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Township considers raising fire tax

Published May 16. 2013 05:05PM

Will Lower Towamensing Township raise its fire tax to support its fire company's fuel needs?

That might be a possibility, based on a letter read at Tuesday's board of supervisors meeting by supervisors Chairman Brent Green.

The letter, signed by Rory Koons, president of the fire company, states "we have been advised that our suppliers of donated fuel for apparatus are considering eliminating their contribution and begin charging us for the fuel."

It continues "with the continued increase of expenses, we respectfully request your consideration of providing fuel, both gasoline and diesel fuel, for our apparatus."

"Annually, we use approximately 750 gallons of diesel fuel, and 200 gallons of gasoline," Koons states in the letter. "This assistance would greatly assist us in reducing our expenses without raising additional revenues."

At that, Supervisor Ron Walbert asked "why don't we raise the fire tax."

That idea didn't sit well with Supervisor Jesse Mendez, who said "I won't raise it."

Walbert added "it's something to consider."

The township's current fire tax rate is .0004 mills, according to township secretary Christine Wentz.

Also on Tuesday, resident Herman Bollinger once again asked supervisors about the signage that exists at the intersection of Covered Bridge Road and Lower Smith Gap Road.

Green told Bollinger "our engineer gave us the report."

Last month, Green read a letter the township received from Ron Tirpak, of Carbon Engineering, Inc., in response to his review of the current signage at the intersection.

In it, Tirpak said he doesn't believe any changes are necessary to the signage.

Tirpak did say that "if there were a number of accidents or other problems at this intersection, consideration should be given to reconstructing the intersection to a standard-T intersection, eliminating the merging of traffic on Covered Bridge Road."

The letter continues "in conclusion, based on my site visit, this intersection appears to be functioning adequately, and does not need to have any changes to the existing signage. It was quite obvious that drivers were aware of the stop signs as they approached the intersection; they just did not comply with the requirement to stop."

At that time, Bollinger - who for several months requested that an additional stop sign be placed near the intersection - noted there have been several accidents there.

Since that time, Bollinger said he's received several phone calls from people who said the intersection is dangerous.

"I don't know how to get in touch with this clown because he doesn't know about Little Gap and Aquashicola," Bollinger said. "I don't accept an answer that guy from Summit Hill gave you; let him stay in Summit Hill."

Bollinger added "because I tell you, somebody's going to be killed, and why must we wait until that happens."

The most recent accident occurred in January.

In other business, supervisors:

• Agreed to have the township road master obtain quotes for repairs to the #2 green truck tail gate.

• Agreed to purchase tires for the big trucks at a cost of $172 per tire, and to purchase tires for the New Holland tractor at $95 apiece.

• Agreed to purchase four toilets, at a cost of $320 apiece, for the Stoney Ridge P.A.R.C. Hall.

• Authorized Wentz to advertise to bid a project to do base repair and paving on Hemlock Street.

• Authorized Wentz to obtain quotes for two pair of pants for each road crew member at a cost not to exceed $30 per pair.

• Authorized Wentz to pursue prices on reflective vests, long sleeve shirts, and short sleeve shirts, and granted her authorization to purchase them.

• Granted conditional approval to the James and Don Connelly minor subdivision plan.

• Granted the Aquashicola Fire Company permission to attend parades on June 21 for Nesquehoning's truck dedication; the annual Halloween parade in Palmerton, and the annual Veterans Day Parade in Lehighton.

• Agreed to send three members of the township's road crew to attend the 2013 Government Day session.

• Granted Helen Sander a garbage exemption for her properties at 120-122 Little Gap Road.

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