Supervisors consider scope of wetlands study for property
Mahoning Township supervisors decided last night to have its engineer review all current township property to help find a location appropriate for the future township building.
During the meeting, the board voted 4-0 to have Tim Edinger, township engineer, review the properties while he is developing a wetlands plan for the area of the township park. His findings will also help the board make a decision where it could build a pole building for equipment and for a usable site for future development.
"We have a township topographical map from 2008 that was done so we could plan what we want to do with this site, so that we can focus on a whole plan and not just one project," said Chairman John Wieczorek in opening the discussion.
Edinger was asking the board for direction on how to perform the study. The options he offered were to study just the park area or the entire property. He also asked whether the board should meet with the Carbon County Conservation District to determine what they would like the township to do considering past maintenance of the area. Finally, he offered the option to do nothing or not do a study.
Wieczorek said he felt they should get the delineations for the property done now since they need to be done sooner or later. He pointed out the pole barn was to be constructed to the rear of the property, but there was a pipe draining water supposedly from another part of the township property to the field at the rear, so he wasn't sure if that area could be used without discussing the implications with the engineer.
Supervisor Linda Benner believed the delineation should be done for the whole property. She also felt that doing nothing was not an option. She said she felt the supervisors need to play by the same rules.
Wieczorek agreed that doing nothing was not a viable option but he wanted the board to decide how thorough the study should be.
Supervisor George Stawnyczyj said he thought the board should consider a hybrid combination of studying the wetlands, as well as asking the CCCD what they would consider needs to be done by the township to satisfy them.
Wieczorek said that was an option but he pointed out that if they ask the CCCD ahead of time for its direction they may provide guidance that "may not be what we wanted to hear." He said he thought the engineer should analyze the property first and make a proposal to the CCCD.
Township Secretary Natalie Haggerty was asked if she knew what the cost would be for the study. She said she was informed the wetlands study for just the recreational areas was $1,500 and the study for the whole property would be much greater.
Wieczorek asked the board if they felt the township supervisors should ask the planning commission to take over the direction of the study with Edinger.
Steigerwalt said he felt the board knows what they want to do and felt the decision and deliberations should stay with the supervisors as only they know where they want to place structures and areas.
Stawnyczyj felt the board should take action and do the study for the whole property.
"Things are not getting cheaper and regulations do not get easier, we should do the study sooner than later so we can decide what to do if anything," he said.
At that point Steigerwalt made a motion directing Edinger to do a wetlands study and plan for the entire property and to complete the erosion and sediment study for the township park area as well. The motion was seconded by Stawnyczyj and passed 4-0.
Supervisor Franklin Ruch being absent from the meeting.