Officials discuss ordinance regarding road crews in private developments
Penn Forest Township Board of Supervisors convened at the regular meeting on Monday at the township municipal building.
Board Supervisor Warren Reiner was absent.
Supervisor and Chairman, Paul Montemuro reported the Pennsylvania Turnpike Engineers from Rogers & Associates has applied for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit required by law. The turnpike property for the 903 Turnpike Exchange located within the township appraised at $16,700 it was reported.
The supervisors voted 4-0 to adopt the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Policy regarding residents pushing snow onto township roads. Crews have had a difficult time moving what ends up as large boulders of ice at the end of driveways. The township will now take a photograph of the offending property and send a warning to the homeowner on the first offense. The second offense will carry a $100 fine.
As a general rule township road crews are not required to assist disabled emergency vehicles in private developments during inclement weather, solicitor Thomas Nanovic said. But during the past month two such events occurred where road crews responded to emergency situations and supervisors are looking into making a formal decision or policy to regulate such actions. In one instance Lehighton Ambulance was stuck in the snow on a private road in transport to respond to a patient.
Montemuro, who is also roadmaster, was called by 911 to make the decision to have the crew respond to the disabled emergency vehicle on the private road.
"It was a judgment call I felt was necessary so we had the road crew assist," he said. Montemuro said that the township is not allowed to go into private developments to plow. But the policy regarding emergency situations is a gray area.
The second call was in the Mt. Pocahontas development, where an individual was in need of medication. Lehighton Ambulance could not get in to service them, he said.
Nanovic responded "We want to make that an exception, not the rule."
The solicitor is looking into other ordinances addressing this issue.
Supervisors called an executive session regarding personnel. They returned to vote 4-0 to hire a part-time employee to clean the township building. Supervisors hired Anna Mazella to clean the township building for a salary of $10 an hour, not to exceed four hours a week.
Residents can now access Penn Forest Community planning and the Comprehensive Plan that is pending online at www.comunityplanning.biz according to Carson Helfrich, Community Planning & Management, LLC. Helfrich updated supervisors on the Comprehensive Plan. Helfrich noted that a Feb. 17 meeting is planned.
With the inclement weather and accumulation of snow the road crew is "just about out of salt" Montemuro said.
"Our guys did a terrific job going out and staying out during the recent snow days. They are to be commended for doing a fine job." Those employees of the road crew he later named are Richard D. Beers, Keith Knappenberger and Kyle Lindermuth.
In other business Nanovic was instructed by the supervisors to review ordinances to request residents of Penn Forest to submit e-mails to communicate in the event of emergency situations. Supervisors also approved unanimously the tax collector's lists of exonerated and delinquent tax payers.