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SPRING TWP., Pa. – One could say that Monday night's Zoom meeting of the Spring Township supervisors had its "light" moments.

The supervisors approved the $43,540 purchase of LED lights at Shiloh Hills Park from Fromm Electric Supply, Reading.

Jim Moll, the township's director of engineering and planning services, told the board that the new lights would be more "vandal resistant" than the existing lights.

The board also authorized PPL Electric Utilities to continue its program of replacing LED streetlights at no cost to the township.

Police Chief Bryan Ross told the supervisors that PPL had replaced more than 600 lights in 2020, and it planned to replace 480 in 2021, in a project expected to take about three months.

Ross explained that there was a caveat to the offer, though. Because the tariff PPL pays for underground wiring has increased, the company had to charge the township a little more than $1,500 per month to cover the cost.

PPL, however, expects the tariff to decrease substantially in the future, so the supervisors decided to pay the tariff and make the necessary amendments to the existing contract. The board will then wait two years before increasing taxes, if necessary, at that time.

Other business

In other actions, the supervisors granted authorization to bid for its 2021 roadwork projects. Moll said the township's 2020 projects finished at more than $250,000 below budget.

He noted that due to the pandemic, many municipalities had reduced their roadwork projects for 2021, leaving contractors to aggressively bid for the projects that remain. Putting the roadwork projects out to bid now "will allow the township to start the roadwork before summer," Moll said.

The supervisors approved sinkhole repairs and an easement agreement for a property at 2079 Tulpehocken Road. Moll told the board that heavy rains in 2019 and 2020 had caused significant damage to the original pipe that was installed in the 1970s. Also, it was discovered that the original pipe had been installed backwards.

Schlouch Incorporated, Blandon, was awarded a contract in the amount of $38,047 to do the work.

Township Manager John Groller reported that revenue was more than $500,000 higher in 2020 than in 2019, while expenditures were $977,000 lower in 2020 than in the previous year.

In addition, fire Chief Colin Hackman reported that his department served a total of 2,594 calls in 2020, with 232 responses made in December.

Finally, Aaron Wozniak, zoning officer, reported that 2020 saw a record number of 1,067 zoning permits issued.

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