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Former East Penn supervisor offers support for new board

Published February 03. 2010 05:00PM

William Schwab, former supervisor at East Penn Township, said, at the Monday supervisors' meeting this week, that he is going to support the new board. He said it is the negativity of the residents that made him decide not to run again. In response to the complaints about a 5 p.m. meeting, he said it may please some who are uncomfortable with the previous 7 p.m. time.

Supervisor Herb Truhe said he had received only three objections, but hands went up immediately in opposition to the early time, and several mentioned it before giving their opinions or questions.

Truhe said the township is $1 million in the hole and $117,000 of that amount is money that has to be paid back to the state. It had been received for road work but PennDOT's project coordinator for liquid fuel money, John Davis, said he had not pre-approved the plans. He said Guy Barry as roadmaster had not followed the plan.

Cory Smith, the present roadmaster, said Davis was asked if he would reconsider and there is a possibility they will be given a second chance.

Resident Walter Zlomsowitch tried to say the township forfeited a $62,000 grant but he was removed from the meeting by a policeman who was attending. That money had been for Eidem Road and was forfeited because grants have a time limitation and the money was not spent within the limit. Because "$62,000" was heard at the meeting, the TIMES NEWS made a phone call to follow up.

Supervisor Randy Pfeiffer said Barry did not have preauthorization but that was the procedure at the time. You did the work and then submitted it for liquid fuel approval. Roadmaster Gary Kuehner did not get preauthorization for work he did under liquid fuel either. In Pfeiffer's opinion Davis does not like Hanover Engineering, Guy Barry, East Penn or the township secretaries.

Previous secretary Mary Ann Leavitt and treasurer Nate Scherer attended a liquid fuel meeting where Davis was present. He was given all the information required on a CD and acknowledged that was what he wanted.

Pfeiffer said he was defending a project following the flood in 2006. A bridge replacement was paid by a FEMA grant, which had nothing to do with Davis. "I think we should get in touch with Rep. Keith McCall. I spoke to Guy Barry and he is willing to testify."

Truhe approved of Barry and Pfeiffer trying to handle it through McCall's office.

Charlie Unangst of Hanover Engineering said 400 feet of the sewer line just before the turnpike was put in too high. It has to be replaced. There will be no additional cost to the township and no delay in completion.

Pfeiffer asked if Duane Schleicher had brought the proof that he did not need permits for work at Stony Brook Campground. Schleicher said he would have it next month. Jim Clauser, county conservation officer, and Truhe went to the campground and Truhe said Clauser approved of everything.

Pfeiffer said Clauser could only approve erosion and sedimentation issues which his office covers - that he is not an engineer. He asked how many of the campground residents are full-time.

Schleicher said there are no year-round residents.

Truhe said the bids for equipment with operator were opened Jan. 26. Their use would be at the decision of the roadmaster. Some include add-ons such as a fuel charge which are to be considered when a job is awarded.

Bids will be requested for a tax anticipation loan.

Schwab was appointed as the Lehigh Canal Commission representative, a position that has been open for over a year.

Payroll is going to be on a biweekly basis. When asked why the change was being made, Supervisor Jake Nothstein said it would save money by cutting fewer checks.

Schwab was given permission to apply for recreation grants for anything except the rail trail from West Sunset Street.

Pfeiffer said he'd like to see a police report along with other reports presented monthly. In January he asked to return the recreation commission to a seven-member board because it has been difficult getting a quorum with nine members. Solicitor Jim Nanovic is to check and see if an ordinance is required to make the change. In January there was no discussion as was the case at this meeting.

"We need the taxpayers with us. You are making a laughing stock of the township," said Truhe.

New supervisor Dean Kercsmar said he had his eyes opened but everything would be easy to resolve by raising taxes. However, they did not plan to go that route. "This is sad. Jake (Nothstein) has already saved us $5,000 on truck repairs. I think this board has been doing a great job. It's about common sense."

Truhe said if the TIMES NEWS does not write what he considers a fair article, he will send in his own.

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