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Chestnuthill Township supervisors pleased with community's volunteers during hurricane

Published September 16. 2011 05:01PM

Chestnuthill Township Supervisor Dave Fleetwood said the township has a great group of volunteers that were there for the community during Hurricane Irene. "I can't say enough about our fire and rescue volunteers. Don Zipp, our emergency management coordinator, is at the core of this group. I can't say 'Thank you' enough."

In Zipp's report, it stated that the West End Vol. Fire Co. responded to 25 storm-related calls including trees down and an electrocution. Some property sustained damage as a result of criminal mischief. Approximately 40 road cones had been stolen and two road closed signs damaged when someone ran over them.

The ambulance service added additional trucks to handle the EMS call increase and the road crew came in and worked overtime to help clear roadways. A declaration of emergency was signed on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.

Zipp asks that if anyone has unreported damage form the storm to please notify the township office at 570-992-7247. If the damage is uninsured, a form can be submitted to the County to be added to the losses. As of the meeting time, only three damaged homes had been reported by the fire department, not the homeowners.

Also in his report, Zipp stated that the ambulance service handled 88 calls on the grounds of this year's West End Fair, seven being transported to the hospital. Law enforcement handled five incidents including one in which a Sheriff Deputy was assaulted.

For August, the ambulance responded to a total of 175 calls and the fire department to 123 calls.

The supervisors approved 3-0, a parameters ordinance 2011-01, giving Public Financial Management (township financial adviser) authorization to refinance the township's general obligation bonds, Series of 2006, as long as there is a net savings of at least $45,000.

Supervisor Fleetwood said the next Chestnuthill Township Historical Society meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Chestnuthill Twp. Park building located on Rt. 715. He said that there has been quite a bit of clean up/cleanup going on at the Merwinsburg Hotel. It is in the process of getting a new roof and heating system. He invited people to come and see the improvements. He also invited everyone to Ross Township's 3rd Community Day on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. located at VanBuskirk-Haney Park on Anchorage Rd., Saylorsburg.

Township engineer Chris McDermott said he and Cathy Martinelli (township office manager) and Dave Albright (township manager) met with four residents of Bonser Drive to explain the need of a hold harmless agreement, giving the township access to their property to do some site testing to evaluate the soils to help find a solution to the flooding on their properties. He said that to date, the township has not received any back. One resident says she wasn't visited and was upset because "you graciously put a pipe in and now it diverts water to my lot. I'm taking on the water that you tried to alleviate for others. Anything you do ends up on my property. You haven't come to me." She asked them to come make her an offer to buy her home, tear it down and make it a reservoir for the water run-off.

Mrs. Morales said that she was one of those neighbors they did come to that meeting.

"Is it your intention to channel the water to the dry well on my property?"

"We want to look at it. See where the water table is to that area so we know what kind of opportunity we have. We'll have to look at several opportunities in order to get the right one. We have to investigate it first," said McDermott.

Mrs. Morales said she noticed a park is being built in the township and received a grant for that. "Why can't you use the money for something that's needed?"

Twp. manager Albright explained that the money for the park came from a DCNR grant and could only be used for that purpose.

"Your property wouldn't come under that grant. We need to know what Chris will suggest before grants can be applied for."

Mrs. Morales said that the solution is to channel the water away from her property and that of her neighbors. "We've lived with this problem for 30 years and still nothing has been done. We need pipes."

"Chris does not want to divert water but we haven't received any permission yet to come on your properties to investigate," said Albright.

Mrs. Morales asked for a form to give permission to access her property.

The board approved:

*a work session for Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. with Indian Mountain Lake Civic Association and Birch Hollow Estates and supervisors to discuss an unpaved, unimproved and gated emergency access road starting at the intersection of Valley View Drive and Top-of-the-World Terrace.

*a public hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building for a fire insurance escrow ordinance, which would guarantee funding is available to the township for clean up of burned property, before money is released to the insured. Twp. manager Albright said that over half of the state's townships have enacted this ordinance.

*$499 donation to the Deputy Phil Activity book. It is for a half-page ad in the book which is put out by the Monroe County Sherrif Department. It is a safety program workbook that is distributed to all third grades in the county school districts. It was a budgeted amount.

*June O'Neil, real estate tax collector to attend annual conference at a cost of $408. That cost is split in half with the Pleasant Valley School District.

*authorization to bid for snow plow subcontractors. Bids to be opened at the Oct. 4 Supervisors' meeting.

*request of a waiver from 24" curbing to 18" curbing to Papillion & Moyer Exc. at the Tractor Supply site.

*release of $317,578.30 to Kinsley's ShopRite of work completed.

*a bid from Muschlitz Excavating, Inc. for a base bid of $47,147.47 for Juniper Road reconstruction project. It should cover about the worst 300 feet of the road. With its bid to install the base drain, it would be an additional $9,300 for a total bid of $56,447.47, the lowest total bid out of five bids. A grant had been applied for and the township was awarded a little more than $54,000 for the project. That would not cover the cost to install a base drain. Supervisor Chairman Chuck Gould asked Albright if he thought the bidder Northeast Site Contractors, who had the lowest bid to install the base drain of $6,696 but with a total bid of $76,318.80, would do the base drain job without being awarded the whole bid. Albright didn't think it would but said he would check.

Trick or Treat Night will be on Monday, Oct. 31.

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