Several residents that live on Bonser Drive attended the March 15 Chestnuthill Township supervisors' meeting to report serious flooding issues on their properties and asked the supervisors if there were grants available to install piping to alleviate the problem. Township engineer Chris McDermott said that piping would have to be installed for at least 1/2 mile and it would be very costly. The supervisors asked David Albright, township manager, to research to see if there were any grants available.
At the April 5 meeting, Engineer McDermott said he toured the properties on Bonser Dr. He contacted the previous engineer to review the work that had been done previously and he acquired more topographic information and said that they were talking about a large area of 150 acres.
Supervisor Chris Eckert asked if there was a solution to this and Mr. McDermott said that it had always been, convey it and direct it to the stream. Now environmentalists ask if you are moving the problem to another person and damaging the stream.
Resident Al Bourke said he was in management for years and the question comes down to whose fault is it?
"You've got to establish whose fault it is. These citizens would say to you (pointing at the board), it is your fault. You should fix it. "
He suggested that the residents on Bonser Dr. should get a lawyer and find who is responsible and sue them."
A resident on Bonser Dr., Vincent Ceglia, said to the board that he would like to see their options.
"You can't solve this in a few months. If you can solve of these problems, it can be fixable."
He then addressed Bourke and told him that he has lawyers and has been advised that they can't sue past supervisors.
He asked the supervisors that when there is another rain that causes flooding again if a fire company tanker truck could come in and help with the flooding.
"It would be short term remedy until a permanent solution can be found."
The board agreed to continue to seek a solution.
Resident Marie Sottile told the board they could buy her out and tear down her house and make it a retention pond.
David Albright, township manager did send letters to PA Representative Mike Carroll, PA Senator Pat Browne and PA Rep. Rosemary Brown, asking if there was funding available to help alleviate the water problem. He has not yet heard back from them.
At the March 1 meeting, the supervisors approved advertising for bids from interested parties in purchasing a 12.34 acre lot, owned by the township, located along Rt. 715.
In September 2005, the township purchased two lots with general funds for Open Space, from the Anewalt family, to protect from further development and to be used as an easement. One lot was 12.34 acres and the other was 12.36 acres.
Township manager Albright reported that the township received one bid for that property in the amount of $110,000 from the Pohoqualine Fish Association. They own property adjoining the lot.
Resident Bourke asked if they knew why this buyer was purchasing the property.
"They could drill for gas," he said.
Supervisor chairman, Chuck Gould said, "They own 800 acres. I think it would be highly unlikely they would use this land for drilling gas. They are very much involved in the environment."
The board approved accepting the bid, 3-0.
Resident Robert Bonser asked the board to come to his residence located at Erica Dr. He wanted the supervisors to observe his neighbor's equipment, stating he believes he is running a commercial business out of his home.
Supervisor Eckert reported that the West End Vol. Fire Co. responded to 91 calls and the West End Ambulance responded to 132 calls in the month of March. He said one fire call was for a burning barrel and hopes that will be the end of those calls for the year.
Supervisor Dave Fleetwood said the board received a letter from Eldred Township's supervisors stating that they are in the process of developing a park on the property they acquired from Jacqueline Mock in Kunkletown and they are asking for a letter of support from Chestnuthill's supervisors to help them in their application for a grant. He asked if Albright would compose a letter of support to send to Eldred.
Resident Bourke said he didn't think the supervisors should approve something that will cost the taxpayers money.
He was told that it's for a grant. Bourke said the money for a grant had to come from somewhere and it came from taxpayers.
The board approved, 3-0, manager Albright sending a letter of support to Eldred Township Supervisor from Chestnuthill Township supervisors.
Supervisor Fleetwood said the township was asked to contribute $300 for the Pleasant Valley High School's Senior Class Chemical Free Graduation party, the same amount as they had contributed to last year's event and Eckert asked if that amount had been budgeted for and office manager Cathy Martinelli responded "yes."
Resident Bourke said, "Again, why are we throwing away money that you're asking us to spend money on?" He stated that when his kids graduated, he spent his own money for them for a party and suggested the parents of these seniors do the same instead of asking the taxpayers to support one.
Resident Marie Sottile said she agreed with the expenditure.
"I've had a child attend. And if it saves one child's life, I approve of it."
Jonathan Gabilanes said that he was a graduate of PV. He addressed Bourke stating, "In speaking to your question of expense, would you rather see the township have to pay $1,000 for an ambulance call than the $300?"
Bernie Kozen, Executive Director of the West End Park and Open Space Commission, said that there will be a Regional Park Cleanup Day on Saturday, April 16 at 8 a.m. and a Give and Take Day at Chestnuthill Park also on April 16 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. He said if anyone was interested in fly fishing, they should see him. He can be reached at 570-992-9733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resident Leon Clark asked the township office manager Martinelli if she had an answer to his question of being referred to as Auditor Clark in the minutes when he speaks because he is a township auditor and she said she spoke to Melissa Morgan of PSATS for clarification. If Mr. Clark addresses the board, speaking on behalf of the board of auditors, he shall be referred to in the minutes as Auditor Clark but if he addresses the board with general questions or statements as a resident, he is to be referred to as Resident Clark in the minutes.
Office manager Martinelli asked for approval of Resolutions 2011-2, 2011-3 and 2011-4. The resolutions are for recognition of three members of the West End Fire Company for serving 20 years. They are, Jeffrey Weiss, Christopher Eckert and Gregory Dorn. They were approved 3-0 and were to be presented to the men at the appreciation banquet held on April 9 at the West End Fire Company social hall.
The next Chestnuthill Township Historical Society meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the Chestnuthill Township Park building on Rt. 715, Brodheadsville.
The supervisors' meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 19 has been canceled. The supervisors will meet on Monday, April 25 at 7:30 a.m. for a bill paying meeting only.