One positive outcome of the coronavirus pandemic is the opportunity to finally view city council meetings. The only downside to virtual council meeting are the limited public comments. Actually, there are a lot of public comments on the FacebookLive post but that’s not the proper method to submit your comment or question. They have an email address and voicemail number for you to make your public comments. 

There were some interesting topics on the agenda which deserve a closer look.

Bids were opened for the installation of lights on the Memorial Park football field. 

Why are we putting more lights on the Memorial Park football field? The only team using the field is the Chester Panthers youth football teams. They don’t play at night. However, during the week it does get dark before their long practices end. They have a few lights up to get through practice and they’d never suffice for a game – but they don’t play night games. And, there won’t be a youth football season this year. So, why are lights on the youth football field getting installed? How about putting lights on the Memorial Park basketball court. Playing basketball on summer nights would be a better use of lights than on the football field where no night games are played. 

Dr. Hunt-Irving replaces Dr. Hannum in the Chester Health Bureau

I have no idea what the Chester health bureau does. I’ve been confused who runs it because Livia Smith is listed as the Director of Public Health Services but Dr. Hannum, and now Dr. Hunt-Irving, are real doctors but aren’t the director. 

Livia Smith announces COVID-19 testing at Chester City Hall

Livia Smith reminded us there’s ongoing COVID-19 testing at Chester City Hall for the next month being conducted by UnitedHealthcare even though UnitedHealthcare isn’t listed on any of the promotion material (weird). There was mention all city hall employees received a letter to encourage getting tested. No mention was made of Chester’s status of having the 2nd highest number of COVID-19 cases in the county or anything that would indicate any sense of urgency for citizens to get tested. I visited City Hall today to get my COVID-19 test and there wasn’t any testing going on because of the threat of rain. 

CENUS 2020 push

The city is conducting a 3-day push to get folks to complete their CENSUS survey. Thankfully, Councilwoman Elizabeth Williams took the mic and expressed the urgency of Chester getting their numbers up. Her passionate plea demonstrated how serious this CENSUS is to Chester and our ability to help fund schools, public works projects, etc. 

Snow removal will be an issue in Chester the winter

The city engineer recommended the city not engage with the PA Dept of Transportation to perform snow removal on the state roads that run through Chester [2nd St (Rt 291), Rt 13 (9th St), Rt 320, Rt 352, parts of Kerlin, Highland, Morton, Concord, Welsh, Upland to name most of the big ones]. There was no mention who would plow those streets if Chester City can’t. There’s some question as to whether Chester City’s staff can even handle Chester streets with its limited staff due to layoffs. 

This would be the time to buy a snow blower and get your neighbors together to contract with someone with a plow to do your street or back alley before the snow comes.