Penn board seeks public forum regarding pipeline
● By J. Chambless
By Nancy Johnson
At their Sept. 2 meeting, the Penn Township Board of Supervisors discussed the upgrades to the Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company’s pipelines that run through Penn Township and said township residents will have an opportunity to learn more about how the upgrades might affect them.
The board is determining a date and location for a public forum. Karen Versuk, the township’s operations officer, said, “We need to inform our public so if they are approached for an easement, they know what the value is. They ought to pay for what they are taking from you. This [pipeline] does not benefit this community one iota. It only provides cheaper energy for some people a couple hundred miles from here.”
Now that the demolition work on the Red Rose Inn is complete, one of the next steps will be re-roofing the building. The supervisors have been considering either a metal roof or cedar shake shingles. “The building is unique, and I personally feel it should have cedar shake roof, and the dormers in front should stay,” Mason said.
Historical Commission member Kathy Wandersee quoted an 1853 newspaper article that referred to the dormers on the front of the Red Rose Inn, proving that they were part of the original building. “It will be much more historically accurate,” she said, agreeing with Mason. The rest of the board agreed to use cedar shake shingles and restore the dormer windows.
As usual, discussion of the Red Rose led to a conversation about the status of the Jennersville Road and Baltimore Pike intersection. Township engineer Kevin Matson said that while the township has a verbal agreement from PennDOT for an $800,000 grant through the public/private pilot program, “we still don’t have anything in writing.”
Matson and the supervisors discussed applying for an additional grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Multimodal Transportation Fund. He noted that the multimodal grant would be awarded in November. “It leaves you an option,” he said.
Township solicitor Sam McMichael reported to the board on the status of Ovations’ application for dedication. “We had a deadline of Sept. 1 and it was not satisfied on time,” he said, explaining that one crucial piece missing from the Home Owners Association (HOA) was an amendment stating that the township would not be held responsible for any damage to the Belgian block curbs in the community. “We were willing to accept it this year, but now it is past the window, so the township would not get reimbursed from the state [for snow plowing],” McMichael said.
Mason then proposed an idea HOA president Carol Beehler, “What if the HOA paid us what PennDOT liquid fuels would be paying us for snow plowing [in Ovations]? Would that work?”
“That sounds very reasonable,” Beehler responded. She promised to get the amendment over to McMichael immediately.
The board rejected all three bids that had been received to buy out the leases on two cell towers at their Sept. 2 meeting.
“The bids that came in aren’t what we think they are worth,” Mason said. “So we are not accepting any of them. If we do put it out to bid again, we will put a minimum bid on it.”
The two bids, that included both towers, came in at $565,000 and $554,000, while the third bid for just one tower was $380,000. When asked by an audience member what he thought they were worth, Mason said about $500,000 each.
During the public comment period, Mary Lou Fieni, a resident of the Village of Rose View, aired her grievances about her home in the community. She said her basement is constantly wet, and part of her grass is wet 365 days a year. She questioned how this was missed by a township inspection.
McMichael, who has spoken to her several times about the issues, replied, “You have a lawyer trying to find a remedy for you. We’ve instructed our zoning officer to do his job. Look at the approved plan; if it doesn’t match what’s there, then someone has some answering to do.”
“I just want other people to see what I am going through,” Fieni said. “They are building two houses right now on underground springs.”
Final plans for the 11th annual Health & Wellness Community Picnic, slated Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Penn Township Park, are coming together. The event is free, thanks to the generosity of many sponsors.