CUMRU TWP., Pa. – The Cumru Township Board of Commissioners took time during its monthly meeting Tuesday to bid farewell to Detective H. Robert Wanner, who is retiring from the township police force.
Chief of Police Madison Winchester praised Wanner for having served the township close to 30 years.
"That's an accomplishment, especially today with everything that is going on," Winchester said. "He was a great officer, a great mentor, and found his niche in detective work. He was very service oriented and was described as the bulldog in the office who gets the job done, no matter what."
Winchester recalled that Wanner played an instrumental role in several high-profile cases over the years, including the Jane Doe murder investigation that resulted in a conviction of the killer of Margaret Calciano.
Calciano was a Brooklyn woman who disappeared in 1984.
Nineteen years later, the cold case was reopened when it was discovered the woman's fingerprints matched a Jane Doe found dumped along a Cumru Township road.
Wanner took a new look at the evidence and found a suspect that resulted in a conviction.
The case received national attention.
Wanner said his work on all cases was a joint effort among all the members of the police department.
"We worked well together, and that's how you get the job done," Wanner said.
Also Tuesday, the commissioners heard a complaint from Troy Lane resident Daniel M. Klahr regarding the condition of Hunters Road, which is located off Troy.
"We were told in 2017 that the road would be resurfaced in 2020," Klahr said. "We were not happy that we had to wait three years, but we were patient and waited for the three years to pass."
Klahr then said he was told in 2020 that the road work would have to wait until 2025.
"If I had been told that I would have to wait eight years for the road to be repaved, I would have moved," Klahr said.
Township Manager Jeanne E. Johnston said every year the township looks at the roads to prioritize which ones need work.
Johnston said the police do traffic counts to determine which roads on the list have the most daily traffic.
Commissioner Sam Kalbach said the township has been limited on the road work it can do because of a reduction in the state's liquid fuels funds. Kalbach added circumstances related to COVID-19 were responsible for the reduction in the money used to repave roads because people were staying home and not using much fuel.
Board President William B. Miller said he would like to see the problem resolved and asked that the matter be discussed at a public works meeting.
American Rescue Plan funds
In other news, Johnston updated the commissioners on the American Rescue Plan funds.
The money is being allocated from the federal government as part of the latest round of COVID-19 relief money.
Johnston reported the amount the township will receive has increased to $1.61 million from the previous projection of $1.45 million because of updated census data.
Because the federal government is regulating how the funds can be spent, Johnston said the plan is to use the money to help pay for the replacement of an outdated water and sewer system at the municipal campus to pave the way for the future construction of a new fire station.
Commissioner Chip Bilger said the township could have the opportunity to apply to the county for additional American Rescue funds if the township is planning a legacy project that will foster economic development.