Board Is Puzzled By Odor

Posted: May 09, 1991

Something smells in Swedeland, but residents and Upper Merion Township officials have not been able to agree on the source of the stench.

"Obviously there is a problem in the Swedeland area because all of these good people smell the odor," Township Supervisor Lydia Garcia said after the Monday night meeting of the board.

"But we don't really know where it's emanating from."

At that meeting, resident John Mycek presented the supervisors with a petition from people who live in the low-lying neighborhood near the Schuylkill.

About two years ago, Mycek launched a campaign to ferret out the source of odious odors that sporadically waft overhead.

Mycek has contended that the incinerator used by SmithKline Beecham to burn test animals is the culprit, but so far no one has been able to prove - or disprove - the allegation.

Garcia said she was willing to try a "surprise inspection" of the SmithKline plant to determine whether the incinerator burning is causing the odor problem.

"We have to help these people," she said. "That's our job."

In other business, the supervisors approved the township's participation in the countywide 911 emergency telephone system.

The Upper Merion Police Department will be one of 23 Public Safety Answering Points in the Montgomery County program, said county 911 coodinator Jeffrey A. Whittek.

The PSAP designation means that 911 calls from Upper Merion residents will be handled by Upper Merion Police dispatchers instead of being routed through the county radio room. The county will provide backup service for local police dispatchers, including Upper Merion, and also will handle calls from municipalities without a PSAP.

Whittek said the system was scheduled to be on line by the end of 1992.

Equipment is being leased, but if purchased would cost about $112,000 for Upper Merion alone.

Once the total system's cost is established, the charge will be divided by the number of phone lines in the county and then added to each monthly phone bill.

The monthly charge must be approved by the state Public Utilities

Commission, Whittek said.

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