EAST ROCKHILL — The newest addition to the township's open space land doesn't stand alone.

"It's adjacent to the open space we currently have near Deibler Elementary School, so we can connect to existing open space," board Chairman David Nyman said following the April 27 East Rockhill Township Board of Supervisors meeting. During the meeting, the board approved the agreement of sale to purchase the 1.8-acre tract at 1404 Schwenkmill Road.

The $95,000 purchase price was based on an appraisal of the property's market value, Will Oetinger, the township's solicitor, said.

The board also approved condemning the property, but Oetinger said that is done to provide tax benefits to the seller.

In other matters at the meeting:

• The board approved the lowest bids received to replace the sewer pump station on Three Mile Run Road. The $835,000 bid from Almeida & Hudak Contractors, Plymouth Meeting, for general construction and $147,000 bid from BSI, Montgomeryville, for electrical construction, total $982,000, which is $217,228 more than the township had projected the construction costs to be. 

Engineering construction management and inspection costs are projected at $91,773, putting the total project costs at $1,073,773. 

Township Manager Marianne Morano said she checked with a consultant who said it's unlikely the township could get a better price if it rejected the bids and got new ones. 

"This is the trend right now, this kind of price," Morano said. 

"It's a lot of money, but we gotta do it," board member Gary Volovnik said.

Nyman said the township may be able to get some federal funding to help with the costs, but that's not a certainty.

• The board approved a new policy that no elected or appointed township official, candidate for political office or employee of the township shall request any township employee to make a political contribution or engage in political activity. The policy also says no township resources or facilities, including labor by township employees, shall be used for political activity.

Board member Jim Nietupski said the policy was proposed because he had his nominating petition notarized by Morano.

He said he agrees with the ban on political activity, but said that's not what happened.   

"This is not political involvement," Nietupski said. "It's notarizing a signature."

"For political purposes," Nyman said.

Nietupski said Morano had in the past notarized Volovnik's nominating petition, but Volovnik now appeared to be in favor of the proposed new policy banning the notarization.

"Did something change?" Nietupski asked. 

"Yep," Volovnik said. "I don't think anyone should do it. I think it's wrong." 

The new policy was approved by a 2-1 vote with Nyman and Volovnik in favor and Nietupski opposed.

• The polling place for East Rockhill Township voters is being moved to Bucks County Community College's Upper Bucks campus at One Hillendale Road. The polling place was previously at Christ Community Bible Church on Ridge Road. Information about the polling place change, which begins with the May 18 primary elections, is on the township website and on the front page of the township newsletter, Morano said. Signs will also be posted, she said. 

• The township-owned golf driving range in Willard H. Markey Centennial Park has opened for the season and has been busy, Public Works Director Jeff Scholl said.

• The board approved Zach Calderone's proposed Eagle Scout project in Markey Park. It includes digging out a grass area under two ballfield benches and putting in stone. It also includes cleaning and putting non-slip paint on two bridges along the walking path.

"It would help out with the complaints of the slippery bridges from the morning dew and it would make the bench area of the baseball park look better," Calderone said.  

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