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Ross Township supervisors discuss Pa. stormwater act

Ross Township supervisors met with the township solicitor and engineer on Monday to discuss the state’s stormwater act.

Each county must prepare and adopt a watershed stormwater management plan for each watershed in the county. Then each municipality in the county must adopt the ordinance by decree of Act 167 - the Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Act of 1978, which was updated in 2006.

A small portion of the McMichael Creek watershed is in Ross Township. The creek converges with Brodhead Creek in Stroudsburg.

Ross Township already has a stormwater ordinance, which was updated in 2021.

“Our ordinance is pretty well up to date, or so we thought,” said Tim McManus, Ross Township solicitor.

Gregory Haas, of Keystone Consulting Engineers, met with McManus and supervisors James Zahoroiko, David Shay and Randy Detrick for about an hour before the monthly supervisors’ meeting.

“We are going to ask questions and learn more,” McManus said.

The major changes are the recommendations pertaining to buffer footage and release rates, he said.

Now, the Department of Environmental Protection is recommending 150 feet of buffer between structures and standing water, as well as wetlands. Before, the recommendation was 100 feet.

“The DEP says there’s good science behind the new suggestions,” McManus said.

The McMichael Creek is a high-quality creek.

“Yes, we want to maintain the quality of the streams. If it’s been maintaining its quality at the 100-feet buffer, why are we considering changing it to 150 feet? That is just mean to make someone’s property obsolete,” Detrick said.

If the land is within the 150-feet buffer, it cannot be developed and built on, according to the recommendations within Act 167.

“This stuff costs a lot of money. We just updated our ordinance two years ago. Why should we be forced to create something that is absolutely ridiculous?” asked Shay, vice chairman.

Act 167 is getting push back from one township, while another township has already adopted the 150-foot buffer.

“A lot of engineers have raised issues, and Tobyhanna’s has asked a bunch of questions,” McManus said.

At the end of the discussion, the supervisors decided to table it until the August meeting and do more research.

“There’s a lot to discuss. This is a major thing,” Haas said.

Other matters

In other business:

• Two sets of plans were tabled until the August meeting.

• Residents of Blue Mountain Village asked about the yard sale permit procedure during the public comment period. They live in a community owned by Crescent Point Properties. The owner bought one permit, but each person had to fill out paperwork. It took almost a week to get the permit. The residents said it should be easier and less paperwork for a communitywide yard sale. Supervisors said they would add it to next month’s agenda.

• Secretary-Treasurer Deb Brown announced SteelCreek Trio will play July 30 for their Concert in the Park series. The band, which is from the Lehigh Valley, plays modern and classic country music. They will perform from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the park next to the municipal building on Anchorage Road. Dave LaBar, whose June performance was rained out, has been rescheduled for Aug. 27.

• Brown is seeking two food truck vendors for Community Day, which will be Sept. 16 in the park.

• Shay complimented the work Ethan Brewer, road foreman, did on the playground’s drainage. It was full of water because of Sunday night’s storm and had drained itself by Monday morning.