employees stay healthy and learn to keep themselves safe.

Johnson introduced John Smith, president, owner and operator of Serenity Martial Arts.

Smith said bringing in a physical fitness program would be "a wise investment to cut down on costs, not only for sickness and injury, but liability." For example, he said the program will teach various effective but non-harmful techniques that police officers can use to restrain a person without causing them lasting injury.

Also in attendance was Attorney Mike Grab, representing Tower Co, regarding the land development plan for a cell phone tower to be located on private property on North State Street. The plan gained approval at the March 7 meeting, but Grab said upon review of the written conditions, two were "slightly problematic in terms of the wording."

The first was condition 15, regarding the posting of a $50,000 removal bond to insure the tower will be taken down when it is no longer in use. Grab said the company had agreed to the posting of a bond, but had not agreed upon or been given an amount until receiving the written conditions.

Grab suggested $35,000 as a compromise. Borough Manager Virginia Kehoe said the Council will vote on it at the next meeting.

The second problem involved potential wetlands on the property. Grab proposed the condition be revised to require that the company meets with the borough engineer, and if possible, a DEP representative at the property prior to submitting a GP7 application, to discuss the scope of that application.

Another item on the meeting agenda was The Gathering Place, a proposed project to convert the first floor of the Borough Building into a community art and education center. Dori Waters presented an update on the project to the Council.

Waters said the borough will not be responsible for funding the project. There are no official estimates yet regarding costs, but she said she's looking at raising $200,000 to $300,000 in funds to put into the building.

The next item on the agenda was Countryside Conservancy, a local non-profit land trust. Cheryl Ellsworth was in attendance to give a presentation regarding the Trolley Trail Project, of which she is coordinator. The project is a walking and biking trail to run through the Abingtons from Dalton to Clarks Summit.

Ellsworth said the project has been ongoing for 10 years, and last year the conservancy obtained a $500,000grant for the project, and is looking at a three-year window of completion.

She proposed the idea of bringing the trail into Clarks Summit, and adding a sign to the area of the new Veterans Monument on North State Street.

Other items briefly discussed at the work session meeting included Building One PA, the possible removal of a "Street Closed" sign at Grandview Street, an employment opening for a borough secretary, progress regarding the recycling grant, the possible police consolidation, the Emergency Management book, the need for new police cars, and the question of whether or not to widen the sidewalks on Depot Street.