Although D.A.R. was not on the agenda of the June Board of Supervisors meeting, several people in the audience got the subject rolling during the public comment session. Chairman Lew Wertley said he would do his best to respond to six questions put forward by Bob Witters. Wertley said the Chester County Conservation District will make certain the proposed building and storm water management project for D.A.R. along Mt. Pleasant Road at the Emanuel Stoltzfus farm is done correctly. After it has been completed PennVest will decide whether the funds forwarded for construction are a grant or a loan. The cost of the project has increased from $900,000 to 1.3 million dollars.
Wertley said he has not seen anything in the application about the size of the lot. Witters said he thought the lot size was to be about 2.5 acres.
'The PennVest grant is only for the contractor (and) has nothing to do with operation or expansion, said Wertley. It will be a revenue producing business. Nothing has been presented to the township or to the Board. What they are planning to do is to be consistent with stormwater control.'
Supervisor Joe Fenstermacher said he does not know if Subdivision and Land Development (S.A.L.D.O.) can be enforced for this, because the state rules 'preempt Ag.'
Fenstermacher announced that he has pulled his support for the project.
(CORRECTION: The sentence which read 'Fenstermacher announced that he has pulled his support for the project' was improperly paraphrased during the
editorial process, and completely misrepresented Mr. Fenstermacher's opinion on the matter. Mr. Fenstermacher contacted us personally, offering
the following: 'I totally support the DAR (dead animal recovery), what I said was I no longer support the idea of the DAR not having to go
through SALDO. I believe that the operation is commercial and should not be given status 'by right' as if it was strictly farm owned and operated.
Any commercial operation in the township should be required to go through the subdivision and land development (SALDO) process.'
As editor of The Tri County Record, I deeply regret this mistake (which in no way involved correspondent Tory Lingg, who authored the piece).
I wish to offer my apologies first and foremost to Mr. Fenstermacher, and also to Ms. Lingg and our readers, for any confusion caused by this error.
Sincerely, Justin Finneran - Editor, Tri County Record)
'The letter was for them to go ahead and apply for the PennVest grant and make sure the money was there,' said Supervisor John McHugh.
Wertley said the letter was submitted on time.
PennVest meets in July. 'The Chester County Conservation District and Team Ag said they have to go through S.A.L.D.O. before PennVest will do anything,' stated Fenstermacher.
'We are waiting for them to submit the plans to the Planning Commission,' said Wertley. 'As far as we are concerned nothing happens on that property until they go to the Planning Commission.'
A resident of Mt. Pleasant Road said there are flies and dead carcasses sticking out.
'I am sure it went in the creek. Something has to be done,' they said. 'We have to get enforcement. There were flies and dogs there on Saturday.'
A resident of Roth Road asked if D.A.R. has a permit to do this, and Wertley responded by saying that they have a permit from the Department of Agriculture.
Another resident noted that they are bringing in stone.
'They are passing dirty water into the creek,' they said. 'There is leaking gook and ooze all over the place. It is nothing but trouble. What about our families and our animals? It has to affect the water. Sooner or later there will be trouble. Where do we stand?'
'We have been trying to work with D.E.P. and the Dept. Of Agriculture to make sure everything is run right,' said Wertley. 'The composting is managed under the Department of Agriculture and the runoff is regulated by D.E.P. We have been putting up with this for two years. They are only allowed to use state licensed approved trucks. Hauling a dead cow in an open truck is not permitted.'
A resident who said he lives in Salisbury Township said he has a picture of an animal licking 'the gook' off the road.
'We are all against it. It will affect our environment and our lives,' they said.
PennVest will finance the construction of the building. If there is no problem seen from the Department of Agriculture the loan may be forgiven.
Another resident asked if this was going to turn into another Barkman Superfund site and wanted to know who is monitoring the composting temperatures?
'They want the building so they can regulate the storm water running off the place,' said Fenstermacher. 'According to research the runoff is not as toxic as liquid manure. Some testing has found no contaminants at this point.'
Wertley said all the D.E.P. wants to do is keep the stuff out of the stream.
'They see relief in getting it under roof. They want to get it right. There is legislation in Harrisburg regarding this. None of it has been approved. They have to post security for improvements. They have to have storm water and erosion control plans approved,' he explained.
McHugh said there was a similar project which cost $600,000 in Maryland which started in 1993. He said it would be interesting to know how it turned out because there is a need for animal composting if it is done right.
A resident close to the location said that in February a road was made to the farm from Broad Street, but now that road is closed off now.
'A lot of sneaky stuff is going on there,' they said, 'Where do we turn? Bones and bodies are sticking out.'
Township Administrator Tony Antoninni said in the last month there has not been any information on storm water management by D.A.R.
'Basically they gave Township Engineer Mike Reinert nothing in the last month,' she stated.
In other business Honey Brook Deputy Fire Chief Bob Klinger said that in May there were 25 calls to the department. Fire company personnel spent 28 hours in Honey Brook Township. There were 16 calls for emergency services. Loses from fires amounted to $5000. There were 126 calls from the total area served by the Honey Brook Fire Department. Six firemen have graduated from a fire training program.
During the month of July there will be pipe work and overlay on Morgantown Road between Talbotville Road and White School Road.
Lee Heller, Theresa Mauchline and Beth McHugh were appointed to the Park and Recreation Board.
Paula McGinness, administrator of the Honey Brook Library, has inquired about any changes to be made in the Honey Brook Township Comprehensive Plan. She said the administrators of the library are concerned about an effect on the future of the library. Wertley said they may start on a revision of the township Comprehensive Plan in 2014 to 2016.
The nineteen municipalities in western Chester County are considering joining in a regional group in certain projects which would benefit them all. Through voluntary cooperation they could get better prices on such things as road line painting, some E.M.S. services, or regional police or fire protection. Each municipality would send a delegate and an alternate to the group. Membership is $500 annually, and nothing is binding.
McHugh said the Land Preservation Fund has about a million dollars in reserve.
Applications for consideration on the agenda of the Zoning Hearing Board should be at the township building on the 3rd Monday of the month preceding the hearing date, said Wertley.
September Farm owner Dave Rotelle is planning to move his cheese making business and store from the present location along Mill Road to a location along Route 322. There will be a small cafe where visitors can watch cheese being made. The location will have public sewer. Fenstermacher asked them to connect to public water as soon as feasibly possible.
The Levi Kauffman minor subdivision, the Sheldon minor subdivision, and the Ricci variance application were discussed.
The Emergency Operations Plan for 2012 was approved. Wertley is the Emergency Management Coordinator for Honey Brook Township. In case of severe storms, tornados, hurricanes or snow storms, plans have been made for emergency response.
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