Franklin supervisors agree to send engineer to visit resident's home
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Franklin Township board of supervisors presented a check of $36,000 to Bruce Wolfe, fire chief of Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company. From left are, Byron Long; Paul Kocher, vice chairman; Rod Green, chairman; and Wolfe.
After a lengthy discussion over storm water management issues with residents of Pine Cove Court, Franklin Township Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night approved having the township engineer make a site visit to see what can be done to help the residents control their excess water runoff.
Steve DeLello was persistent with his cause to have the township come out and see how the water is destroying homes and property.
DeLello said that currently four homes are being hit hard by the excess water, which runs down Pine Cove Court.
DeLello blamed some of the water woes at the four homes on the township because it was attempting to help another resident whose home was also being flooded.
"When you changed that swale to help them, it got even worse for us," he said.
At one point, Rod Green, chairman, told DeLello that he was out of line.
DeLello calmed, but stayed persistent.
"You said you were going to have the engineer visit my property and yet you never even talked to him," said DeLello.
Green disputed, "No, I said that we would take a look at it."
Green said he and the township road foreman did a drive by.
"You're an engineer?" asked DeLello.
Green admitted that he was not an engineer.
"Then what gives you the right to say what is going on if you're not an engineer?" he asked.
Helping DeLello make his point was that supervisors had just listened to a complaint from Susan and Donald Dorwood asking why did they need to pay an engineer $2,700 for a stamp on a land development plan when Donald Dorwood had already drawn up the plan.
Dorwood said that he wasn't an engineer.
The discussion between supervisors and Susan Dorwood centered on her application to erect a 100-foot by 50-foot horse barn. She said she has gotten no paperwork as to what size and what is needed to comply.
"I need to get this barn up," she said. "Winter is coming and I am concerned for my horses."
Zoning and UBC officer Carl Faust disputed Dorwood's comments.
"She was sent a letter and the information is in the letter," he said.
Faust said that Dorwood's husband stormed out of the office when he heard he would have to pay for a land development plan that would cost about $3,000.
Donald Dorwood said he has personally taken care of water runoff issues on Rock Street and asked the supervisors to consider having their engineer place a stamp on his plans in exchange for his continued efforts to control water on Rock Street.
"If you're asking me to waive the land development fees, I have to tell you we cannot do it," said Green.
Their discussion continued until Susan Dorward requested a copy of the zoning book, which pertained to her needing permits.
Faust said what made the issue difficult was that Dorwood changed her mind about how the horse barn was to be used.
"If its commercial, you need one thing, and if it's for personal use, it's different," he said.
The board also reviewed the Robert and Bonnie Bergstresser subdivision plans and voted to accept the deed to 16 Willow St., which will be demolished.
The board also adopted a resolution to apply for a Local Share Account Grant to purchase a brush truck for Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Co. The truck has an estimated cost of $132,925.
In other fire company business, supervisors presented a check of $36,000 to Bruce Wolfe, fire chief.
Green commended fire fighters.
"Thank you for all you do to keep us safe," said Green.
Wolfe said that the full amount of the $36,000 would be used to help pay the bills for the two fire trucks that were recently purchased by the fire department. The board also approved allowing the fire company to attend various parades.
Supervisors also approved a request from Lehighton Borough to allow the township's Special Fire Police to assist at the October Halloween Parade on Oct. 19.
The board also applied for grant funds to upgrade the Phifer Ice Dam Park. The grant asks for funds to replace outdated and worn playground equipment, add permanent benches, picnic tables and garbage cans, extend and repave the parking lot, walkways and drive ways and to install security cameras and additional lighting, add drainage, reseed the grassy areas and construct a paved entrance from Fairyland Road to the new pavilions.