The Berks-Mont News (

Roads, races, and ramps discussed in Union Twp.

By Tory Lingg , For Journal Register News Service

Friday, October 5, 2012

Three pipes carrying storm water under Crusher Road need to be replaced very soon, said Supervisor John Salaneck. No permits are required for the work.
“The township should make it part of the Center Road bids so when the contractor is there they can fix all of the pipes,” he added.
Supervisor Nelson Ott Jr. said money is an issue. He asked about the cost of fixing Hallman Road, which has a hole in it, and the cost of fixing Sycamore Road.
Township Engineer Tom Unger said he has looked at the conditions of Hallman, Sycamore and Crusher Roads. He discussed the conditions of some storm water pipes.
“Why Band-Aid a road?” asked Salaneck. “We have to pick out a job every year and do it. These projects have been put off for decades. The time is here (and) we have to face it.”
‘We don’t have the money to fix the bend in the pipe,” said Chairman Don Basile. “If we rip out the pipes the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources may tell us to do something else.”
Salaneck said “We should do something else.”
Township Manager Carol Lewis said a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers is still needed before work can start on replacing the pipe under Center Road.
“What will mowing and plowing done by a subcontractor cost?” asked Basile. “We are having a budget meeting on September 20. (What) we will have to determine is will we outsource those jobs or continue with our road crew to do that work?”
A resident suggested that the work should remain ‘in house’. He mentioned undesirable people and employees coming into the township with subcontractors. Both Ott and Basile said they might abstain on voting on outsourcing the work because of a possible conflict of interest.
T. D. Bank North will hire a contractor to do required work on the existing roads in the Union Green Development to bring them up to township standard so they can be dedicated to Union Township. The work will be done this fall. Five or six homes have been completed or were left under construction and three are occupied, said Lewis.
Basile said it has been brought to his attention that people and boat owners from outside the township are using the boat ramp on the Schuylkill River, with commercial buses or vans going to the boat ramp to pick up people, let them off and fetch the boats.
“We should contact them and require they get a permit to help pay for the upkeep of the property. We have to pick up the trash and maintain the boat ramp. We can set the rate because it is our boat ramp. It is an attempt to help defer our costs,” said Basile.
He then asked Jim Yocum, Chairman of the Recreation Board, what he thought about the situation.
“We should visit the other locations of similar boat ramps managed by the municipality to see what they do,” suggested Yocum.
Union Township bought the silt basin when there was another party interested in it, said Salaneck. He said he is very concerned about charging people to use the Recreation Area.
“There is public money (from the Fish and Boat Commission involved, so) I am troubled at charging people to use a public entity,” stated Salaneck. “I don’t know the position of the Recreation Board. They need money to operate.”
“I am troubled because a private business is using our facilities to make a lot of money” explained Yocum. “They might put a lot of stress on our recreation area. We have to have rules.”
Salaneck and Lewis were both concerned about the cost of repositioning the boat ramp. It was washed off of its foundation by Hurricane Irene in September 2011. Funds were obtained from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as compensation. Lewis said it is “somewhat usable”.
Unger said a tree hooked it during the flood and dragged it off the foundation.
“We can see if we can pull it back,” said Basile.
Yocum said the Recreation Board is reviewing all types of policies and permits for 5K runs. When the board gets all of the information together, it will offer it up to the supervisors for consideration.
A ninety day extension until December 22, 2012 was granted to EMI Motorsports Complex.
Salaneck said he will insist EMI use public sewers. Ott said he has not had time to read current information dealing with EMI,and that he cannot vote on something he does not know about. Township Engineer Fred Hatt said EMI wants an on-site waste water management system. Basile said he is not against it.
Basile said EMI does not plan to use Williams Road.
Bob Armbruster, representing EMI Motor Sports, said they would either supply their own security staff or contract one while they are in operation.
“I am concerned about the noise levels,” said Hatt. “Approval of the plan does not include approval of the noise concerns. Special events need a permit. An anticipated crown from 2000 to 5000 requires a permit from the zoning officer and a crowd of 500 to 2000 requires contact with the Zoning Officer.”
Basile said attendance is limited to 5000 per day.
An ordinance had been advertised and was adopted to determine streets where parking at the curb is not permitted. Parking violations will be handled by the Codes Enforcement Officer said Hatt. The Code Enforcement Officer will also oversee removal of cars if necessary.
Author’s note - Supervisor John Salaneck announced his resignation from the position as Road Master after the mid-September supervisors meeting reported above. He will continue on as supervisor.
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