SHAMOKIN TOWNSHIP - A problem with a state purchasing program is threatening to set back Shamokin Township's roadwork for the upcoming months.

Roadmaster Jon Clements reported at the township's board of supervisors meeting Wednesday that they are not able to buy materials, such as pavement preservation material Fibermat and road chippings, under the Costars contract. Costars is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's cooperative purchasing program administered by the Department of General Services (DGS) Bureau of Procurement.

"At this point, we have to join up with Upper Augusta Township and put our projects out on bid now to get any roadwork done this year," Clements said.

In the past, the township has purchased the materials and done the work themselves. Clements asked that the township ask PennDOT to prepare a bid package and put it out for bid. If the issue with Costars is resolved, the bids will be rejected and business will continue as usual.

Greg Rachau, board chairman, made the motion to open bids at a tentative special meeting July 23; Paul Rapp seconded. The motion was approved on a 2-0 vote with supervisor John Klinger absent.

Moths

Former supervisor Tom Carl said the township's trees are infested with gypsy moth caterpillars.

"We already have an issue with defoliating trees this year, so we have to get on track for next year or else the trees will die," Carl said.

Carl said this is the first time Shamokin Township has seen an infestation of the gypsy moth since 2001, and because of that, the township has not been on a spraying schedule. Sprayings can only be done from mid-April to mid-May.

Supervisors made a motion to direct the township's solicitor, Jim Bathgate, to write a letter to various county and state agencies to get back on the spraying list.