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Towamensing Historical Commission considers renovating 1-room school

Published June 11. 2012 05:02PM

Lana and Susan Kuehner, owners of the Greenzweig One-Room School, asked if the Towamensing Historical Commission wanted to take it over. At the June 7 supervisors' meeting Karl Rolappe, president, said he had been out to check the condition and found it solid. Inside, it is nearly perfect, said Mary Beth Beers, commission member.

The only thing not considered safe is the steps.

Supervisor Guy Seifert said he has slate and can repair the roof. It should have shutters. Some windows were broken by vandals.

"I'd like to get the community behind it. Moving forward, we want to raise money. I think we should adopt it and look for grants," Rolappe said.

Seifert asked if the commission wants to get title to the property.

He said they were looking at a 99-year lease. Glenn Beers said they should lease the land but take over ownership of the school. If, in 99 years, a future owner wants to break the lease instead of renewing it, the commission could move the school.

There were questions about use of the school and maintenance. Supervisors want hard numbers concerning mainteanance.

Rolappe said they need the township as a participant because it is a landmark structure. Paul Hoppel, another commission member, is strongly behind it.

It was built in 1892 at a cost of $700. They are to get estimates for repair based on a worst-case scenario. Even if some work is done by volunteers, the costs will be needed to apply for grants.

Solicitor Tom Nanovic is to provide legal costs.

The ramp built at a cost exceeding $9,000 and used by the county to dump recycled paper into a container has been closed since the county refused to help pay the cost. The verbal agreement with the county was made by a previous supervisor.

"We had a special meeting that ended the use and cut our losses," said Supervisor Tom Newman. Seifert called it an expensive learning experience.

Supervisor Penny Kleintop urged people to continue bringing their recyclable materials to the township.

Prior to the regular meeting a conditional use hearing was held for Keith and Janine Hahn, 6285 Pohopoco Drive. They want to buy 13 acres and asked for a hearing to decide if they could keep horses on the property.

Several neighbors came to the hearing with questions about drainage and an increased number of animals. The Hahns also have four dogs which did not figure into the hearing. The neighbors contended they did not want to find themselves living next to a farm.

A letter from Roy Christman said that horses are quiet and produce little odor.

The conditional use was approved with a limitation of five horses and six chickens.

In other business:

•Penn Forest Township had asked in May if Towamensing was willing to vacate its portion of Old Forest Inn Road. After checking the amount of money received from the state it was decided to retain it as a road because they would lose $1,200 annually.

•Fire Chief Wayne Knirnschild said broken pieces of paving are being thrown onto the grass at the firehouse and are hit my mowers. The roadmaster will check it.

•Zoning officer Christine Meinhart found concerns with the wind turbine ordinance amendment. She talked with Uniform Construction Code inspector Carl Faust who agreed with her. One item of concern was the level of noise.

•A previously approved conditional use for Dipu Prasao of Lower Towamensing Land Company was signed.

•William Acierno was given the oath of office as a member of the zoning hearing board.

•One bid was received from R.F. Ohl for diesel and heating oil: 18,000 gallons of diesel at a cost of $3.491 per gallon and 2,000 gallons of heating oil at a cost of $3.415 per gallon.

•Roadmaster Scott Mosier reported Tom Costenbader of the road crew has returned to a previous job. An advertisement will be placed for a full-time replacement with CDL license and able to pass a physical.

• Pipes on Summer Mountain Road and a bridge on Hemlock Street need replacement. Getting permits for each job will be a long-term project. Seifert made a motion to have Engineer Ron Tirpak of Carbon Engineering look at the pipe project and give a "rudimentary" estimate on the bridge.

• A report on fire calls was given to the township. Towamensing, like other fire companies, is always looking for volunteers.

• Two township residents were inducted into the Carbon County Sports Hall of Fame: William "Bill" Piper and Jim Hay.

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