SOUDERTON — The newest member of Souderton Borough Police Department currently works a Philadelphia beat, but she describes herself as "very familiar" with the Souderton/Telford area.
"I grew up in Telford," Megan Jarrell said following the Feb. 3 Souderton Borough Council meeting at which she took the oath of office as a full-time Souderton officer beginning Feb. 17.
Jarrell said she has worked for the University of Pennsylvania Police for almost three years.
She is also in the Air National Guard, where she serves in aviation resource management, doing administrative work for pilots, she said.
Jarrell, who fills a vacancy created when an officer retired, will be the department's first female full-time officer, Borough Manager Mike Coll said following the meeting. With Jarrell's hiring, the department has five full-time officers along with about five regularly-scheduled part-timers, he said.
In other matters at the meeting:
• NAACP Ambler Branch President Carmina Taylor said she came to the meeting to acknowledge Jarrell and council members Julie Munden and Donna Rogers as women making strides in leadership positions.
"Each of you have gotten a Trailblazer Award from the NAACP thanking you for your service, thanking you for all the things that you're going to do to make strides for other people," she said.
Taylor said Meg Cross, a Souderton Area High School student serving as the council's junior councilor, is also a trailblazer who sets an example for her peers.
• Almost a quarter million people visited the Indian Valley Public Library or participated in its programs last year, library President Alexander Grande said.
Circulation is up at the library, which puts it in a unique situation, library Director Margie Stern said.
"When the economy gets good, circulation goes down, but in the Indian Valley, people are still reading," she said.
• Council approved submitting a grant application for the Montco 2040 Implementation Grant Program to be used for improvements to the municipal parking lot off Chestnut Street.
The amount of money the borough will be applying for is still being calculated, but will probably be around $150,000, Coll said following the meeting.
If the borough receives the grant, it would have to pay a 20 percent match, he said.
The planned work for the lot which is used by people going to downtown businesses includes improved stormwater management systems, landscaping, lighting, repaving and improvements to the area behind Montgomery Theater and in the walkway beside the theater between the parking lot and Main Street, Coll said.
"Pretty much the layout, the traffic flow, would be the same," he said.
There's nothing that can be done about the steep slope the parking lot is on, he said.
• Council approved, in conjunction with the library, filing a grant application for a Keystone Grant for Public Library Facilities to be used to replace the library's roof.
"A member municipality must be involved in the application process in order to qualify for the grant," Coll said.
The borough would not be responsible for any costs of the work, he said.
Souderton recently completed getting bids to have a new roof put on its municipal offices building, he said. The cost for a new roof at the library hasn't been finalized yet, but it will probably be similar to the amount for the borough roof, which is a little more than $100,000, he said.