Clay speaks out
By: JACQUELINE WATSON Review Correspondent, Staff Writer
Residents of Wildflower Pond seem to have become regular attendees at the Clay Township board of supervisors meeting.
These residents’ concerns included their ongoing concerns and newer ones brought to the board by residents not usually attending.
Visitors’ comments were started off by Judy Echternach of Wildflower Pond. Judy expressed reservations about her responsibility to make repairs to a storm water pipe on her property. She feels she has no assurance that the pipe was installed correctly in the beginning. She noted that the pipe was cut off in the field and improper installation could have caused the current problems including the nearby sinkhole. Judy used the example of the sidewalks in the development not meeting standards as fodder to the possibility of the pipe not having been installed correctly.
Township Engineer Bob Lynn reassured Judy that the possibility of the pipe being inadequate has been researched with someone actually crawling inside the pipe and taking pictures. The result of this investigation was that the weakness of the pipe was caused from outside problems and not substandard quality in the pipe. Lynn agreed to investigate the situation further. Lynn also informed Judy that the pipe was purposely cut short to avoid discharge pouring into a known sinkhole.
Both Judy and John Echternach felt that the fact that they were responsible for repairs on the pipe underneath their property was unclear. Although their deed referred to their responsibility to maintain the area, they did not think it was very specific.
"It’s just amazing that I’m responsible for that whole half’s water," reasoned Judy.
The board pointed out that although it may not have been made clear to them by those selling the property, it was still part of the agreement and their responsibility.
"There were people along the way that should have, I think at least, informed you. Do I believe that you weren’t informed? Yeah, I believe that. Unfortunately the township is not involved in those processes," explained township solicitor Jennifer Mejia.
"We didn’t sell you the property either. The agreement was between you and the developer, and so the township really wasn’t a part of that process," commented vice-chairman Justin Harnish.
The Echternachs also informed the board that they do not have the money to cover the necessary repairs. Township manager Bruce Leisey encouraged them to list their financial hardships in a letter to the township for the board to take into consideration.
Wildflower Pond resident Rick Bernarduci detailed the parking signs within the development which are another concern to residents. Residents fear that the signs used, and the way they are used, leaves the meaning unclear and confusing.
Lynn defended the township’s choice of no parking signs displayed in the development. He explained that they were accordant with the PennDOT sign handbook and that the signs use what is known to be enforceable terminology for the police department. Chairman of the board Timothy Lausch pointed out that Clay is not the only township using such signs, noting that a similar sign setup is used in Wyomissing Hills.
Bernaducci and another Wildflower Pond resident, Dennis Scott, again brought up issues of the homeowner’s association with the developer, Dr. Carlton Busco. There has been correspondence between Busco’s council, council for certain residents and Mejia. Busco expressed a desire to meet with residents in person at a public meeting place. Mejia planned to inform Busco that the township building could be used for this meeting. The township building can be used free of charge for public meetings.
"I think the township has been doing more than its share for everybody involved down there and we’re trying to do our best to get this resolved, and Jennifer (Mejia) can vouch for this, to get a hold of these people, it’s almost an act of congress," said Lausch on the situations at Wildflower Pond. "So, it’s not like we’re stalling. We’re doing the best we can do, and we’re spending a lot of township monies to do this. So, we’re not just bailing on you guys."
In attendance, addressing fire department matters, was John Martin Jr. of the Durlach Mount Airy Fire Company. He informed the board that the fire company is now in possession of the newly purchased fire engine. The firefighters were training on this new piece of equipment before it was put into service. It was expected to be in service within a couple of weeks. Martin welcomed anyone interested in seeing the new engine to stop by on a Tuesday night.
"It’s really a nice piece. I think it’s going to serve the township well," said Martin.
Martin also requested that Clay Township enact a burn ban. It was explained that, according to the current ordinance, the board is unable to do this unless the county has passed a burn ban. The board mentioned plans to change the way this system works in the township to make it easier for them to pass burn bans in the future when needed. Secretary of the Board Keith Martin motioned that if the county passed a burn ban, a Clay Township burn ban would become effective on the same day. Within the week, the county passed a burn ban, putting Clay Township’s burn ban into effect.
In other township business:
? Lynn and Leisey informed the board that FEMA and PEMA will completely cover the cost of the bridge repair project on Rock and Seglock roads.
? The Lancaster Farmland Trust Bicycle Pedal to Preserve bicycle fund-raiser was approved to use township roads for its ride on June 2. More CLAY, page A6
Posted: May 2nd, 2012 under News.