Eleven-year old Nick Shatynski noticed storm drain grates clogged and notified Hanover Township

As part of his Boy Scout Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge requirements Nick was tasked with identifying a community issue

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Nick Shatynski with Committeeman Thomas "Ace" Gallagher

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Nick Shatynski thanked Hanover Township Committeeman Thomas Ace Gallagher and the Hanover Township Public Works Department for responding so quickly and thoroughly to a potential public safety issue – as identified by one of our township youth.

As part of his Boy Scout Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge requirements, Nick (a member of Troop 155 in Hanover which is sponsored by the American Legion Post #155) was tasked with identifying a community issue, interviewing a person from a branch of government about the issue and devising a plan to resolve the issue.

Storm drain grate clogged on North Jefferson Road

This week, Nick noticed two storm drain grates clogged on North Jefferson Road. Being concerned about dangerous flooding potential and hazardous conditions for cars, bicyclists and pedestrians, Nick sent the attached two photos of the clogged drain grates to Ace Gallagher who as a Township Committeeman is assigned the role of Director of Public Works.

Within 24 hours, Ace and the Hanover Township Department of Public Works had the storm drain grates fully cleaned. Nick and Ace met on July 11, 2019 to discuss how the larger issue of other potential clogged storm drains throughout the township could be improved.

Nick mentioned to Ace “I thought about how many hundreds of people pass by these clogged storm drain grates everyday and do not notice them or contact the township to let them know of the issue. We have so many of these storm drains throughout the township and there is no way for the township to know all of the ones that are clogged. Just as the electric company asks us to report burnt out street lights so that they can fix them, I thought we can have a communication plan to raise awareness of our residents and have them report to the township any clogged storm drains.”

Storm drain grate clogged on North Jefferson Road

Ace responded to Nick  “In many ways, youth are more observant and notice things that many adults don’t. I encourage you to spread the word through social media, email and through your school to have youth become fully engaged in their communities and report things that are dangerous and/or need to be fixed. Especially remember that the police are your friends, are very approachable to discussions and really try to make Hanover as safe as it can be. To borrow the saying…..See Something, Say Something. In the case of clogged storm drain grates, people should contact the Public Works Department or me as the township committee liaison to the Public Works Department.”

Ace Gallagher said “At Nicks young age he clearly understands the importance of public service and doing the right thing for the right reason. I had to ask Nick how old he was and what grade he was in more than once, this young man is clearly squared away and ready for business. Nick has become a friend and now he is officially a colleague in our latest quest to step up all means of communication with our residents. Our goal is to through better communication provide even better service and create an even safer, and better looking community. Thank you again Nick, for requesting a meeting and you know I’m a call or an email away at all times.”

Nick’s Dad, Joe Shatynski said “Thank you Ace! I read your comment to Nick and he asked me to tell you “Mr. Gallagher…..Thank you for all of your kind words and help. I really enjoyed our conversation and I am impressed with your great ideas and dedication to our township – especially looking after the youth and younger children. Thank you for helping me and Hanover Township!”

Nick thanked Ace (and asked Ace to thank the Hanover Public Works Department) for responding so quickly and thoroughly to remove the dangerous situation. Special thanks also to Len Fariello, who as the Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge Counselor, approved this project for Nick to work on.