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Attempt at halting new township building defeated

Published April 11. 2011 05:05PM

At the April 7 meeting of the Towamensing supervisors, Tom Newman made a motion to put off borrowing $3 million for the new township building. He said the Palmerton School District will be raising taxes and he doesn't want the township to do so the same year.

The motion died for lack of a second.

The issue of smoking during bingo games at the Towamensing Firehouse was raised again. Fire chief Wayne Knirnschild was asked if there was any change to the list of approved events that is necessary for workmen's compensation insurance to cover the workers who participate.

Knirnschild said he wanted to discuss the smoking at bingo in executive session on the basis that the firemen are employees.

Solicitor Tom Nanovic said he didn't think it would be covered under that provision of the Sunshine Law.

Supervisor Penny Kleintop said it should be discussed publicly.

Nanovic said it was the first time he saw the Clean Air Act paper that was handed out at the meeting.

It says that smoking is allowed at a private bingo club with bylaws. Each person who attends is required to become a member of the fire company and no one under age 18 is admitted, said Knirnschild.

He said former Rep. Keith McCall approved of the manner in which they were operating. He said it was challenged five times and always found to be okay.

Newman agreed that the state says it is okay but the insurance company doesn't.

Knirnschild said he has been unable to get liability insurance for one day a week.

Nanovic said the supervisors and insurance agent should sit down with Knirnschild. "You need more information," he said.

Resident Guy Seifert said it opens the township to liability.

Kleintop said people who come from a distance are not residents and residents who are susceptible to smoke cannot go into the building even for other events.

The only bid received to rewrite the zoning and subdivision and land development ordinances was from Hanover Engineering. If Towamensing and Lower Towamensing do it with the same firm the cost is $32,000. To have it done individually it will be $42,000.

Roy Christman for the comprehensive plan committee said by using one firm the ordinances would be more compatible between the townships and yet would be different because the townships are different.

Seifert said there have to be parameters developed on what is expected because the bid specs as written were too open ended.

Christman said there should be a meeting with all the supervisors, planners and Hanover. It would be an advertised meeting.

In other business: Steve Kralik said his neighbor is burning trash 20 hours a week and with a northwest breeze the smoke enters his home. The neighbor, Rich Frey, said he is only burning branches and other debris from the winter.

Kralik consulted an attorney and was told he should try and settle it between themselves, but he said Frey turns and will not talk to him. The state police told him to go to the township. He went and could not file a complaint because the township does not have a burning ordinance.

Kleintop said if he had left his name she would have gone to the house to see.

"It will cost a lot of money for both of use if I take it to court," Kralik said.

The lack of a flag at the communication tower at the fire company is not a company responsibility, said Knirnschild. It was a condition added to the land lease by the township. Zoning officer Christine Meinhart said he should provide contact information and she will contact the company.

Carl Faust, building code officer, contacted Richard Ratti on April 4 about the burned out building across from the fire company. He said the property is for sale and was supposed to be cleaned up and boarded within two weeks.

Christman resigned as representative to the Palmerton Area Public Library board. He was replaced by Charles Laviolette.

An Ag Security meeting will be held with Duane Dellecker April 14, 3:30 p.m.

he cable franchise agreement, which brings in $41,895 annually, was renewed.

Governement Day for Towamensing sixth graders will be held April 27, 1:20 to 2:50 p.m.

The township will receive $40,690 insurance for the truck that burned. It will transfer the body to a new chassis.

A liquid fuel check for $191,540 was received as well as $3,080 for road turnback payments.

Two bids were received for a new paver. Both were incomplete and rejected. One had an outright purchase price of $97,500 but no lease-to-buy as requested. The second was merely a proposal.

Towamensing resident Brett Ottinger will represent the United States in a WorldSkills competion in London in the cabinet-making competition Oct. 5 to 8. The township is sending a letter of congratulations.

The Palmerton Veterans Memorial will be dedicated Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. It will honor veterans who lived at least half their lives in the school district.

April zoning hours are Wednesdays, 5 to 7 p.m. or email

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