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Complaints about Troxell property continue at East Penn supervisors' meeting

Published December 03. 2013 05:00PM

At least half a dozen visitors attended the East Penn Township Board of Supervisors meeting Monday night, many expressing concerns over a property with junk in the township.

The township had hearings Nov. 18 in Jim Thorpe with the property owner, Clair Troxell.

Agreements were made prior to the actual hearings, and Judge Joseph J. Matika announced that the parties in both cases had agreed to a continuance of a minimum of 90 days.

The township has been trying for over a decade to have Troxell clean up scrap metal, junk vehicles and more from various properties throughout the township.

At Monday's meeting, residents Harvey Keiper, who lives in front of 2105 East Lizard Creek Road, property owned by Troxell that serves as a trucking terminal, and Jai Mertz, who lives behind that same property, were the most vocal. Both expressed disappointment that penalties had not been meted out at the hearings and also that Troxell's property will not be cleaned up sooner.

"You've been at these meetings before and I told you, as I've told the board," said township solicitor James Nanovic, "…it's not going to happen in one year, probably not in two, three, maybe four or five years ... (However) this is the first time he has been held in contempt."

Nanovic later explained that being held in contempt was the best outcome that could have been reached at the hearings and that, by law, Troxell had to then be given time to purge himself of the contempt.

Audience members had also earlier expressed concerns that the agreements may have been made in closed quarters as "side deals." However, Nanovic explained the main agreement in question was reached between him and Troxell's lawyer, Carole Walbert, in the hallway just outside the courtroom prior to the hearings.

Nanovic added that another hearing is scheduled for late February to determine whether or not Troxell has sufficiently cleaned up the property and that the court date had been set by the judge, not by the township.

He then went on to say that determining what is or is not junk may be tricky because, "This isn't like the pigs, where we can say, once the pigs are gone, 'We know there's still a pig there.' This is, 'What's junk to us?'."

Chairman Dean Kercsmar said at least three 53-foot trailers of junk have already been removed from the East Lizard Creek Road property.

"So that's definitely more than has happened in the last nine years," he added.

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