Hatboro Virtual Town Hall Recap, March 17, 2020

Mayor Guenst began with saying the purpose of this meeting is to provide Hatboro residents and business owners with updates on Hatboro’s preparedness to the Covid 19 pandemic. Hatboro is doing its very best to stay on top of Hatboro’s needs as well as concerns. Our Emergency Operations Team, along with the Hatboro Police Department, Public Works Department, and Administrative Staff are all very well prepared. She stated that after tonight’s meeting, there will be future virtual meetings to keep everyone up to date and informed or if anyone has any questions, they can email her at nguenst@myhatboro.org.

Council President Bollendorf stated questions will be taken regarding the Hatboro Horsham School District and Borough business. Any medical questions can be answered on the state and county websites. He stated the Emergency Management Team declared an emergency in the Borough when this first started and the purpose of that was done to activate the Borough’s Emergency Management plan and have ability to re coop any expenditures when they happen, if possible. He stated that to date, there are no confirmed cases of Covid 19 in the Borough. He announced that the declaration of emergency has now been extended until the pandemic ends.

The Borough’s goals are as follows:

  • To ensure the safety of all our residents, employees and visitors in Hatboro
  • To continue essential services such as EMS, Fire, Police, and trash collection with minimal disruption of life as possible
  • Trash and recycling will operate on the same schedule
  • Borough Hall has limited hours which are Monday – Friday from 8:30A.M. until 1:00 P.M. with the phones being answered until 5:00 P.M. Administrative staff will be available to handle any essential Borough Business remotely.
  • March 23, 2020. Council Meeting is cancelled
  • Veterans Breakfast which was scheduled for this weekend has been suspended until further notice.
  • Restaurant Days has been cancelled in the Borough.
  • Pool Memberships will not go on sale until further notice
  • Use and Occupancy Inspections will continue to be conducted
  • Rental and annual Fire Inspections will not be conducted until further notice
  • These steps are to ensure the safety of our employees so that we can provide essential service while keeping employees safe
  • There’s essential business in the Borough such as gas stations, food service, hardware stores etcetera that need and will remain open. There is a list of businesses which will be providing curbside pick up in order to serve customers. The list of businesses is on our website and Facebook page. Everyone is encouraged to patronize these local businesses if possible.
  • Please check on any elderly neighbors whenever possible as they need to limit any and all contact.
  • A statement which was released from the HHSD states that “The district is continuing to work through the ramifications of the school closings. Work is underway to prepare virtual learning for our 6th -12th graders and is also being considered for our 4th and 5th graders while a different approach is being utilized for our Kindergarten through 3rd As these plans are put in place, you will receive updates from the district and the building principals. If you miss any updates you can go to the district website. We will begin to house all communications from the school as well. The help desk can be reached by phone at 215-420-5600 from 7:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. or by email support@hatborohorsham.org. Our food service coordinator has sent information to all of the students that currently qualify for the federal free and reduced meal program and is working closely with H.A.T. Packs to ensure that they are being provided with meals.

Chief Gardner our Emergency Management Coordinator thanks everyone for their cooperation during this unprecedented situation and he believes that by working together, we will all get through this.

He stated the following:

  • Hatboro Police Department is operating at full service and the staff is healthy
  • PD is practicing social distancing and there are certain ways they will responding to calls
  • If a Police report is necessary, officers may call and take the report over the phone in order to get the report filed.
  • If officers must respond to your house, they may ask you to step outside of your home to ensure limited contact if possible
  • The PD also has enough supplies in order to take care of personnel as far as Personal Protective Equipment goes and have been working very closely with other Police Departments in the region and the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety
  • There are plans in place as far as continuity of services and continuity of operations
  • As far as Police, Fire, and EMS services, as always dial 9-1-1. Montgomery County Department of Public Safety has implemented an enhanced screening process so if you should call, there will be additional questions asked
  • Montgomery County has set up a website which is very informative and can answer many questions regarding the Covid 19 virus and testing procedures that are currently in place and that may be placed in the future. The website is montcopa.org/covid-19
  • In order to help residents and businesses, parking at the meters on York Road will not be enforced at this time until further notice. All other parking regulations in town must be obeyed.

Assistant Deputy Chief Ken Davidson from Second Alarmers Rescue Squad stated he wanted to reassure everyone that they stand ready to respond24/7 365 days a year as always. SARS priority remains medical care to residents of Hatboro as well as the communities that they serve. There are some additional precautions that they are taking during this current situation.

  • Additional questions may be asked by the 9-1-1 dispatcher while they are on their way to a call. He asked that everyone answer the specific questions accurately as these questions are to ensure the safety of the crew and so they can determine what PPE is necessary so that they can safely provide care.
  • If your medical condition permits, you may be asked to step outside of your home to meet the medical crew and you may be asked to put a mask on, depending on your symptoms.
  • Medical crew may be wearing additional enhanced personal protection equipment.
  • They are restricted family members riding with patients for the time being in order to limit contact. They are asking family members to stay home or seek alternative ways to get to the hospital.
  • All are encouraged to seek any and all information regarding the pandemic from reliable sources.

Mayor Guenst stated that the Council President Bollendorf is prepared to answer questions that have come into the office via email or phone. Questions can be asked during this meeting via comment section on this live news thread or call 267-961-2714.

Q: Are well being checks being made on Hatboro Senior Citizens?

A: Those that have registered with our Emergency Management are getting checked up on once a week. If you feel the need to register, you can contact Borough Hall at 215-443-9100 and you will be placed on that list. Staff will be checking in on anyone on the registered list weekly to make sure they are ok.

Q: Will trash and recycling continue to be picked up on the regular schedule?

A: Hatboro Public Works Department will continue to work Full Time and the maximum four bag rule which is currently in place will not be enforced.

Q: Where do you get free meals for school aged children?

A: Hatboro Horsham School District has sent communication to those who currently qualify. HHSD is also partnering with H.A.T. Packs to get meals to the families in our community. They are working out of St. John’s Lutheran Church which is located at 505 N. York Road Monday through Thursday of this week. H.A.T. Packs will have backpacks available for those that are currently enrolled delivered to their homes Monday and Wednesday of this week. Hatboro Dish located at 102 S. York Road, will offer free meals to families in need on Tuesday night. Bernie’s located at 58 S. York Road will be doing free meals to go tomorrow 3/18/20 from 12:00 P.M. until 2:00 P.M. All are welcome to pick up free meals to go.

Q: Does Hatboro Horsham School District think this will go on for longer than two weeks regarding the virtual learning?

A: The school district is preparing the virtual learning and any and all updates will be available on their website as soon as they are ready.

Q: How can residents volunteer safely in the community?

A: Meals on Wheels is looking for assistance and if you are interested please contact Jeannine at 215-443-9784 or Coord.BuxMontMOW@gmail.com. Also, just by checking in on your elderly neighbors and help them with any errands as they should not be going out and interacting with the public at this time.

Q: Is the Council meeting that was scheduled for March 23, 2020 cancelled?

A: Yes, this meeting has been suspended. The Borough is working with the Borough Solicitor in order to maintain vital services and make sure our government is run effectively.

Q: Is the Hatboro Chamber of Commerce going to support local businesses?

A: The Chamber is currently working with the business to make sure they are following the rules established by the Governor. They are also promoting the food service businesses that are remaining open. The best thing we can do as a Borough is support them as they are pillars of our community.

Mayor Guenst stated we will have another Virtual Meeting in approximately 7-10 days.