KHS Robotics team makes winning pitch for Kennett funding

By Eliza Mohler, Staff Writer, The Times

Kennett High School Demon Robotics team member Molly Hunter and mentor Christina Gorman gave a presentation about the team to request funding from Kennett Township for competition support.

KENNETT TOWNSHIP – Kennett High School’s Demons Robotics team were big winners at Wednesday night’s meeting of the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors, securing $5,000 in funding to support their competitive efforts.

Team member Molly Hunter and mentor Christina Gorman gave a presentation to request $4,000 in funding from the township to help defray the cost of the team’s participation in the First Mid-Atlantic Robotics District Championship at Lehigh University, which is taking place this weekend.

Demon Robotics has been active for six years, and the team is currently ranked fourth out of 120 teams in the mid-Atlantic district. The team builds robots over the course of six weeks with different themes and objectives.

“We pride ourselves on growing the STEM initiative in our community,” Hunter said. Gorman added that the team is a mix of 25 students with different interests. “It’s more than just robots; it isn’t just the kids who want to be engineers,” she said.

Chairman Scudder Stevens applauded the team for their work, and the board approved the funding request. Immediately after the vote, local real estate developer John Lynch pledged an additional $1,000 to help the team, noting that his family is involved in robotics as well.

“I see what it does for these kids,” Lynch said.

Township Manager Lisa Moore said that the board held an executive session held prior to the meeting to discuss acquisition of real estate and a potential legal issue. Moore introduced a request for approval to submit an appeal to the Public Utility Commission for a trail extension from Victory Brewing to Pennock Park, which includes a railroad crossing. The railroad had denied the township’s initial crossing request, and the township is working with the Kennett Square Borough Council on the appeal, as they are affected as well. The board gave Moore approval to proceed with the appeal application.

Moore gave an update on the joint economic development department that is being created between the township and the borough and will replace the township’s department. She then asked the township to approve the mission statement and vision for the new department, which has been approved by the borough council.

“The mission statement is to create shared prosperity by embracing diversity, strengthening neighborhoods, and growing good jobs,” Moore said. “The vision is, we foster relationships and facilitate equal opportunities in the Kennett community that provide economic sustainability and improve the quality of life for all via strong cooperative neighborhoods, flourishing community resources, safe streets, and thriving commercial districts.”

The board voted to approve the mission statement and vision, and work will continue with the borough to develop the department.

The board also approved a request by township solicitor David Sander to ratify an appeal he submitted to the Department of Revenue in response to its attempt to tax the transaction of the sale of the Fussel House. Sander said that the department is looking to assess a two percent tax on the transaction, which has a fair market value of $600,000. Sander’s argument is that the transaction falls under guidelines that make it tax exempt.

Approvals were granted by the board on final plans for the Clifton Mills subdivision, located on Old Kennett Road, and the Sweetbriar subdivision, located on South Union Street. A preliminary plan was submitted for approval by the developers of the Sinclair Springs project, which is located on West Hillendale Road and will create 78 townhome units. After a lengthy discussion by the board, the developers, and some of the neighbors who live next to the area, the preliminary plan was given approval on the conditions that it comply with future lighting review recommendations, as well as trail and sewer easements that are also pending approval by the borough.

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