Metropolitan Planning Organization

Public Advisory Committee

06/14/2018 - 05:30 PM
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Minutes from this meeting:

DOVER/KENT COUNTY MPO PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MINUTES OF JUNE 14, 2018

 

PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS ATTENDING:

Michael Gumrot, Chair                       Jayce Lesniewski, Vice Chair             Chris Asay

Shane Breakie (alt. Dean Holden)       Dr. Carolyn Cohee                               Dr. Phyllis B. Collins  

Jonathan Contant                                Bruce Snow                                         Tracey Miller

Karen McGloughlin                                        

                                               

MEMBERS NOT ATTENDING:

Dr. Carlton Cannon, Jr.                      Earle Dempsey                                    Jesse Spampinato

 

NON-MEMBERS ATTENDING:

Matt Jordan, DAFB, MPO TAC                     Josh Thomas, DelDOT Planning           

Nate Attard, DelDOT Planning, TAC              James Galvin, MPO staff

Helen Wiles, MPO Staff                                  Catherine Samardza, MPO Staff

           

  1. INTRODUCTION OF MEMBERS & GUESTS

 

Staff reported that Mr. Macmillan was unavailable due to a family emergency.  Helen Wiles was introduced as the new Public Outreach Manager.

 

Josh Thomas introduced himself to the PAC members, noting that his new job is coordinating with Delaware’s three (3) MPOs.  Nate Attard is the D/KC MPO representative.

 

  1. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

A PAC member asked who was responsible for the subdivision sidewalk maintenance at Dover High School.  Mr. Attard said that he (DelDOT) could look at it, but the responsible party could be DelDOT, Dover or the subdivision’s HOA.  Mr. Thomas said that they would help track it down.

 

There was further discussion about the condition of sidewalks and shared use pathways in Dover.  Ms. McGloughlin had safety concerns about a number of areas, in particular she mentioned State Street at Wesley College.  It was noted that the road is curb to curb and does not include sidewalks, which are usually the responsibility of the municipality.  Mr. Galvin and Mr. Thomas explained that some areas are the City, some State and some are private ownership.  Mr. Lesniewski said that in some areas, residents are responsible for maintaining the sidewalk in front of their homes.  Ms. McGloughlin asked who enforces this; Mr. Lesniewski said she should call the City.  Ms. Miller suggested contacting the HOA of a particular area, or the developer.  Someone asked if roads automatically converted to Kent County (or State); Mr. Contant said no, they have to be accepted by the governing agency, and the roads had to be in good order.  Ms. Miller asked how that happens, and the answer was that it is different depending on the municipality, Kent County or the State.  Mr. Thomas said that the County usually tries to get the State to handle road maintenance, there are no County Roads.  Roads are the responsibility of the State, municipalities or private subdivisions.

 

Ms. Miller had further questions about when a subdivision could apply for the State to take over the roads, if it could be done in phases the way a subdivision is built, or if residents have to wait until the development is complete.  Mr. Attard said that would be coordinated with the developer, and he could check that for her.  He also noted that there are municipal comprehensive plan issues affecting this issue as well.

 

 

 

  1.  ACTION ITEM:  Approval of Agenda

 

Due to Mr. Macmillan’s absence, Item #6, Presentation of the MPO’s Strategic Direction for the Future, was removed from the agenda.

 

MOTION         By Ms. Miller to approve the agenda with the above change.  Seconded by Mr. Contant.

Motion carried.

 

  1. ACTION ITEM:  Approval of Minutes, April 19, 2018

 

MOTION         By Mr. Breakie to approve the April minutes.  Seconded by Ms. Miller.  Motion carried.

 

Dr. Cohee asked that a spelling error in the Staff Report section be corrected.

 

  1. PRESENTATION: Chesapeake Utilities and Alternate Fuel Vehicles

                        –           Shane Breakie, Chesapeake Utilities/PAC member

                                    (copy of presentation included in file)

 

Mr. Breakie gave a brief synopsis of Chesapeake Utilities history in Dover, noting that the company is 150 years old.  The company recently moved from its Queen Street location to a new facility, a 15-acre campus behind the American Legion building.  He offered a tour for the PAC in the future.

 

He displayed a map that illustrated where gas lines are throughout lower Delaware.  As part of the presentation, he noted that Chesapeake Utilities has switched its fleet of vehicles to natural gas, and that natural gas runs cleaner and oil maintenance is less.  Natural gas as fuel for vehicles has been around for a long time, but it has only been recently that it is becoming popular.  He reported that 70-80% of waste-hauling companies outside of Delaware are using compressed natural gas for the trucks, and that fuel costs can be locked in for 5 years.  There was discussion concerning Delaware’s reluctance to use CNG, and the cost of infrastructure.  A fueling station costs about $1.8M to build, and that’s if there is access to a pipeline.  Ms. McGloughlin asked if CNG works in farm equipment, and Mr. Breakie said that it does.  There was further discussion regarding the lack of facilities in Delaware, the cost to build facilities, and the cost of CNG vehicles.  Mr. Breakie pointed out that a CNG bus costs about $260K, where an electric bus costs $600K.  Mr. Breakie reported that any vehicle can be switched over to CNG, and that a transit bus would cost between $7K-$11K to adapt and it would take 3-5 days.

 

Ms. Miller asked if there were any negatives to CNG.  Ms. McGloughlin noted that “fracking” would be an environmental negative.  Mr. Breakie said that CNG is a clean energy source and that greenhouse gas can be captured and used.  He also noted that clusters of chicken houses could be a source of gas.

 

Mr. Breakie reiterated his invitation to tour the new Chesapeake Utilities facility in the future.

 

REMOVED 6.   PRESENTATION:  D/KC MPO Strategic Direction for the Future – Reed Macmillan, MPO

 

  1. DISCUSSION ITEM: PAC Bylaws/MPO Bylaws – MPO staff

 

Staff noted that Kate Layton had reviewed the PAC bylaws and noted the differences with the MPO bylaws before she left the MPO.  It was suggested that PAC members look everything over, and decide at the next meeting whether or not to amend the PAC bylaws, or to discontinue separate bylaws and use the MPO bylaws, since that document lays out the PAC membership and responsibilities.  It was noted that if there is something in the PAC bylaws that should be included in the MPO bylaws, changes can be brought to the Council to recommend adoption.

 

 

  1. *** MEMBER REPORTS ***

 

Mr. Snow asked about conditions on Brenford Road.  Mr. Attard said that DelDOT is coordinating with the developers to fix the road in sections.

 

Ms. McGloughlin asked if there was an end-date for the work along Brecknock Park.  No one knew, but DelDOT staff would try to get information.  She also asked if there would be sidewalks when US13 is widened to 3 lanes.  Mr. Thomas said that the Complete Streets policy would be followed, and if it is possible to add sidewalks, it would be done.

 

There was some discussion of the shared use pathway on West Street going three (3) blocks north to the Transit Station and Bank Lane.  Mr. Galvin reported that a study of Bank Lane from West Street to the Green, would be investigating the possibility of creating a bike lane connection from the Transit Station to the Green.

 

Dr. Cohee reported to DelDOT staff that she observed contractors working on the Sports Complex bridge that were not wearing safety vests.  Mr. Attard said he would check on that.

 

Ms. Miller asked who was responsible for “beautification” projects.  Mr. Thomas responded that there is dedicated funding for streetscape projects, and there is an application that must be submitted.  Projects are considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

There was discussion concerning safety of pedestrians at traffic signals, and possible ways to ensure that pedestrians cross at intersections where there are sidewalks and drivers can see them clearly.  However, consensus was that no matter what was done to ensure safety, there would be people who run across roads in the dark, away from intersections and despite on-coming traffic, and that there isn’t anything that can be done about that.

 

  1. Staff Reports –

9.1       Progress & Financial Reports – MPO Staff (enclosure)

9.2       Other Project Updates/Activities – MPO Staff

9.3       Correspondence, Publications/Reports/Outreach – MPO Staff

 

  1. ADJOURN

 

MOTION         By Mr. Snow to adjourn the meeting.  Seconded by Ms. Miller.  Motion carried.

 

 

*** Next Meeting – August 9, 2018 ***