Rush Township board of supervisors approved, but failed to unanimously agree on approving Alfred Benesch & Co. to do the work needed for the township to meet Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) regulations. The vote came during the meeting held Tuesday evening at the township municipal building and created a lot of discussion before approval was finally granted.
The Hometown Area Safe Routes Project totals $240,000, and PennDOT Transportation Enhancement Funding awarded a $204,000 grant to the township for the project. With the grant funding, that leaves the township's share at $36,000 needed to cover the rest of the cost. Those funds will be taken from the township's general fund. The project's improvements include fixing existing sidewalks along Meadow Avenue and pouring new ones along Oak Lane, widening the shoulder and mounting road signs along Lincoln Drive and painting as needed.
Vice Chairman Shawn Gilbert questioned whether or not the township has the money needed. Several local residents in attendance also expressed their concern about where the money would come from. "Raise taxes?" one crowd member inquired.
The board reviewed the numbers again, however, and Chairman Stephen W. Simchak and Supervisor Robert J. Leibensperger concluded the township had enough to cover costs. "If we didn't have the money," Simchak said, "we wouldn't have applied for the grant." The bill was approved with a 2-1 majority, with Gilbert opposed.
Also approved with the same 2-1 majority were two bills which allow Benesch to install storm water management in the Meadow Avenue area, which will prevent flooding, and replace sewers on Gary Road, Delford Street and Parnell Avenue.
In other business, the board voted to officially abolish the Rush Township sewer authority, which was dissolved in 1999. Since then, the township has been taking care of sewer issues. Getting rid of the charter, the board said, is in the best interest of taxpayers.
Also, Cathy Riotto was reappointed to the Rush Township planning commission.
A request was also approved to advertise for a qualified community development consultant to assist in obtaining grants for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 fiscal years.
Lastly, the township purchased a 2011 Ford F550 dump truck with plow and spreader, costing $68,439.30.
Next Rush Township board of supervisors meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 16 at the municipal building.