Four Ways to Reduce Winter Stormwater Pollution
Controlling stormwater pollution is a year-round concern, one that matters in winter just as much as spring and summer. When the temperature drops, vast amounts of deicing chemicals are dumped by the truckload across our roads, sidewalks, and driveways. With each thaw, all that salt washes directly into our waterways. Freezing temperatures also lead to broken pipes, which can lead to erosion issues or even raw sewage pouring into our streams.
- Avoid using sodium chloride as a deicer. Commonly used road salts like sodium chloride (also known as halite) can kill plants, break down concrete, and stain carpets. More environmentally friendly alternatives to sodium chloride are acetates (such as Premiere Ice Melter), potassium chloride, or magnesium chloride (such as SafeStep Mag Chloride 8300).
- Open your rain barrel spigot. Although this doesn’t help with stormwater in the winter, it does help prevent your barrel from filling with ice and potentially cracking. A cracked barrel definitely can’t reduce stormwater pollution!
- Do not pile snow on your rain garden. Though your plants are dormant, heavy snow loads, upon melting, could saturate your garden for long enough to potentially hurt your plants. Normal snow accumulation does not pose a problem, though, so there is no need to shovel the garden! Pile your snow from elsewhere on the uphill side of the rain garden instead so that when it melts your rain garden can do its thing.
- Go pervious! Replacing your walkway or driveway with river stone, pervious pavers, or other porous materials will allow water to soak into the ground instead of becoming runoff. These surfaces not only help reduce polluted stormwater runoff and erosion, they also “breathe” more than impervious surfaces like asphalt and concrete, so they take longer to ice over.
NEW BURN DAYS IN DERRY BOROUGH
Derry Borough Council amended their burn days Ordinance to simplify the days you are allowed to burn. Tuesdays and Saturdays are the days which you are allowed to burn yard waste including only trees, branches, logs, and stumps from dawn to dusk. It is unlawful to burn garbage of any kind including but not limited to rubber, plastics, and metals….as they are toxic. Derry Borough Police and Fire Department appreciate your support of our Ordinance. Thank you.
Part-time Police Officers
The Borough of Derry is accepting applications for Part-time Police Officers. Applications may be obtained and accepted at the Derry Borough Office, 114 East Second Avenue, Derry, PA 15627 from 8:30am-4pm, Monday-Friday or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a resume. Candidate must be flexible to work different shifts and weekends. Starting rate $16.50, increasing to full rate of $17.00 after one year of service. Certification of Act 120 required.
Gas Well Usage Reports
Derry Business Park – Sites Available
ZONING HEARING BOARD MEMBERS NEEDED
Derry Borough Council is accepting letters of interest for three vacancies on the Zoning Hearing Board.
The Zoning Hearing Board hears appeals on any zoning concerns or applications and supports an important function of the Borough administration. See attached for more information.
Residential Zoning Information
Derry Borough is regulated by zoning ordinances and other ordinances that set forth standards, procedures and requirements for building, reconstruction, and use of all buildings within the Borough. Derry Borough also is regulated by the Uniform Construction Code. At times for new construction you will need two permits, both Zoning and Building Permits. Our Borough codes govern the use of all land and buildings. Currently a third party provider (Building Inspection Underwriters) enforce building codes, review all applications, and perform inspections, while reviewing our borough violations. Listed are some common zoning and building code rules:
- All residents are required by Ordinance to have their street numbers posted and visible from the street for emergency personnel to be able to identify your residence. (Ord. 683)
- Residents are to have rain water separated from the sanitary sewer by utilizing down spouts. (Ord. 758)
- Home owners are responsible for the care and maintenance of trees and shrubs which are located on their property and those which abut their property. It is important to keep trees or shrubs maintained that can affect the line of sight for vehicular traffic.
- Parking or storing of commercial vehicles, including tractor trailers, construction trucks, is prohibited on residential streets. (Ord. 725)
- Swimming pools, above or in-ground must be issued a building and zoning permit. (Ord. 725)
- Accessory structures such as storage sheds, pools, garages and fences require a building and zoning permit. Maintenance items such as new roof shingles new windows, replacing anything existing does not require a zoning permit. Permits are required for all new construction and any changes structurally to your current residence. (Ord. 725)
- Weeds and grass must not exceed a height of eight inches. Yards must not be cluttered or
littered with rubble, trash, appliances, unused furniture, building materials, etc. (Ord. 729)
- Care should be taken to avoid driving over curbs, planting strips and sidewalks, causing damage to the right-of-way with a vehicle. All sidewalk maintenance is the property owner’s responsibility.(Ord. 305)
- Property owner shall not discharge grass clippings onto a street or alley. Grass clippings may clog storm sewer lines. (Ord. 758)
- Sidewalk clearing is required within 24hrs of snowfall for pedestrian travel throughout the Borough (Ord. 459)
Please see our Zoning Page for more information.
Best Management Practices for Storm Water in Derry Borough
Derry Borough Council and the Public Works Department is asking all residents to refrain from putting your grass clippings on the street. The reason is to assist with our sediment control of our storm drains as a Best Management Practice to eliminate clogging of our storm drainage system. Recently, we had our streets swept in a cooperative shared service agreement with the City of Latrobe and found that almost 50% of collections were grass clippings. Please know that it is against Derry Code to dispose of any solid waste in our streets due to stormwater BMP’s and grass clippings are considered a solid waste. This type of waste is pushed into our storm sewers and impedes the flow of rain and stormwater in our system causing back-ups and possibly flooding concerns. We appreciate all residents who assist us with good practice of lawn care.
Reimagining Our Westmoreland
Westmoreland County is in the process of establishing a new long term vision and community plan for our area by engaging citizens, businesses, and civic leaders to partner together to create a prosperous and viable county. Please take the time to review their site and get involved.
Recent Grant Awards for Derry Borough
Flood Plain Management and Insurance Requirements
The flood plain map of Derry Borough can be viewed by the following link: https://msc.fema.gov/portal/
“The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently re-mapped most of the country using 100-year flood projections, resulting in many homes being designated in flood zones which were never there before, despite many of these homes never or rarely having experienced flooding,” Commissioner Miller said. “If the mortgage on a home is backed by the federal government, which many are, then the homeowner must buy flood insurance.”
To appeal a home’s placement in what is officially called a Special Flood Hazard Area, the homeowner must show the lowest adjacent grade, or the lowest ground touching the structure, is at or above what is called the Base Flood Elevation. The Base Flood Elevation is the computed elevation to which flood water is anticipated to rise during the base flood used in determining the land is in a Special Flood Hazard Area.
Commissioner Miller noted that it is the homeowner’s responsibility to provide this information in a letter to FEMA. For this type of appeal, called a Letter of Map Amendment, there is no charge to the consumer.
Homeowners can get more information on how to appeal a flood zone designation, get a flood map, and find answers to other questions, by going to https://www.fema.gov/information-homeowners. Homeowners can also call 1-877-FEMA-MAP (1-877-336-2627) to get information on appealing a flood zone designation.
As part of Governor Wolf’s continuing consumer education and protection initiative, the Insurance Department earlier this year created a one-stop shop webpage on flood insurance. Consumers can access this webpage by going to www.insurance.pa.gov, then clicking on the “Flood” icon under Top Pages. This flood insurance webpage includes information on private insurance options for homeowners, as well as information on the federal government run National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). HARRISBURG, Pa., April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire