S. ABINGTON TWP. — The public comment section of the Monday, March 13 regular supervisors meeting was once again occupied by residents seeking road repairs in their neighborhoods.
Paul Lyon, of Simrell Road, spoke first, asking the board to consider paving the .25 mile section of gravel roadway between the subdivision at Abington Road and Sterling Estates in Waverly Township.
“The road is in deplorable condition,” he said.
The supervisors said they will add it to their list for consideration, but there are many other roads in the municipality currently of higher priority.
“Several times in the last 15 or 20 years, we’ve actually asked the residents out there about paving it, and it always comes back unanimous they like the road the way it was because nobody speeds on it, so we never pursued it,” said Supervisor Giles Stanton in response.
Lyon said he believes with the arrival of many new residents in that area, the public opinion shifted. He offered to conduct a petition to get a consensus on the matter.
Joan Creegan, of Driftwood Drive, also addressed the supervisors, with the aid of a presentation board, filled with photos and a message from her neighborhood (which also includes Lakeside Drive), part of which read:
“We all pay our township taxes (one of the highest in the area). Please pave our roads and fix the run off drain on Driftwood Drive. This is all a liability to the township, especially if someone gets hurt.”
“We have been lobbying for several years,” Creegan said.
She explained in addition to the poor condition of the pavement, there are also bad drainage issues in that area.
Township Manager David O’Neill confirmed the township ha received many letters, phone calls, visits and petitions over the past several years in regard to that area of roadway. He said during the last month township engineer Jack Scheuer conducted paving estimates on a list of township roads up for consideration for repairs over the next few years, two of which are Driftwood and Lakeside drives.
That list totals about $1.2 million, reflecting “the best way” to repair each road. This year’s roadwork budget is about $500,000.
The supervisors briefly discussed options for getting caught up on roadwork, including adding a referendum regarding electoral debt on the ballot during next year’s elections.
“We’re going to attack it (the current list of roads up for consideration) over three years, but that list is going to get longer, there’s going to be more streets on it,” said Supervisor Mark Dougherty.
In other business:
• The board unanimously approved a resolution declaring a disaster in relation to the winter storm which was then approaching. The declaration will allow the municipality to obtain federal funding to cover expenses related to the storm, should it be made available due to the emergency.
• O’Neill noted South Abington Township Police Department officers Henry Zimmer and Matthew Derenick were recognized by the Clarks Summit Police Department for their assistance during a recent fire in the borough.
• The supervisors voted to hire a new part-time maintenance employee.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, April 10 at the municipal building on Shady Lane Road.
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.