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Water extraction leads Eldred discussion

Published November 06. 2015 04:00PM

Interestingly each month brings new, less informed residents to the meetings as the word continues to spread through the small township.

"I would like to ask each of the supervisors a question that I have asked before," said resident Vern Barlieb. "Why do you think this is a good idea?"

"I have already told you, but no one liked my answer," was supervisor Gretchen Gannon Petitt's response. "They have offered a $750,000 fund to the township to use for a future project."

"Why do I think it's a good idea, I don't," was Mary Anne Clausen's response.

Supervisor Sharon Solt said that she didn't think of it as a good or a bad idea.

"I just found out about this and I believe that it could create a lot of problems," said resident Lucy White. "How can I stand up, what can I do as an individual. Nestle stands to make a lot of money at the expense of this town."

Township solicitor Mike Kaspszyk said it would be up to the zoning hearing board to set conditions on any special use permit issued to Nestle for the extraction of water. Kaspzyk said no permit application is before the township and the matter would go to a public meeting if an application is submitted.

"If you think that the requirements are not stringent enough, you as a property owner have a right to appeal the decision to the Court of Common Pleas. If Nestle thinks that the conditions are too stringent, they also have a right to appeal," Kaspzyk said.

Kaspzyk said the township does not enforce deed restrictions, and anyone who believes that they have a deed which grants them water rights which might be violated by the agreement between Rick Gower and Nestle, that they should hire an attorney to advise them on that matter.

Kaspzyk said, "Be prepared to bring all of your concerns to the zoning hearing board when there is a hearing. That is the place for you to produce your best evidence," he said. "Don't wait until there is an appeal filed before the Court of Common Pleas. The zoning hearing board public meeting is the right place for that information to be shared."

Nestle is currently in the process of conducting their draw down tests on Gower's property. The final step in the test is to draw from both test wells for a 24-hour period and monitor the other test wells and residential wells to see if there is any effect on the water levels. That test should be complete by next week.

Also of note at this month's meeting is that long time tax collector Helen Meckes is retiring as of Jan. 15. Since Meckes is retiring before her term in office expiring the supervisors will have to appoint her replacement before December 15.

The township is taking applications for the position. One applicant was upset because she was told that she was not eligible for the job because she is a registered republican.

"That is a violation of my rights, it is discrimination," said Elizabeth Sansoni. "I have every intention of looking into this."

"We are just going by what we were told by Voter Registration," was Petitt's response.

The supervisors asked the solicitor to determine if that is indeed true.

The current supervisors will be responsible for appointing the new tax collector who will serve until the next municipal election which will take place in two years.

In honor of Veteran's Day, the township will be holding a memorial at the township building at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 and all veterans are encouraged to attend.

Clausen also took a few minutes to thank the candidates who ran for the open supervisor's position and welcomed Joann Bush to the post.

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