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Walker Twp. supervisors table Act 537 plan for another month

Published September 06. 2013 05:00PM

Walker Township supervisors met Thursday night and discussed a number of matters.

In attendance were supervisors Dave Price, Bill McMullen, Craig Wagner, roadmaster Chad Felty, planning commission member Randy Bensinger, police officer-in-charge Todd Woodward, solicitor Michael S. Greek, Esquire, and Benesch Engineer Dave Horst.

Although no decisions to continue forward were made in relation to the proposed Sewer Facilities Act (Act 537), it served as one of the key topics during the meeting. The act also pertains to West Penn Township.

In 1966, Act 537 was enacted to correct existing sewage disposal problems and prevent future problems. Local municipalities are largely responsible for administering the act.

Both townships have made revisions to the Act 537 plan and its related ordinances regarding holding tanks and on-lot sewer maintenance.

During a prior meeting, supervisors and sewage committee members stated they are working to clarify the intent of some of the language contained in the draft of the On-Lot Sewage Management Program ordinance.

According to the requirements outlined in the draft version, each person owning a building served by an on-lot sewage disposal system shall have the system pumped within two years of the effective date of the ordinance by a DEP-licensed hauler.

Also, new systems must be inspected by a sewage enforcement officer and routine inspections completed every five years after the initial inspection. To assist local municipalities in fulfilling this responsibility, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides technical assistance, financial assistance, and oversight.

During July's meeting, Walker Township Supervisors discussed possible revisions to the township's Holding Tank ordinance, which was adopted in 2005, and future adoption of an On-Lot Sewage Management Program.

Both measures are part of the township's ACT 537 plan. They also discussed whether or not the current holding tank ordinance is sufficient and would not require adoption of a revised ordinance. The township's solicitor, Michael Greek, will review the current ordinance.

West Penn Township sewage committee chairman Ted Bogosh said they hope to finalize the plan in the next few weeks, prior to sending the plan to DEP for review and approval.

During the meeting, Officer Woodward read his police report, stating one theft report (Tamaqua Middle School), one assist police call (West Penn Township), one follow-up on traffic accident (criminal charges were filed), three traffic stops with warnings and three traffic stops with citations issued. Woodward added that 375 miles were driven on the police vehicle this month.

Supervisors read aloud a number of correspondence. One was an invitation from Simon Kramer Cancer Institute to area first responders and families to attend a Coroner's Appreciation Picnic and Pig Roast on Sept. 8 from noon to 5 p.m.

• Supervisors voted to appoint Ronald Farell Jr. to replace Ralph DeAngelo on the zoning hearing board. DeAngelo, who is moving out of the township, resigned in July. Farell Jr. will serve the remainder of DeAngelo's term.

• Felty talked about the idea of placing a yield or stop sign at Catawissa Road and Mountain Road. Felty said he was against the idea and suggested to instead place a sign stating dangerous intersection ahead. The idea was tabled for further review.

• Wildcat Development resident Dave Wensel asked the supervisors if they knew who purchased the development. Woodward said it was sold to a company in southern Pennsylvania. Woodward said the firm is looking to resell it as well.

Wensel asked the supervisors if the new owners are obligated to maintain the roads in the development. Greek said they are under no obligation to maintain the roads.

McMullen said the township has little say in regard to what happens at the development. Woodward said police have limited power in the privately-owned development and are limited to DUI related incidents.

• Supervisors also expressed public appreciation to Koch's Turkey Farm for the donated use of its scale.

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