MEDIA, PA – Among the many concerns before the Delaware County Council Wednesday night, all of them pressing needs, one was far more under their control, and that was the demolition of properties that have been designated as “blighted.”
One home in Darby Township, described by county administrators as vacant for several years and structurally compromised, was OK’d for an expected $23,000 in demolition and clearing costs last night by the council.
Seven properties in Chester City were also given the go-ahead for demolition – five former residences for $150,000 and two properties that have long been vacant for an additional $70,000.
The vote to go ahead with demolitions was unanimous.
“I am glad we are putting this money to good use,” said council chair Brian Zidek, after asking administration about the amount of money currently set aside for such projects ($800,000 as of this January 1 and around $557,000 with these demolition projects). “It provides a clean slate, so to speak, for these locations.”
The Darby property demolition and clearance are slated for a vacant home at 608 Clifton Avenue.
Chester City demolitions will be split between five residences at: 626 and 628 W. 6th Street; 629 W. 6th Street; 211 Ivy Street and 2215 W. 3rd Street; and two properties: at 2405 Chestnut Street and 1114 Potter Street.
Matters that were more complex, like distribution of the COVID vaccine, had less easy answers Wednesday night.
Following an announcement that Pennsylvania vaccine providers, including Delaware County, will receive less than expected Moderna vaccines, council members expressed frustration with the distribution of vaccine doses to the county.
“I can’t express how much work has been put into preparing for the distribution of the vaccines by the county government, and to have the tables turned and information changed constantly along the way is immensely frustrating,” said council member Elaine Paul Schaefer. “People are looking to us for answers or solutions and the truth is, it’s completely out of our hands.”
Delaware County announced Wednesday county-sponsored vaccination clinics in Aston and Yeadon are closed for people who were registered to receive their first dose of vaccine, while residents who are scheduled to receive their second dose are being rescheduled to Saturday, Feb. 20 to receive the second round of vaccine.
But while the ongoing pandemic creates emergencies every day that county government leaders were hoping would be addressed with substantially more vaccine doses distributed from the state on a weekly basis, the county is still looking forward to improving emergency response infrastructure.
The council approved contracts for updating the emergency system to next-generation 911 standards via agreements with EBA Engineering to address 911 location errors for the coming year, at a cost not to exceed $191,000, plus another with EBA to create Geocode locations in compliance with next-generation 911 call systems, for a cost of not more than $119,000. Another $93,000 was set aside for Environmental Systems Research Institute to provide analytical software, maintenance, training, and services for next-generation 911 call delivery.