Coal Hill may be off-limits
By Rob Wheary
TREVORTON - Reading Anthracite may bring an end to ATV riding on "Coal Hill." Richard Morgan, security manager for the Pottsville-based company, told Zerbe Township supervisors at their meeting Monday night the company is aware of continuing complaints from residents, especially about dust, coming from the popular riding site at the west end of the village. He said the possibility of curtailing access to riders would be addressed at an upcoming company staff meeting.
"After about two years of talking about this problem and feeling it has all fallen on deaf ears, your visit today is about the best news we've heard in a while," supervisor Chairman Michael Schwartz said.
Reading Anthracite sells yearly permits costing $125 to ATV riders, giving them access to ride on company-owned land as long as it isn't an active mine site.
Residents have complained about riders kicking up dust and dragging dirt through town.
Many websites extol the virtues of Coal Hill as a great place to ride. During the warmer months, and even when weather permits during winter, riders from throughout Pennsylvania and elsewhere can be found riding in that area.
While Morgan could not guarantee a ban, he assured residents their concerns are being heard. For their sake, he said he hopes the practice ends.
"If it happens, it will take some time and cooperation before its cleared up," said Morgan, who recently retired from the state police. "People are used to riding up there."
Later in the meeting, Schwartz cleared up rumors that Coal Hill will be part of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, a riding and outdoor activities park coming together on 6,500 acres of Northumberland County-owned land in Coal, East Cameron, Mount Carmel, West Cameron and Zerbe Townships. Schwartz, who is on the AOAA Authority board, said that is not the case.
Morgan, having heard an earlier discussion about the township police department's purchase of an ENRADD (Electronic Non-radar Device) speed tracking system, said Reading Anthracite makes public funds available to municipalities for purchases of equipment. He suggested a request be sent on township letterhead for possible reimbursement.
In other business, supervisors reported the Zerbe Run creek wall project is just about finished, and that the cost estimate to repair the First Street Bridge, damaged during Lee flooding in 2011, has been submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency at a cost of $72,205. The amount of the project falls within the "major" project category, where FEMA should reimburse all design costs. The project is expected to be started in April or May.
Permission was given to the following groups to utilize township facilities:
- Trevorton Heritage Committee to use the pool building as a base for their events and possibly establish a museum of township history there.
- The Line Mountain PTO to use the foundry parking lot and building for the delivery of candy and other items during a fundraiser on either the last week of September or the first week of October.
- Trevorton Elementary School to use the recreation area for their year-end picnics and field days, and for a community service project conducted by the Line Mountain Junior/Senior High School National Honor Society.
A second computer for the municipal building will be purchased at a cost of $650 plus tax from Liquid Technologies, Shamokin, who will also install Quickbooks on both computers for sewer bills at a cost of $399 for both computers.