April 4 is Deadline for LT Property Condemnations

CLEARFIELD – Lawrence Township Supervisors are reminding residents included in the Phase III Sewage Project that April 4 is the deadline for signing of easements.

Township Solicitor James Naddeo will file condemnations at the Clearfield County Courthouse for a “Declaration of Taking” for the remaining unsigned easements so that the project can proceed.

Township Secretary Barb Shaffner said there are 24 temporary and 7 permanent easements still pending. These residents have until 4 p.m. Thursday, or may contact the township office to schedule after-hours appointments to complete the paperwork.

The supervisors previously authorized special counsel attorney Kim Kesner of Clearfield to handle condemnation proceedings in those cases of conflict of interest with solicitor Naddeo’s office.

Naddeo said landowners have 30 days to file preliminary objections after the condemnations are filed, and five years to request an assessment from a board of review if they feel compensation for the “Declaration of Taking” is insufficient.

Naddeo also reported that no response has been received to date from Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) regarding final approval of the township’s resubmitted financing package for the sewage project. At their March 18, meeting, the supervisors corrected their ordinance authorizing the proposed financing package from Clearfield Bank and Trust Company for the $3 million loan for the sewage project, as required by DCED.

Naddeo said he also had a call from Clearfield Bank & Trust regarding the status of the loan proceedings. He said he explained about the delay and that the township will be ready to proceed as soon as approval is received from DCED.

Code Enforcement Officer Deb Finkbeiner reported residence inspections are proceeding. The supervisors contracted for inspections of every residential unit in the township to check for any illegal connections to the sanitary sewer system, such as downspouts, sump pumps, roof drains, etc. Finkbeiner said she hasn’t received reports yet on inspection findings, but any violations will be reported to the township engineer for follow-up letters and possible fines.

Naddeo reported he was asked to provide a written statement to the Township Code Enforcement Officer and the Zoning Board regarding the status of Novey Recycling Inc., Martin Street Extension, Clearfield, in regards to the township zoning ordinances for junk. Naddeo clarified that Novey Recycling isn’t subject to the zoning because the business existed prior to the zoning ordinances. He said this qualifies Novey’s as “non-conforming use” status under the zoning ordinance.

Naddeo further noted that the same stipulations applied to Novey’s use of the previous Ogden property that adjoins to the Novey property. However, he said, Novey had apparently abandoned use of the Ogden property, which would void the non-conforming use qualification. He said that it was his opinion that Novey must apply for special exception for their intended use of the Ogden property, which must then go before the Zoning Board for a decision.

The supervisors agreed to have Naddeo provide the written statement as requested.

Naddeo also stipulated that Novey is still required to comply with the township’s Junkyard Ordinance adopted July of 2013, which is separate from the zoning ordinances.

A public hearing was held prior to the supervisors’ regular meeting for public comment for a Conditional Use permit for timbering in a Rural Agricultural District.  David Mast of Mast Sawmill said he was contacted by Robert and Maryann George, the property owners, and agreed to contract for selective cut timbering on their property on Kennedy Road. No comments were presented at the hearing; therefore, the supervisors approved the conditional use, pending insurance approvals for Mast Sawmill. The access road for the timbering will be on Kennedy Road (T-607) and Flegal Road (T-519)

The supervisors also approved to advertise for bids for proposed paving projects. Chairman Bill Lawhead opposed the inclusion of Elizabeth Street on the list of roads proposed by Roadmasters Ed Brown and Dan Mitchell for paving. The project includes nearly four miles of paving for segments of 12 township roads.

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