The supervisors appeared to be taken aback upon entering the room. As Chairman Paul Whiteman noted, "This is the largest turnout we have ever had for a meeting.
The Morgantown Crossings shopping center, anchored by Wal-Mart, has been the hybrid of a lot of emotions in the area. The shopping center is being developed by Wolfson-Vericchia along Route 23 between the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Heritage Road. The shopping center is to be anchored by a Wal-Mart and would feature a multi-plex movie theater, several restaurants, six retail stores and two banks.
No sooner did the proceedings begin when Morgantown resident Donna Jeffrey brought up the controversial topic. Jeffrey stated, "Where will the money that should be used to upgrade the police and fire departments, come from? It is like they (Wolfson-Vericchia) has been given carte blanche.' Jeffrey further stated, "Wolfson-Vericchia simply doesn't care about the town.' Jeffrey also raised concerns about the center of Morgantown being moved up Route 23 to the area of the proposed shopping center as a result of the development. Jeffrey further stated, "Wolfson-Vericchia simply doesn't care about the town.' She said that after some research, they found that not enough sewage space has been reserved for the shopping center in Caernaron/Berks.
The board mentioned that a vote regarding the preliminary plan would be held on Tuesday, March 27 prior to the next Board of Supervisors meeting. With that being said, the board moved onto other topics. Jeffrey asked that the supervisors take a long look before granting preliminary approval.
Secretary John Burdy talked about the Reading Bomb Squad Agreement, in which he said, "We (the board) opened up a Pandora's box with this one.' For the most part, Caernarvon/Berks Township is the only township that has an agreement to obtain releases from the Reading Bomb Squad before they work in a bomb situation. In most cases, the bomb squad gives the police a release to sign before approaching a suspected bomb while the school districts sign the release when the bomb is located on school property. Burdy ended by saying that the board will meet with the Insurance Commission to discuss this situation further.
There was also a discussion regarding the newly named Hartman Lane in Morgantown. Resident Joe Lipnicki expressed concern as to why the lane was recently named "Hartman.' Lipnicki stated that his neighbor Mr. Hartman owns quite a bit of the property on that lane but has failed to comply with the local 911 ordinances. Apparently, there was a kitchen fire at one of Mr. Hartman's properties and the local fire department could not locate the fire due to the properties not having proper signage. Lipnicki stated, "Instead of him (Hartman) being fined, he has been rewarded by having the lane named after him.' Chairman Whiteman said that the name was picked randomly and not to hurt anyone's feelings on the lane.
An addition to the Ag Security Area was voted upon and approved by the Board. Burdy said, "This isn't a planning commission matter.' Also a new streetlight will be placed on Hemlock Road. Burdy said, "Hemlock Road has become a bad area' and with a $500 check from PP&L, a new streetlight will be up shortly.
However, the improvements to the local carnival grounds may or may not take place as planned. The electric, which was to be turned off so improvement could begin, has been left on at the request of the Morgantown Athletic Association's Dan Jeffrey. The Athletic Association wants to clean out the snack bar at the grounds and needs the electric on to accomplish this task. Supervisor Charles Byler stated, "the electric service is just sitting there' and that the township would still move ahead with its improvements while the ground is still soft. Making the restrooms at the carnival grounds handicapped accessible is first on a long list of improvements.
The date of the local road inspection will be April 7 at 8 p.m. at night, so as to not interfere with the morning commute. That news appeared to delight some of the remaining standing-room only crowd. The board also brought good news to Mr. Carr regarding the Mulberry Street Townhouses project. Even though the 90-day clock had expired on their plan, the board voted to give another 90 days for this project to be completed.
The board also voted to pay $49 a month for Fire Marshal Keith Romig's cellular telephone. Romig, who works a day job as well as being fire marshal, has been paged an average of five to six phone calls a day. In the past, most of those calls