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Resignations accepted at Towamensing Township

Published February 05. 2010 05:00PM

Towamensing Township supervisors read a letter from secretary Lora Nothstein to the effect that she cannot handle the treasurer's duties along with those of secretary. Her resignation as treasurer was effective Feb. 4. Supervisor Penny Kleintop was named treasurer and Supervisor Tom Newman is assistant treasurer.

Patrick Havel resigned from the zoning hearing board where he was chairman. George Karas was appointed in his place. The board chooses its own chairman.

Newman suggested raising the rate of pay for zoners. It is currently $15 per hearing. Two members of the board who were present said that amount was sufficient because it is a civic job.

Barry George resigned from the road crew, but will continue to help out when needed. His replacement is part-timer Brian Thomas who will become full-time if he gets his CDL license.

Sgt. Brian Cawley of the Lehighton State Police unit introduced himself as the new station commander. He said his office covers eight municipalities full-time and three part-time. Since that is a large area he needs residents to be the eyes and ears for the police.

They may be reached directly at 610-377-4270 or through 911 which will transfer a call. He suggested people try to get a license plate number from a car that seems out of place or look for some other identifying mark such as a bumper sticker.

There are no criminal trends at this time but there are periodic break-ins of vehicles. He said people should not let anything of value show in a vehicle and to keep it locked.

A representative from Spotts, Stevens and McCoy attended to tell about findings at Beltzville Lake Estates. Bill Meecham, one of the homeowners involved with a sewage issue, gave his record of testing that has been done and said Sean Corey of SSM is still testing. The water from the contaminated area is flowing to Woods Campground and eventually to Beltzville Lake.

SSM said the development was private but SSM responds to complaints. After a series of tests a letter was sent to lot 109 revoking a sewage permit. Water was saturating the septic field. If the latest tests come back showing contamination he will present options for the township to choose how to handle the matter.

Josh Roderick asked why he was given a permit if the land was not suitable but did not receive an answer.

Fire chief Wayne Knirnschild said a pumper-rescue truck has been returned following a $56,000 upgrade. It has a light tower on top so one man can set the lights and has a new pumping system.

"We're looking for manpower. Someone is at the firehouse on Mondays and Tuesdays," said Knirnschild.

Resident Rusty Frank wanted to know if the zoning officer needed permission to issue an enforcement notice.

Solicitor Tom Nanovic said it is better if the zoning officer gives a report on her investigation and the supervisors authorize enforcement because it may be the first step in litigation. He acknowledged that the Municipalities Planning Code does not consider that necessary.

Zoning officer Christine Meinhart said her job is to enforce the zoning ordinance but she has always found (from prior jobs) that supervisors support the ordinance.

Frank said a plumbing business next door to property he is selling has 28 water storage tanks and other business-related materials outside the buildings. A prospective buyer said she could not live next door to the mess.

Kleintop said, "Let's try to have a conversation" rather than an enforcement notice. Eva Dugan, the real estate agent involved, said the neighbor had agreed to put the materials behind his barn out of sight.

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