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Bedminster estimates $65,000 flood damage and is still counting


While the official declaration of emergency that is needed for government relief is not yet in hand, Bedminster Township has already tallied $65,000 as a preliminary estimate of damage from the torrential rain and subsequent flooding from Hurricane Ida on Sept. 1.
The assessment was announced by Township Manager Rich Schilling during his monthly report at the Sept. 8 public board of supervisors meeting. He added the number was sure to go up as more damage was accounted for, especially to the township’s bridges.
Police Chief Matt Phelan praised his officers for meeting the emergency, including overtime, as they responded to dozens of distress calls. He noted there were a few situations where there was not much they could do, in particular due to their lack of boats.
During his regular monthly report, Phelan noted that his department’s ongoing traffic enforcement initiative was presently resulting in about 60 actions per month, for an average of about one citation each day, plus an average of about one warning each day, as officers balance confronting threats to public safety with exercising appropriate leniency.

Also at the Sept. 1 meeting, supervisors adopted an ordinance “establishing a school zone on Center School Road, limiting the speed of motor vehicles to 15 mph at certain times on school days between Cider Mill Lane and Fretz Valley Road.” The ordinance also allows for “the posting of official traffic control devices per PennDOT standards, and establishing penalties for speeding violations.”
At no cost to the township, PennDOT completed the related engineering and traffic study last December through its Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), toward the “protection of students commuting on foot or by vehicle to and from the Bedminster Elementary School.” The Pennridge School District is to absorb all other costs, as part of an agreement with the township that was struck as a result of meetings that started last year.
Chief Phelan explained that the new ordinance complemented a similar ordinance already in effect for Fretz Valley Road, so that the township can cover both of the entrance and exit spots used by the commuters.