Road crews kept busy
Five roadmasters, a township manager and two supervisors met March 12 to discuss public works problems and solutions during the quarterly council of governments six-township meeting.
Chief among the problems this winter was the many serious storms.
Lowhill Township Roadmaster Joe Kalusky said he is repairing equipment and doing tree trimming.
Roadmaster Kevin Huber of Heidelberg Township said the wind, rain and snow were keeping his crew busy.
Lynn Township Roadmaster Bruce Raber reported he was doing what the others were but also asked how they were doing with salt supplies.
Kalusky replied he can’t get salt and Huber said he had enough for now.
Roadmaster Tom Dengler of Washington Township said he called and received new supplies in two days.
North Whitehall Township Manager Jeff Bartlett explained road crew workers started mixing salt and anti-skid but received complaints because of the amount of material on the roads.
Raber noted the one call he received was that there was enough anti-skid for the rest of the year on the roads.
He also said his crew is doing cold patching but the work will need to be gone over again.
His township used 300 tons of salt.
In other matters, Lynn Township will be putting in a basketball court at Ontelaunee Park.
Road crews there are getting ready for paving and doing shoulder cutting.
Dengler said his crew is brush cutting and tree trimming. Roads are still closed from trees downed by the storms.
It is expected that $100,000 will be spent on MS4 projects each year. There are new subdivisions coming into North Whitehall with at least one 50 unit and one 149 unit. The latter plan needs modification.
Roadmaster Garry Remaley has retired so public works is down to three people. Many of the applicants are from other municipalities. He said there are few detention basins one of which is not working right and needs a rebuild.
“The problem with MS4 is where does it end?” Bartlett asked. “When all the streams are cleared, the requirements are moved up.
“I understand permits but six months before you can put a pipe under a small stream?
“That’s not how you do business. The department of Environmental Protection has to justify the expense.”
Heidelberg Township Supervisor David Fink said putting salt down prevents ice jams down stream, as he explained the need for it.
Weisenberg Supervisor Tony Werley said two additional municipalities want to join the salt bid.
All agreed on South Whitehall joining but were not sure if Greenwich Township, which is in Berks County, would be allowed without raising prices.