The pandemic has cancelled plans, wrecked vacations, and brought life as we know it to a halt. Many homeowners have rented dumpsters, Marie Kondo-ed their belongings, and turned their attention to home improvement.
Before picking up the phone (or a tool belt), pause. Smithfield Township is a zoned community, which means permits might be required for the work you want to do. Acquiring permits ensures work is completed in compliance with our ordinances and can save major headaches down the road.
Sometimes, minor changes in work determine whether or not a permit is required. For example: if you only replace shingles on a roof, you don’t need a permit. However, if you replace plywood or roof joists while you replace the shingles, you need a permit.
It may seem inconvenient, but consider the alternative: the Zoning Officer has the authority to make you tear down any work you’ve done without a permit at your expense. Take the time to get the proper permits, and do the work correctly the first time!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel Smithfield Township for notifications and updates. You will find archives of streamed meetings there.
Recycle Your Real Christmas Tree
Our residents have two options to drop off Christmas trees. They may drop them off at:
Oak Grove Multi-Municipal Compost Facility
3305 Oak Grove Dr.
East Stroudsburg, PA 18302
Monday – Saturday from 7AM – 2PM
Smithfield Township Municipal Center
1155 Red Fox Rd
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Monday – Friday from 8AM – 4:30PM
(From Dec 28 – Feb 28 only)
9 Things Plow Drivers Wish You Knew
Driving in hail, freezing rain, and snow can be stressful. We get it and we all avoid it when we can. For when you have to be on the road, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks from our plow drivers that might just make your winter season easier (or at least less stressful).
Stay behind the plow. Yes, they might go a bit slower than you’re used to, but consider this: the road is clearer (and treated) behind the plow.
Leave double the space. Plow trucks are heavy; some can reach 36 tons. Even with great tires and traction, they have a longer braking period than regular cars. Add ice to the roads, and braking distance increases for everyone. Additionally, spreaders throw material onto the road. Getting too close puts your car in range of flying salt and antiskid.
Wait while we open intersections. You’ve all seen it, a plow going back and forth across the road while they open intersections to make turning easier. Let us open the intersections so we can keep plowing elsewhere.
Plows aren’t always allowed to plow roads. Confusing, yes, but consider this: PennDOT is responsible for state roads, individual municipalities plow township roads, and contractors clear businesses, driveways, and private roads. Drivers are paid to clear certain areas, and that doesn’t always include the route they take to reach their destination.
Always try to clear the road. If you are parked on the road with your car, the plow trucks can’t get through. Do what you can to clear the roadway.
We don’t plow in your driveway on purpose. Angling the plow away from driveways pushes snow into the road, which defeats the purpose of plowing. There will always be a trail of snow at the edge of your driveway. Yes, drivers plow in their own driveways too.
Avoid pushing snow from your driveway into the road. Snow shoveled or plowed onto any roadway can increase the potential for crashes. Shovel or plow snow to the right side of your driveway as you face the intersecting roadway- by piling the snow away from the oncoming direction of the snow plows, the snow will not be pushed back onto the driveway. Refer to the diagram below for a visual!
No, we aren’t targeting your mailbox. Mailboxes are built right next to the road for ease of access for mail carriers. This also means they are in the direct path of flying snow, and dangerously close to the plow. If your mailbox has been knocked over, consider moving it back from the road a little.
Anything you do to slow a plow truck down means it takes us longer to clear the roads, which means a more dangerous commute for everyone. Drive smart, take your time, and get home safe!
Diagram provided by PennDOT:
Avoid pushing snow from your driveway into the road.
Look Both Ways — in the parking lot.
Even though online ordering continues to climb, we all still make trips to the market, the big box stores, and the malls. Be careful! In parking lots every year there are 50,000 crashes, 60,000 injuries, and 500 deaths according to statistics from 2016. Why? Texting, going too fast in a parking lot aisle, backing up into another car also – In general, backing up. Another example is people panicking and stepping on the gas rather than the brake. Also, people feel safer driving in a parking lot even though it is where they should be the most diligent about “defensive driving.”
The saddest statistic is 500 deaths a year. Cars back over people pushing shopping carts while sending emails. Coming out of a store, crossing to your aisle, elating behind cars —are ways to increase your odds of being injured. The best behavior is to do exactly what we tell children to do: look both ways. Don’t cross until it is clear and pay attention to cars that are moving. Remember, sometimes it is harder see movement in your peripheral vision when you are wearing a COVID mask.
I had a friend who was hit by a car in a supermarket parking lot. The woman was elderly and mistakenly stepped on the gas when she saw him in front of her. He survived, but spend two years recovering and will never have full use of his legs again. Be careful out there.
The Pennsylvania Achieving a Better Life Experience Savings Program (PA ABLE) is a state offered program that gives individuals with qualifying disabilities a tax-advantage way to save or invest. This program is in addition to, not a replacement of, government programs. Therefore, all federal benefits are protected, including Medical Assistance (Medicaid) and, with some limitations, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. As savings earn interest or returns over time, neither federal nor Pennsylvania income tax is owed as long as the withdrawal is used to pay for qualified disability expenses. This program was made possible by the passing of both federal and state laws. Check out the frequently asked questions below and browse their website for more information!
Pennsylvania American Water has voluntarily extended its suspension of water service shutoffs until after March 31, 2021. Available to all customers, both residential and non-residential. The company urges customers who are facing financial hardship to seek financial assistance immediately by contacting
Pennsylvania American Water at pennsylvaniaamwater.comor calling 1-800-565-7292.
Please do not wait until a shut-off is looming to contact them.