West penn Township addresses road, bridge issues
The West Penn board of supervisors approved several items related to road work in the township. First, they approved group leader Jeremy Frable's request to hire Ehrlich to do bridge and guard rail weed spraying throughout the township, at a cost of $1,470. According to Frable, the price had increased about $300 over last year's bill, due to the installation of several guardrails.
Frable also asked if the township would be able to get an emergency permit to work on the Pine Hill Road bridge, which is in increasingly bad shape. According to the township's engineer, Ronald Madison, the permits have been filed with DEP for some time. "DEP is still suffering from last year's budget issues," he said. "Nothing seems to be going even at the pace it was going."
The board passed a resolution regarding the price adjustment of bituminous materials. Martinez explained that this resolution allowed for the township to take advantage of pricing fluctuations in materials throughout the season, and not be locked in to one price.
The board opened bids for road materials, in-place seal coat, and in-place paving. Lehigh Asphalt, Tamaqua, submitted the only bid for road materials, which was approved. The bid included thirteen items, including asphalt, stone, sand, and antiskid. The board opened four bids for the in-place seal coat; however, tabled the motion to approve the lowest bidder so that the township treasurer can review whether or not the liquid fuel budget will cover the materials. The board received seven bids for in-place paving, and awarded the bid to Lehigh Asphalt, of Tamaqua. The bid was for 3,100 tons of paving. Lehigh's bid was $60.24/ton, for a total of $186,744.
The board received three bids to pave the West Penn Fire Co. #1's driveway. The motion was tabled, pending a review by the fire company.
The board will hold a special meeting on June 15th to award the bid for the in-place seal coat and to vote on a health insurance provider.
Supervisors discussed the possibility of conducting several speed and/or traffic studies on various roads in the township, including Pine Hill Road, Dairy Road, and Franklin Road. The discussion about Dairy Road came after resident Joe Holmberg , and several others, complained about the truck traffic that is generated by Panther Valley Carriers. Holmberg also questioned what ordinances are in place to prevent the commercial drilling of wells for water sales. He raised concerns that other property owners with wells could be impacted if additional wells were drilled for such purposes. Supervisors said they would look into the matter.
Upon recommendation from the solicitor and engineer, the supervisors voted to create a permanent sewer committee for the township. Several members of the current ad hoc committee indicated that they are willing to serve on the permanent committee. Supervisors discussed having a representative from Walker Township on the committee, as well. The appointees will serve one year terms. Members of the committee will be appointed at next month's meeting.
A motion to move office clerk Herbert Woodring's hourly rate up to $11.50/hour was approved.
Martinez warned citizens that there are people coming around, door to door, offering to repair or repave driveways with "leftover materials" from other jobs. "Usually, this doesn't turn out to be a bargain," he said. "Remember, all repaving and paving requires a permit."
Citizens were also reminded that applications for the agricultural security act must be submitted by June 30th. Property owners that are currently under the act do not need to do anything. Several citizens raised questions about how properties came to be included under the act, and what impact the impending sewer project could have on properties that are protected by the act. Sterns said she would look into the matters.