Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tatamy Borough Council - 4/10/2008 Wrap-up

Hi Everyone -- A little late, but here's a summary of this month's Council meeting. As always, please keep in mind that these thoughts are mine only and are in no way to be interpreted as official meeting minutes or any official communication from Tatamy Borough. Your thoughts, comments, and suggestions are welcome and encouraged!

1. Traffic Light. As you all know, we have been waiting for some time to have a traffc light at the corner of 8th and Main Streets installed. This signal was required as part of the two new housing developments (Tatamy Hunt and Fieldstone) that were recently constructed. The signal work has all been approved for some time, but (I believe) PennDOT put the project 'on hold' due to the changes that were required because of the Chrin development (longer mast arms, etc.). Money was placed into escrow by both the developers, but now several years have gone by, and, of course, the cost for the installation of the traffic light exceeds what is in escrow. The question now is who is going to have to make up the difference? Stay tuned . . .

2. Street Lights. A carry over from last months update, we have been trying to get the street lights in Tatamy Hunt turned on. When the developer submitted his final plans for approval, the power utility company that was indicated on the plan was PPL Utilities, as they are the power supplier for Tatamy Borough. We have since learned that in fact MetEd is the power supplier in Tatamy Hunt. Unfortunately Tatamy Borough does not have an agreement with MetEd, so that presents a problem. According to what we have been told by a MetEd representative, there is an agreement somewhere on file between MetEd and PPL Utilities to allow MetEd into PPL's service area. Unfortunately they were unable to locate that agreement prior to the council meeting. MetEd did send us a proposed Ordnance to review and sign which would allow them to energize and turn-on the street lights, however the way the ordnance was written it would have placed the burden of responsiblity for maintaining and replacing the street lights on the Borough (normally the utility company takes care of this). So, unfortunately, until all the bureaucracy can be worked out, the lights, at least for another month, will stay dark.

3. Zoning Hearing Board. Pam Pearson was sworn in as the Co-Chairperson for the Tatamy Borough Zoning Hearing Board. Congratulations Pam and welcome aboard!

4. No Parking Ordnance. Council approved the ordnance to install the "No Parking" signs behind the newly constructed Borough Garage. This no parking zone will make it easier to get the vehicles (especially the new truck) in and out of the garage safely. Thanks to everyone in advance for your cooperation and compliance with this new no parking zone.

5. Stop Sign Ordnance. We were also supposed to approve the creation of a 4-way stop intersection at the corner of 6th and High Streets, along with the installation of crosswalks. Unfortunately, even though we sent it to the Express Times, somehow the ordnance didn't get advertised and now we have to wait another month. In any event, be prepared as that intersection will most likely become a 4-way stop come May.

6. Sewer Authority. Be on the lookout for a REDUCED sewer bill coming to a post office box near you soon. The Sewer Authority is proposing a realignment of their fee structure.

Those were the major highlights of this month's meeting. Just a reminder, Borough Council meets the first Monday of every month at 7:30PM in the Borough Hall. Come, get involved, voice your opinion, see what's going on. The more the merrier! I look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Borough Council Wrap Up

Delayed . . .

Life has gotten in the way of pulling together my notes and posting the update to Monday night's council meeting. While nothing earth shattering was discussed or approved (unless you consider a "NO PARKING" zone behind the newly constructed borough garage on Green St. earth shattering), I have an obligation to you, my two faithful readers (HA!) to provide a summary. I will have it up for you tomorrow night.

As they say in show business - Stay Tuned!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Appeal Delays Forks Weis Markets Construction Project

The Express Times is reporting that an appeal filed by Scott Gingold and the Residents Who Care may delay construction of the Weis Markets planned for Uhler Road and Sullivan Trail for up to a year.

You can read the entire article here.

Finally . . . A Hollo Road Update

Image courtesy of The Morning Call.

If, you're like me, you (used to) use Hollo Road as a short cut to Route 33 and points south. As you know Hollo Road has been closed for quite some time now, and finally, today in The Morning Call their "Road Warrior" Dan Hartzell has a good write-up in today's edition:
Some places, it's Old Man Winter who puts up roadblocks

Dan Hartzell

The Road Warrior

April 7, 2008
Q: How long are developers allowed to close a public road for what appears to be their own convenience? Hollo Road between Van Buren Road and Route 248 in Lower Nazareth and Palmer townships has been closed since July. It appears they completed upgrading the intersection at 248 last year, but haven't done anything at Hollo/Van Buren for many months. Why is a private company allowed to take control of a public road and close it for an extended time? Why does their convenience overrule that of the public? Kris Tavasz

Q: Can you tell me if Hollo Road between 248 and Van Buren Road in Palmer Township is going to be reopened? It has been closed for construction for many months and now it seems road has disappeared altogether. Since Hollo closed, Van Buren traffic has picked up tremendously, making especially the Northwood Road intersection hazardous. Pat Stanek

A:Problems regarding engineering approvals for a ''box culvert,'' a concrete structure that will carry the new, improved Hollo Road over Schoeneck Creek just west of Van Buren, put the brakes on progress, Kris and Pat.

As part of the ProLogis warehouse park being built between Route 248 and Hollo and Van Buren roads, Hollo was closed for widening, repaving, straightening and other improvements. Most of the park is in Lower Nazareth, but part of it, as well as a western segment of Hollo Road, is in Palmer.

Lower Nazareth Manager Timm Tenges said the portion of Hollo in his township is completed, so the holdup must be on the Palmer side. His understanding was that the road was supposed to be open by the start of the school year last September.

Palmer Manager Robert Anckaitis acknowledged that progress was delayed by problems between the township's project engineers and ProLogis's engineers regarding design details, calculations and exchanges of information over the box culvert. That was confirmed by ProLogis spokeswoman Melissa Sheehan.

Anckaitis doubts the road ever could have been open by September, but in any event, because of the culvert delays, winter arrived before work could be finished -- always a setback, because asphalt and concrete normally cannot be installed in cold weather. So, as with many road projects, everything had to wait for this year's construction season to arrive, which is just about now.

Anckaitis could not be more specific than to say the road should be open ''sometime this summer,'' folks, so if we hope for July, Hollo will have been closed for a year.

That's pretty long for a road of this kind, though as you mentioned in your e-mails, Kris, the roughly 1.5-mile detour you take on Van Buren to access Route 248 isn't so bad.

Normally, developers, municipalities and their respective engineers and contractors try to complete road improvements as quickly as possible, and certainly within one spring-to-fall construction season, Tenges and Anckaitis agreed. It just didn't work out that way in this case.

You can read the article in it's entirety here.