CLEARFIELD – At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Lawrence Township Board of Supervisors finalized stringent penalties against property owners who fail to comply with the amended sewer ordinance and who contribute to its excessive storm water inflow and infiltration into the sewer system.
In recent months, the supervisors have been exploring options to reduce the storm water entering their sanitary sewer lines by putting the hammer down on property owners who have downspouts, sump pumps and French drains joined with the sewer system.
According to a previous GantDaily.com report, last month, Supervisor Ed Brown suggested the penalty fine start at $1,000 and to allow violators 60 days to correct the problem.
If not corrected at the conclusion of the next 60-day period, he suggested fining the violator another $2,000.
If the problem still exists after another 60-day period, he suggested that the township enter the property and correct the problem at the cost of the property owner.
The supervisors unanimously approved Brown’s recommendation by a 3-0 vote at last month’s meeting. The amended ordinance passed by a 2-0 vote Tuesday with Supervisor William Lawhead being absent from the meeting.
At the August meeting, Supervisor Chairman Glenn Johnston explained the township could face millions in fines, as well as a consent order that wouldn’t allow the township any leeway on addressing the storm water problem. Additionally, he said it could be dealt a moratorium on all building permits within the township until the problem is addressed.
Johnston said that Monday morning, the township will be meeting with the DEP, Clearfield Borough and the Clearfield Municipal Authority to discuss storm water infiltration problems.
“I’m hoping that our pre-empted movement in that area will get them to look kindly upon us,” Johnston said. “There are a lot of bad possibilities that could come out of that. They have been known to be very ruthless.”
Johnston said there will be a report at the Sept. 18 supervisor’s meeting.
In other business:
- The supervisors passed a resolution to adopt the Martell Glass zoning map change for property located along Washington Avenue. The zoning change permits Martell Glass to expand its facilities in Hyde by changing the zoning from residential urban to commercial highway.
- The supervisors tabled approving the Maxwell Trucking final payment until its next meeting when all three board members would be present. Maxwell Trucking was used for a sewer project and final payment couldn’t be made until the certified payroll records were properly endorsed.
- Solicitor James Naddeo reported a non-criminal complaint had been made against a police officer. He advised the board to conduct an internal investigation; the mechanics of the investigation were further discussed in an executive session, as it was a personnel issue. No action was taken following the executive session.
- The supervisors approved a resolution to be presented to the Election Board by Wednesday morning seeking a ballot question to voters regarding a tax increase for payment of emergency services.
- The supervisors were updated regarding the Recreational Park Board Grant that the road crew has been working on at the Recreational Park this week. The crew has been installing the bleachers and putting a windscreen around the ball field.
- Code Enforcement Officer Agatha Lauder-English investigated the Waroquier Coal noise complaint. She said that Waroquier Coal is pre-starting their equipment at 4:40 a.m., and they are not allowed to move the equipment until 5 a.m. She said there aren’t any operating rules, and there has only been one complaint so far.
- Lauder-English said she also inspected the Novey’s Recycling complaint with Johnston and Supervisor William Lawhead. She said a letter was mailed out with the violations, and they are currently working toward resolving them.
- Township Secretary/Treasurer Barbara Shaffner reported that a vehicle has been purchased for the township from Dotts Motor Company. The board approved and back-dated the purchase.
- The supervisors rejected its bid from Fall Construction of Sheffield for painting the township building in Hyde. The bid was in the amount of $24,990. Fall Construction noted it was only interested in doing the entire project and of the assumption that the paint isn’t lead.
“I don’t like the assumption clause in that because I can’t guarantee that. That building is old enough that it could have lead paint on it,” Brown said.
Naddeo said he didn’t think the township could accept this bid, because the assumption clause was included in the actual bid. He said it negates the bid because it is not what was asked for.
The supervisors decided to contact a previous bidder to see if they can negotiate the job for less than $25,000.
- The supervisors decided to advertise for bids for the winter road materials. They will use the exact same average for bidding as last year. The winter of 2011 was mild, and not all the supplies were used. It was decided to receive bids for the same amount, as more snow would be expected this winter.
- There were neither any letters of interest submitted for the vacant positions on the Zoning Hearing Board nor the Lawrence Township Planning Commission. The supervisors decided to hold off from further advertising.
- The supervisors approved paying the two estimates for New Enterprise Stone & Lime for the Hillsdale project. The total due for estimate number four is $5,264.90; the total due for number five is $13,030.07.