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Resident voices frustration over covered bridge not being repaired

Published October 12. 2011 05:01PM

A Lower Towamensing Township resident has voiced his frustration that repairs to a covered bridge have not yet been completed.

Herman Bollinger vented to the township's board of supervisors on Tuesday after he reminded them the bridge was to have been finished by Oct. 15.

Supervisors Chairman Ron Walbert said he was told the reason why the bridge hasn't been completed is because "beams are coming from Ohio."

Regardless, Bollinger said the bridge - located in the Little Gap section of the township - should have already been opened up to traffic.

"There's no reason that bridge shouldn't be completed," Bollinger said. "This is foolish and unnecessary for this bridge to be closed."

Walbert assured Bollinger the bridge will be repaired.

"I think we just have to be a little patient," Walbert said. "It's going to be fixed."

The bridge was closed to traffic in June after Joseph Chiariello of Albrightsville drove a large commercial vehicle through it, which caused $33,089 worth of damage.

A contract was awarded to Home Solutions Partners of Palmerton in August, at which time it was anticipated that work on the bridge would get under way soon.

But, flooding from Tropical Storm Lee last month caused further damage to the bridge, and will ultimately cost Carbon County an additional $7,807 to fix.

Also on Tuesday, supervisors, on a 2-0 vote, with Supervisor Todd Solt absent, agreed to adopt a Knox box ordinance.

Township solicitor Jim Nanovic said that under the ordinance, all newly-constructed commercial, industrial, and multifamily residential, as well as certain other structures in the township, shall be equipped with a key lock box at or near the main entrance of the building.

The key lock box shall be located at or near the recognized public entrance, and it will contain keys to be accessible by the Aquashicola Volunteer Fire Company No. 1. The fire company shall keep a record of the use of the access.

Walbert said the device is a means of safety.

"As a retired firefighter, I can tell you it's a very valuable tool," Walbert said. "We will be getting one for the township building."

In other business, supervisors:

• Announced the township has collected an additional $1,000 in delinquent garbage bills. The total amount the township has collected to date is just under $8,000.

• Granted conditional approval to the Robert Weller subdivision plan, based on final review by the township engineer.

• Granted the zoning officer permission to send a letter of enforcement should the need arise, to a home that is being illegally rented out and not fit for habitation.

• Granted Caron Associates an extension until April 10, 2012.

• Awarded a contract for 1,500 gallons of gasoline, 2,800 gallons of diesel fuel and heating oil as needed to Superior Plus Engineer Services of Harrisburg.

• Agreed to advertise for adoption of an Earned Income Tax update ordinance.

• Announced a budget workshop will be held at the township municipal building at 9 a.m. Nov. 21.

• Announced Trick-or-Treat night will be held in the township from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26.

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