Robeson Township considers creating K-9 unit

Robeson Township considers hiring a police dog.

“It might be a good idea to hire a police dog to help in difficult situations,” said Robeson Township Chief of Police Mark Phillips.

He cited an incident in late 2013 when the police were called to a residence. “No one came to the door. After entering the house an officer was able to apprehend a person on probation. In the meantime a call was sent to the police department in Fleetwood which has a K-9 unit. In reality it would have taken them too long to get here.”

Advertisement

Phillips asked what the supervisors thought about having a K-9 unit.

“Most of the costs would be paid by donations. The department would purchase a young Shepherd and the dog would be cared for and trained by Officer Matt Smith. It would be insured. The experience gained from the incident was scary. You can’t tell what is waiting inside.”

Chairman Roger Feeg agreed. “It is a good community but things are different. It is not like it was.”

“We will have more information in March. We will look into how other communities handle it.”

“Having a police dog would help protect the officers. It would help in searching for drugs. Costs would include insurance and a cage in the police car,” said Phillips.

In other news, “Robeson Township may encourage recycling but when I come here to leave recyclable materials, the bins are full,” said resident David Bell. “Maybe there should be collection containers at Plowville or at Eshlemans.”

“We are under an agreement with the landfill,” said Township Manager Tom Keim. “Last week we cleaned it up. We provide an annual report each year of recycling statistics from Robeson Twp. We may try to get another container here.”

Allen Madeira from Berks Envirotech provided information and fees related to sewage enforcement. “The increases in costs are guaranteed for two years. Most of the increase is to provide a cost of living adjustment. The days of the building boom are over.”

He discussed the projected increase in fees with neighboring Exeter and Amity Townships.

Also, Robeson has been working with FEMA to locate salt for the roads, said Keim. He thanked Eschelman trucking for transporting salt. “The township just purchased the last available from the state. This year the township has already used 400 to 500 percent of the average supply. Some other municipalities are worse off. There is enough for one more storm. There is still an opportunity to order some more salt but the last date available to get salt will be March 5.”

Supervisor Galen Brown said “beet juice can be used to melt snow. It has been tried in Canada and Europe. It can be used in combination with salt. It reduces the temperature where salt will freeze.”

Also, “We want to thank the Geigertown and Gibraltar Fire Companies for cutting trees and removing trees and branches from the roads during the recent snow storms,” said Bill Lanza, road crew.

“Broken mailboxes in an ongoing problem,” said Keim. “How do we handle broken mailboxes? They are actually in the right of way. There is no place to put the snow.” Research is being done on similar issues in other townships. Something will be put together by the March meeting and put online.

Township Engineer Gary Kraft met with 5 property owners who live beyond Evergreen Road bridge. According to consultants there are 2 options, concrete prefabricated bridge for $320,000, and another for $280,000.

Brown said they need permits from Fish and Boat Commission and Pa. Department of Environmental Protection. “Some of the area is designated as wetlands.”

In other news, “All ordinances will be codified,” said Township Attorney Chris Hartman. “That will make accessing the ordinances easier.” The ordinance dealing with weeds and tall grass and an ordinance to deny permits to those who have outstanding bills were approved.

“Winter storms and freezing roads have caused many potholes. Roads will be assessed in March,” said Road Master David Wicklein.

Reports were received from the Gibraltar and Geigertown Fire Companies. The reports included responses to fires, downed trees, fire police activity, medic calls and calls to deal with hazardous materials.

“The Robeson Township Police Department received 479 calls for service in January. There were 32 arrests, 456 property checks and 17 traffic accidents were investigated. There 20 police assists to other departments, 9 criminal investigations and 9 burglar alarms,” said Phillips.

During January five permits were issued with an improvement value of $457,028, said a report by Glenn Kraft, building code official. The value of the permit fees is $7514.

In a report made by Miller Environmental, Inc., the Robeson Township Waste water treatment plant treated a total of 5,171,300 gallons of effluent in January 2014. The average daily flow was 121,240 gallons. The flow was 44 percent of capacity.

A report on sewage enforcement concerns for January was submitted by Madeira. The report included an application for a permit which was issued.