The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by a Newtown Square resident in regards to Newtown Township's proposed Act 537 Plan:
The installation of public sewers in Newtown Square is finally coming to a head. A public hearing on this matter is scheduled for Dec. 27. The Board of Supervisors did not allow for public questions, a seemingly unbreakable bad habit of theirs, at a supervisors meeting on Monday, Dec. 10.
Therefore, it is safe to assume that the public will have much to say to them at the hearing. I find it ironic that these are our sewers, our elected board of supervisors and it will be our hearing, yet, the board is not interested in hearing our voices.
A planning meeting was held on Thursday, Dec. 13, regarding Act 537. Unfortunately, the majority of the concerned, passionate residents that were in attendance at the supervisors meeting on Monday did not attend the planning meeting.
I can sympathize that the frustration and disgust felt Monday night led them to stay home Thursday night. I speak from experience–the members of the Planning Commission do listen to you, do provide you with feedback and they care about your concerns. If this issue goes to Planning again, I strongly recommend you attend.
At this meeting, Mr. Ray Lopez presented a well thought out, well communicated alternative sewer plan. In his plan he made an excellent point about the potential loss of trees due to the sewer construction process.
“I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues,” said the Lorax in Dr. Seuss’ children's book. As a certified arborist, I can testify to a tree’s sensitivity to environmental change. Surface root compaction and grade change are the two primary causes of a trees loss, of vitality and eventual death. All construction projects need to have a plan which takes into consideration the trees on the site.
A tree’s surface roots typically extend well beyond the drip line or outermost tips of the trees branches. To adequately protect the tree a temporary fence needs to be constructed around the tree as far from the trunk as is reasonable and then twelve inches of woodchips need to be applied over the surface root area to prevent root compaction.
A consulting arborist should have been part of this process from the beginning. He can provide us with a plan for reducing the loss of mature trees and supervise the installation of protective barriers. He will also be required to make certain all of the contractors on the site are aware of and adhere to the tree conservation plan.
I am aware that this will add to the cost of the project but we also need to be aware that a mature tree destroyed in the construction process cannot be replaced in our lifetime. The decisions we make today will have a significant impact on the future. We need to choose wisely and utilize all of our resources including the voices of the residents.
Our Town is a group of residents involved in protecting the future of Newtown Square. Our mission statement is to provide the residents of Newtown Square with a place to communicate information, ask questions, voice opinions, and express thoughts and dreams for Newtown Square. Through email we can easily and effectively communicate with each other. This network provides us with a tool for organizing minds and bodies to achieve common goals. Together we can make a difference.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to become a part of the process and ensure that your voice is heard.
Newtown Square Resident