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Wind mill farm planned

  • SHERI RYAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Mark Buchvalt of T&M Associates addresses Nesquehoning Borough Council and borough residents on a proposed windmill farm to be erected on the Broad Mountain, during last night's meeting of the council.
    SHERI RYAN/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Mark Buchvalt of T&M Associates addresses Nesquehoning Borough Council and borough residents on a proposed windmill farm to be erected on the Broad Mountain, during last night's meeting of the council.
Published September 26. 2013 05:00PM

Mark Buchvalt, an engineer with T&M Associates, along with local contractor Joe Craig of Infinity Contractors, LLC, addressed Nesquehoning Borough Council and residents last night with a brief overview and introduction regarding a proposed windmill farm slated for construction on the Broad Mountain.

According to Buchvalt, 81 turbines are to be erected, with 18 in Nesquehoning and the remaining ones in Packer Township.

Craig outlined the location of the turbines that would be placed on the property of John Kovatch IV.

"We had actually started this long ago when Sonny (Kovatch) was still alive, and it was something that Sonny was interested in and wanted to see happen," said Craig.

Craig then identified stipulations given regarding the sale of the property by Kovatch, noting that the land can still be used for recreation, such things as quad running or hunting.

Additionally, Kovatch will retain the mineral rights to the land so that no one will be able to frack for natural gas in order to protect the natural springs on the property.

The property is approximately 3,500 acres, of which 350-360 acres would be disturbed.

There are also plans to work with the Conservation Club and try to repopulate the deer.

Craig also noted that construction project will provide "local jobs for local people" and that "local guys come first."

The farm would produce 220 million watts of power annually that would be sold to various locations, and there is the possibility of the borough forming its own electrical co-op to purchase power for local use.

Council President Frank Jacobs noted that council does have some pertinent questions to ask but will address those issues once the plan has passed through the Carbon County and borough planning commissions.

Buchvalt stated that they are hoping to get through the permit and approval process by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

During the hearing of visitors, Sam Kitchko of the Nesquehoning Conservation Club requested approval from council to apply for a grant, stating that the club will absorb all costs associated with the grant application process. Council approved the request pending written documentation.

Resident Sandy Gazdick recognized Officer Brian White following an incident that occurred at her house, noting that his response time was "great" and that he was "wonderful." She also brought up the feral cat problem, stating that one keeps coming into her home through a dog door, and was looking for a recommendation from council on how to address the problem.

Solicitor Robert Yurchak will contact an animal control officer that he knows for suggestions on how to deal with the ongoing problems.

In other matters, Jacobs addressed a letter that was received from Panther Creek requesting police protection when hauling dirt out on to Industrial Road and Route 54. According to Jacobs, the letter was a result of recent complaints and discussions regarding the ongoing problems with excessive mud and dirt being spilled onto the roadway as a result trucks not being properly cleaned off before access.

Jacobs said that the borough does not have the manpower to provide an officer to control traffic during truck and roadway cleaning but may be able to post "men working" signs in order to promote safety during cleaning.

Council along with the Panther Creek Advisory committee, will plan to meet with Panther Creek representatives to render a solution to the problem.

Fire Chief John McArdle announced that the week of Oct. 6-12 is Fire Prevention Week. A live, interactive program will be held at the Panther Valley Elementary School on Oct. 7.

Free smoke detectors are available as a result of Operation Save a Life sponsored by WNEP and fire protection manufacturer Kidde, which donated approximately 12,000 smoke alarms for residents within the WNEP viewing area. McArdle reminds residents to change the batteries in their smoke detectors and says that if a smoke detector is older than 10 years it should be replaced.

Residents should also make sure that their CO2 detectors are also in proper working order.

Regarding a rumor circulating among Nesquehoning residents concerning McArdle, Councilman Robert Marouchoc read aloud a prepared statement.

In the statement, Marouchoc explained that the borough had signed an agreement with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), a federal program designed to provide "guidance and training on how to manage emergencies and preparedness, to include organizational structure."

Because the borough was not in compliance, an ordinance was passed to "establish a borough fire department and a borough fire chief," in order to create a "coordinated and unified chain of command for the three fire companies in the borough."

Upon the appointment of McArdle, it was rumored that he would be shutting down two of the fire companies.

Said Marouchoc, "Nothing can be further from the truth. Mr. McArdle, nor anyone on this council, by law can shut down a fire company."

Mayor Tony Walck announced that on Tuesday, Oct. 1, beginning at 6:30 p.m., a free seminar will be presented by a representative from the Attorney General's office regarding "rip-offs, scams, frauds and schemes," used on citizens by con artists.

The seminar is geared toward seniors, but applicable to everyone.

The seminar will be held at the Recreation Center and is open to the public.

In other business, council voted to:

• Send a request to PennDOT to perform another traffic survey in order to reduce the speed on Route 54.

• Proceed with a background check on the lone applicant for a crossing guard position.

• Provide crossing guards or fire police to help manage traffic for the Shower of Roses.

• Deny a request to allow an individual to ride along in a police cruiser during the procession.

• Approve the sale of the used police car to the highest bidder for $485.68.

• Award Liquid Sludge removal bids to Liquid Motion at 7.25 cents per gallon.

• Permit the Lions Club to use the borough chambers for an event on Oct. 24 and to permit club members to canvass the town to raise funds to purchase new flags and poles for the borough.

• Issue a freeze on spending requiring that any requests for purchases must first be presented in writing to the chairman of the respective committee.

• Approve the Minimum Municipal Obligations to the pension fund for 2014 in the amount of $115,919 for the police and $25,950 for nonuniformed borough workers.

• Declare Trick or Treat night for Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m.

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