Utilities could pay more to dig streets in Coal Township
COAL TOWNSHIP - An ordinance being considered by Coal Township commissioners will increase the onus on utility companies to repave roadways after completing underground work.
Anyone digging up a roadway and disturbing more than 10 percent of one township block would be required to resurface the entire section of roadway between intersections.
Current ordinance mandates roadway resurfacing when 33 percent of a township block is disturbed.
Commissioners voted during their meeting Thursday to advertise their intent to adopt the ordinance.
"Everybody's having a problem with streets falling apart. We just want to protect our taxpayers and our streets," Commissioner
Gene Welsh said after the meeting. "There's nothing worse than driving up the road and it's like a washboard from all the patching."
At their workshop meeting Tuesday, commissioners said Aqua Pennsylvania disapproved of the proposal and threatened to halt waterline upgrades if the ordinance is adopted.
Commissioners said any utility with underground infrastructure would have to service or upgrade its waterlines regardless of what ordinance is in place.
If adopted, the ordinance would be in place ahead of pending plans by the Shamokin-Coal Township Joint Sewer Authority to install new sewer lines in the township's west end and elsewhere.
In other business, the commissioners:
- Authorized an indemnification agreement for a 1,250-foot access road to the developing Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area near Burnside. The township received a $300,000 federal grant from Appalachian Regional Commission to construct the road. If the park were to fail, the indemnification agreement would protect the township from grant recovery, which would then fall on the AOAA Authority;
- Voted to advertise an ordinance reducing the square footage needed for a child day care center from 20,000 to 5,000. Officials said this would reduce the need for parties interested in opening day cares from having to obtain zoning variances;
- Modified 2009 and 2010 CDBG budgets to use remaining money from completed projects to pave Arch Street from Ash Street to Woodlawn Avenue, and Walnut Street from Poplar to Ash streets;
- Scheduled a public hearing on 2013 CDBG funding for the start of the April 11 meeting at 7 p.m.
The township police department received 277 complaints last month and patrolled 4,991 miles. Officers investigated 29 traffic accidents and issued 32 parking tickets, 19 criminal complaints or non-traffic citations, 10 traffic citations and one code ticket. All six cases of abandoned vehicles reported were abated.
Members of the township fire department logged 118 hours, 31 minutes of service on 22 emergency calls in February, including at seven traffic accidents and three calls for mutual aid at fires.
Street sweeping will begin, weather permitting, March 25 in the Edgewood and Ferndale sections. Residents are asked to move their vehicles when posted. Cooperation will create more time for unscheduled side streets to be swept.
The township street department treated roads during seven storms in February, made temporary repairs to Dans Way, which will be completed when weather improves, and cleaned drainage ditches in Ferndale. Crews also filled pot holes as weather permitted, picked up cinder piles, trash and recycling and performed sign maintenance.
Charles Shuey, recycling coordinator, said in his monthly report that he will pursue state grant funding that could be used toward the purchase of a new loader at the facility on Venn Access Road.
A total of 158,747 pounds of recyclable materials were shipped in February from the township recycling center. The facility operated last month at a loss of $777.52, due in part to a load of newspaper contaminated by foil-backed wrapping paper. That load went for about $600 less than usual. While the center is slightly in the red for 2013, Shuey said earlier this week that prices for materials are recovering.
The center will again begin collecting electronics on Thursdays only beginning April 4.
Code Officer Chris Petrovich reported having responded to 81 complaints in February, and having issued 18 building permits, 20 occupancy permits and four citations.
Township account balances as of Feb. 28: general fund, $14,408.32; fire protection, $5,615.94; library, $1,497.77; special highway, $162.85; police pension, $11,378; pension, $11,718.92; non-uniformed employee pension, $10,446.03; IDP grant, $31.37; EDA grant, $2,167.78; DEP grant, $42,439.02; construction code inspections, $2,362.71; Degenstein Foundation grant, $1,530.90; capital reserve, $198,887.98.