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Christine Meinhart Fritz gives CJER updates at Eldred Township

Published May 09. 2013 05:09PM

At the last Eldred Township supervisors' meeting, Christine Meinhart Fritz, senior planner from the Monroe County Planning Commission, gave updates on where the CJER (Chestnuthill, Jackson, Eldred, Ross Townships) Committee is moving forward in regards to CJER Regional Comprehensive Committee. She explained that the initial plan was written in 2006. Polk Township had been invited to join and declined, but in the last year has shown interest in becoming an integral part.

In December of 2012 the CJER committee extended a formal invitation to Polk Township to join the committee and accepted the invitation Feb. 25, 2013.

The new comprehensive plan, which will be revised to include Polk, affords any of the municipalities to make changes and will have information from the 2010 Census in it. If Polk joins, the committee then would be called CJERP. There was an initial meeting between Polk Township supervisors, Meinhart Fritz and consultant Carson Helfrich.

The next meeting to discuss the Future Land Use Map will be between the Polk Township Supervisors, Polk Township Planning Commission, Meinhart Fritz and Helfrich, and is scheduled for May 13. Polk Township solicitor James Fareri has reviewed the documents and they should be formally adopted and in ordinance by the end of May.

Additionally, Helfrich should have completed all the amended SALDO and zoning ordinances which should be adopted by August.

Then by September 2013, all CJERP members would adopt the amended Comprehensive Plan and new Intergovernmental Agreement for the CJERP Regional Planning Group that was reviewed and agreed upon by the CJER group at its March meeting.

Meinhart Fritz stated that the road standards would all be the same. The other townships have older standards and would be moving forward to meet Eldred's standards.

The supervisors held a Floodplain Ordinance hearing before the regular supervisors' meeting.

Changes had to be made to be compliant with FEMA regulations. Hanover Engineering worked on the updates. Copies were sent to Monroe County Planning Commission, Monroe County Conservation District and FEMA for review to ensure that the updated ordinance was compliant with the new mandates. Approvals were met and during the regular supervisors' meeting, the board approved, 3-0, Ordinance 2013-01.

The board approved naming William Solt as an alternate CJER Regional Comprehensive Plan committee member, 2-0 with supervisor/secretary Sharon Solt abstaining because it is her husband. Solt said there has been a vacancy for the alternate position for over five months. The vacancy had been announced but no one came forward to volunteer. Since her husband has been attending the meetings, the committee and the Monroe County Planning said he could become the alternate and it would not be a conflict of interest since he is a township resident, if the board of supervisors chose to appoint him.

On motion by Supervisor Chairman Clair Borger and with a second by Supervisor Vice Chairman Gretchen Gannon Pettit, it was voted to approve the appointment of William Solt to the CJER Regional Plan Committee.

Supervisor Solt said that Vice Chairman Petit has resigned as the township's administrative assistant. The township interviewed for the position and voted, 2-0 (Petit abstained because of being a relative) to hire Darcy Gannon for the job as administrative assistant and assistant treasurer at $13 per hour and after a satisfactory 90-day probation period, that will increase to an hourly rate of $13.80.

The board voted 3-0 to advertise a Conditional Use Hearing for the Mock Park Land Development on June 5, 7 p.m. The Mock Park Land Development application needs to have a conditional use for the steep slope on the parcel off Church Road.

Borger said the township is accepting bids for double seal coating Getz-Dawl Road, Smale Road and possibly Engler Lane to be received by June 5. The township does not need bids for the materials since the amount is under the state threshold.

The township's zoning officer, Ellerslie Helm, reported:

• the township issued five building permits

• he completed 12 sight surveys; received two burning complaints (one unfounded, one resolved); received one property dispute over a golf tee, a complaint about an old tractor trailer and received a cell tower progress review.

• he and Keith Kuehner, roadmaster, attended a meeting at the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission regarding electronic filing for Highway Occupancy Permits

• that the Paul Wingert property zoning issue has been resolved. The property has been cleaned up.

Michael Kaspszyk, township solicitor, said that once Wingert has filed that the clean up has been completed, the fines against him can be stopped. Helm will have to make another site visit to verify everything is totally done. Kaspszyk told Helm that he and the clean up crew did an excellent job, which was done by a third party at no cost to the township.

Kuehner's report stated the road crew has been putting away winter equipment and started brush cleanup throughout the township. The roads have been swept, equipment is being serviced, roads are being prepared for patching and mowing has begun.

Resident Frank O'Donnell asked the board to contact PennDOT to come pick up a "huge TV left right along Lower Smith Gap Road." Borger said the township would look into it and that electronic recycling in the township will begin the week of May 6.

Resident Helen Mackes stated that when the township has to take someone to court for a code violation, it costs the township a lot of money and asked how the township gets restitution for the money spent. Borger said that the board wants to get back whatever they spent for the litigation. Solicitor Kaspszyk said there is a process that the township has to follow, and will continue to do so.

Resident Richard Salter stated that it can sometimes be a long process. He said that Chestnuthill Township has appointed the constable from Ross Township to enforce ordinances and that seems to work for them. He added that he has proposed a similar option to the Eldred Township Board of supervisors.

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