“I’m a little troubled that the school board is saying this is what we decided to do, now you go and pay for it,” said Commissioner Roger C. Reis. “I don’t like that the school district already has made that decision, yet we’re expected to go forward and pay for all these improvements.”
But township manager Bruce Fosselman reminded commissioners “we put $85,000 in the budget for flashing lights for this. So we knew about it. It’s not like you guys didn’t know about it.”
Also during Thursday’s meeting, Erdman reported the single-lane Church Lane Bridge will remain closed for three or four months, until it can be repaired.
The township closed the bridge in spring to protect it from being damaged by too much traffic, after the state closed a section of nearby Spring Creek Road to replace a bridge on that road. Just before the township planned to reopen the wooden structure at the end of 2012, PennDOT bridge inspectors determined it had to remain closed because of deterioration.
Erdman is gathering quotes about how much it will cost to repair the bridge, which does not require public bidding. He predicted a recommendation to move forward will be presented to commissioners in early February. He said approval must be obtained from Norfolk Southern before repairs can be made, which could add to the delay.
“We want Church Lane to be open,” said Fosselman. “We’re getting too many calls on this. But it’s out of our control.”
Township officials said the day may come when that bridge no longer can be repaired and must permanently close. Erdman said replacing it would require a much larger and higher bridge – so railroad cars carrying double-stack containers could fit under it. He said building such a large bridge also would infringe on graves in a nearby cemetery.
On another issue, Cassandra Williams, township finance director, said nearly 150 homes will have their water shut off at the end of January if their owners don’t pay delinquent sewer bills. She said 204 homes were tagged with shut-off tags on Monday and Tuesday. She said the water already had been shut off at 11 of those properties. Another 47 residents contacted either paid up or made arrangements to pay. She said not including those 47, the township is owed $152,800.
This is the second round in the township’s effort to collect delinquent bills by threatening to shut off water. In November, notices were put on more than 200 homes, whose residents owed the township more than $350,000.