SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — The township board of supervisors voted at its Monday, June 8 meeting to hire township engineer Jack Scheuer, of CARDNO/BCM Engineers, to conduct engineering work on a sewer line relocation project in connection with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Edella Road Bridge project. Scheuer’s cost estimate for the work is $29,593.
Township Manager David O’Neill said the estimate includes inspections, should it be put out to bid. The township is, however, considering completing the work in-house. O’Neill said the township will be reimbursed by PennDOT for “certain expenses.”
The Edella Road (SR 4019) bridge, which crosses over Interstate 81, was closed until further notice after a PennDOT inspector observed movement that occurred in the abutment on the lower end of the bridge, according to a recent department news release. Work is underway to temporarily repair the bridge until its scheduled 2016 replacement.
“We have a sewer line installed on the side of that bridge,” O’Neill said. “We’re going to have to relocate that sewer line. We’ve been looking at this for a while, but it’s coming into play more quickly because the bridge [replacement] is going to be expedited to possibly March.”
He added in order to relocate the line from the top of the bridge, down along the I-81 corridor and into the new sewer line on Willowbrook Road, at least two property easements have to be obtained.
In other business:
• The board voted to award a roadwork bid for the 2015 paving project, which includes Green Tree Drive, East Longwood Drive, North Longwood Drive, Jennifer Drive, Oakwood Drive and Hunts Court. O’Neill said four bids were received, the lowest of which was $326,802.50 from Popple Construction. The board voted to award that bid.
“It sounds like a lot of money and not too many roads,” Supervisor Giles Stanton told the audience. “But we have a program now where we fix the roads really well and they last a lot longer. So, we do less each time, but we do a lot better quality.”
• Supervisors voted approval for the purchase of a new Ford F550 five-ton truck, which was in last year’s budget. The truck was previously purchased, arrived with the incorrect specifications and was sent back. The board also approved a four-year lease purchase of a new Freightliner 10-ton truck.
• The board voted to hire Keystone Products for the design of a new salt shed for winter salt storage.
O’Neill said the township’s current structure, which is 4o feet deep by 36 feet wide with an additional dry storage area, has a “bad lean to it,” which cannot be straightened. The company will provide concrete blocks for the outline of the new building, which will be 66 feet deep by 36 feet wide. The dry storage will be 26 feet by 36 feet. The company will provide engineering and bidding documents needed to put the remainder of the project out to bid. The cost of the engineering contract is $3,350.
• Residents Harry Stumpf and Arnie Flaim inquired about the Pony Express property.
“Everything’s blacked out,” Flaim said. “You can’t tell what is going on in there, is there any update on what’s going on there? It’s been what, two years?”
O’Neill answered him, “The owners of the Pony Express requested a building permit/development approval of an expansion of the inside of the building to eight offices on the second floor, of which there is no second floor that exists. So, they were very politely turned down in a letter that spelled out numerous reasons why it is not zoned for that.”
He said the last the township heard from them, the owners said they would get back to them but haven’t yet.
• Resident Bruce Stone attended the meeting to inquire about purchasing a plot of tax repository land adjacent to his own on Willowbrook Road. The board informed him the plan was for the township to claim that property, as it is needed for an easement in the Edella Road sewer line relocation. At the end of the meeting, the supervisors took a break for an executive session on the matter and reconvened to discuss various options with Stone.
• Boy Scout Alec Delia, from Troop 160, attended the meeting to fulfill requirements for a communications merit badge. He said this involves “talking to other people, learning how to speak to other people and just improving communications with others.”
• O’Neill made an announcement reminding residents that the municipality hired Portnoff Law Firm to collect delinquent sewer fees. After 60 days, each delinquent property owner will receive a notice advising of the balance due. They will then be afforded a 30-day grace period in which to make payment arrangements of up to six months. After that time, the firm will proceed with legal action and delinquent property owners who failed to make payment arrangements or request hardship accommodations will be assessed the legal fees and costs associated with the collection of their accounts.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 13 at the municipal building on Shady Lane Road.