Jenckes Farm, 300 acre farmland, to become three lots; East Penn Manufacturing to expand

Patriot photo by Joe Brown Maxatawny Township Manager Justin Yaich (left) listens as Chris Paff, the township's code enforcement officer, discusses the Jenckes Farm fire safety concerns at the Board of Supervisors meeting July 9.

The Maxatawny Township Board of Supervisors approved the Jenckes Farm property to become three lots and approved final land development for East Penn Manufacturing July 9.

The approximately 300-acre farmland, located on Eagle Point Road, is being divided into three smaller lots. Each lot will be around 70 to 120 acres in order to better prepare it for land development.

According to Maxatawny Township Solicitor Jill Nagy, the property has been before the board for different development proposals multiple times in the past. The main concern is fire safety.

Because of where it is in the township, theres always a water concern because theres no public water there, Nagy said to The Patriot.

During the Maxatawny Township Board of Supervisors meeting on July 9, Nagy brought to the boards attention that the Kutztown Fire Company has raised past concerns about how they will put out future fires in the area without adequate access to the large pond on the farm. The pond is a major asset in providing fire protection for the surrounding community.

Nagy stated that the land could be used for small development, but that there would be concerns if a proposal for large development arose. By splitting the land into three smaller lots, Jenckes Farm is better suited for land development without decreasing fire safety.

In other news, the board approved the final land development for East Penn Manufacturing, which is expanding their pre-existing building located on Deka Road in Lyons. According to Nagy, the proposal was for the purpose of increasing battery manufacturing and specialty processing.

Process Masters, an industrial facility located on Sharadin Road in Kutztown, was also approved for an addition to their building in order to expand their operations.

The Pennsylvania State Police in June in Maxatawny Township responded to 77 reported incidents. Township Manager Justin Yaich addressed one of the more notable ones, a tractor-trailer driver struck the traffic light at Long Lane June 30. According to Yaich, the driver left the scene after striking the pole, which damaged the control panels when it broke. However, parts of the truck were left behind at the scene, and the state police were able to track down the driver.

In other news, the bridge on Deysher Road in Kutztown, which was deemed deficient around five to six years ago and reduced to one lane, is being replaced. The township did not have the funds to fix the bridge, but that changed this year, making it possible for construction to open the bridge back to two lanes.

One of the commitments of the board this year was to invest more money in infrastructure and roads, and that was one of the top projects, Yaich said.

The townships increased investment in roads has also given road master Richard Grim more opportunities to spot pave roads, which he addressed.

In the past 30-40 years, really nothing major has been done on them. They have been oil and chipped on occasion, but as far as paving, [it] hasnt been done, Grim said. Fortunately weve been having some extra money coming in, which is good, and well be able to do some more paving. We need it bad here.

Lastly, chairman Allen Leiby and the board approved the 5th Annual Brake the Cycle bike event for Friend, Inc. to be held on Aug. 9. Leiby stressed that his primary concern is that everybodys safe at the event. The board resolved to notify state police of the event as an additional safety precaution.

According to Friends website for the event, http://www.friendcycling.org/, Friend, Inc. Community Servicess benefit bike ride from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Keystone Hall, Kutztown University. There are 10, 25, 33 or 62 mile routes with support, well marked roads and cue sheets, food for registered riders, goodie bags, coupons, prizes, and more. For more, call 610-683-7791.