Mahoning Township supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt was concerned and disappointed with regard to a story in the TIMES NEWS last Friday in which Carbon County Head Commissioner Wayne Nothstein was quoted in the weekly commissioners' meeting as having attended the most recent Mahoning Township Zoning Board meeting only to have them refuse to grant the county's waivers for the Packerton Yards project. In the story Nothstein said they would have to return to the supervisors to hopefully get approval of the necessary waivers. Steigerwalt said he attended a Planning Commission meeting last week.
"I expected Commissioner Nothstein to be here tonight," said Steigerwalt. "I'm a bit disappointed he is not aware of which meetings he has been attending. He attended the planning commission meeting last Tuesday not the Zoning Board and we told him that he needed to meet the conditions offered in response to the waivers."
Steigerwalt indicated that the Zoning Board ruled on the Commissioner's request for about a half dozen waivers and while several were granted, the three needed to obtain a highway occupancy permit were not granted until the commissioners met several conditions. "The county was not refused the waivers. The board had asked them to meet several conditions in order to obtain them."
A long-time member of the township's planning commission, Steigerwalt said the commissioner came with the same pitch he gave to supervisors at their meeting two weeks ago. The commission said they could only recommend the waivers if the county met the conditions placed on them. According to Steigerwalt and Chairperson John Wieczorek, the commission basically told him what the supervisors did earlier this month. The direction was to "compile a list of outstanding items that the project needs to be completed and share it with the municipalities so we can better monitor how things are proceeding with the project."
Wieczorek's longstanding criticism is the previous administration excluded the township along with the other municipal entities in which Packerton Yards is located from the progress of the project and when it infrequently showed up on the agenda for action at meetings, no one was there to explain nor was there anyone who knew what was happening. Nothstein promised more transparency in that regard and to provide the lists.
This agreement to do provide these action items before he left both the supervisors' meeting and the commission meeting led to Steigerwalt's comments during the officials part of the meeting. He was concerned as he believed Nothstein understood what the boards were requesting so he was surprised to read the account of the county meeting.
Neither Nothstein nor any county official involved in the Packerton Yards project attended last night's meeting.