GALENA — Harlem Township is addressing its own growth and changes in the area with the formation of a Strategic Planning Committee.
The committee is “here to aid in the planning of the future and direction of our community.”
The committee met on April 19 with its consultant Crossroads Community Planning, LLC. The township’s Strategic Planning Committee conducted what is called a SWOT analysis, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
The strengths were identified as rural environment, current comprehensive plan and zoning, township organization, transparent communication, diverse educational backgrounds, core involvement and several civic/nonprofit organizations.
Weaknesses were considered as lack of township participation in government meetings, lack of townshipwide communications plan/strategy, lack of newsletter, lack of input from younger generations, lack of understanding of zoning, and no definition of rural character.
Opportunities were recognized as independent-minded to tap into various ideas, tap into core groups and civic and nonprofit organizations, reach out to younger families, Zoning 101 brochure/website/video, and a rural design vision.
The threats were described as Harlem is a housing bullseye, potential lobbying for zoning changes, some residents are resistant to change, water and sewer, and east side services areas are a concern.
Crossroads took the analysis and committee feedback to generate a working immediate needs list of actionable items to be accomplished during the spring and summer.
The needs, which Crossroads agreed to work on, included obtaining a better understanding of existing water and sewer line locations as well as time frame and boundaries for future expansions, creating a township communications plan, examining zoning overlay options, cursory review of zoning, and an administrative capacity plan.
The Harlem Township Strategic Planning Committee will next meet at 6 p.m. July 5 in the Grange Hall at 12900 Center Village Road, Galena.
Meanwhile, Delaware County’s 2022 Paving Guide said there will be “asphalt rejuvenating treatment on … Gorsuch Road from Harlem Road to Red Bank Road, Red Bank Road from Gorsuch Road to Sunbury Road,” which are county roads. On township roads, there will also be chip and fog sealing on Bevelheimer and Green Cook roads, asphalt rejuvenating treatment on Trenton Road, and asphalt paving in the Keller Pines subdivision consisting of Pine View Drive, Keller Pines Court and White Fir Lane (all paid for by the township).
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.