Township responds to commissioners
(This prepared statement was read by Chairperson John Wieczorek, chairman of the Mahoning Township Board of Supervisors, during the officials' portion of the meeting in response to the county commissioner story in the Times News on Friday, Sept. 7, in which the commissioners announced they would be appealing the plan rejection to the Carbon County court system.)
"The only thing formally offered by the county to comply with the township ordinance as to sidewalks is to include a four-inch white line in the shoulder area and declare it a sidewalk.
"The request for waiver (on the sidewalks) is not based on any documented or factual claim of unreasonableness, hardship, conflict of public safety or conflict or public interest. The request for a waiver from the requirements of the ordinance is simply based on the opinion that because it is an industrial park no sidewalks should be provided.
"The applicability of the ordinance has been consistently applied to every industrial park in the township. The assertion that the township is discriminating is careless and not accurate.
"The notion to not include provisions for public safety conflicts with previous accommodations for the railroads, whereby it was found necessary to indemnify the railroad from any liability and shall not be affected by any fault, alleged or proven. That consideration for public safety is limited to the rail crossing is deficient. It is evident that simply posting no pedestrian signs was not sufficient for the railroads.
"The notion that the County Code can supersede the township ordinance is problematic in this situation. If that were the case, then what is the authority of the township ordinances? If the County Code is applied and the case is upheld in favor of the county, will a precedent be established? Is there any case law to validate the County Code in a similar situation?
"The development has a magical effect that unified all of the commissioners to now support the project."
(Note regarding the last statement. The last reference is to the assertion made by the majority commissioners when running last year for election they would put an end to the Packerton Yards project as they did not believe it was feasible.)