Antrim wants engineers to oversee Norfolk Southern work

PAT FRIDGEN
The Hykes Road overpass, under construction at the Norfolk Southern train tracks, has Antrim Township supervisors concerned. They want their own engineer on site to monitor the work.

Antrim Township supervisors were concerned Oct. 11 about the quality of work Norfolk Southern was doing on the ramp for the Hykes Road bridge. While the overpass won't be done for some time, the preliminary work was being supervised by an NS engineer daily, but no one had been on site to critique on behalf of Antrim.

Curtis Myers had observed the activity and said it didn't appear the new ramps were being compacted during the construction process. It looked like topsoil was being dumped, and that would not get denser. Sam Miller had also watched dump trucks deposit wet fill, which when dry, would "bust up the road."

On Sept. 13 the board had voted unanimously to hire independent engineers to inspect the bridge construction, since the township would be responsible for its maintenance. James Byers thought an engineer had already started, but Antrim administrator Brad Graham said Oct. 11 that there was a delay because Dewberry Engineering was still drawing up its proposal. He agreed to get them out to the site immediately.

In a brief conversation about 2012 road projects, Byers advocated limiting what was done to only grading and maintenance, since township crews were behind schedule on this year's projects. If Hollowell Church Road was paved, he wanted it to match what PennDOT had done to its portion.

Business tidbits

The Planning Commission wrote that it opposed closing Patton Bridge Road, "based primarily upon the belief that the access to the Conococheague Creek should remain open and available for public recreational use and enjoyment." The closure would negatively impact the property at the end owned by Lee and Dean Meyers, and the commission also thought the "inappropriate and illegal use of the area" should be handled by law enforcement, not at the expense of public use of natural resources.

The Meyers and their attorney, Thomas Steiger, had not reached a mutual agreement with the parties who wanted Antrim to abandon the final stretch of the road - William and Heidi Yaukey, and Glenn Dice, working with attorney Paul Schemel.

"It's an unusual situation," said Steiger. "Maybe we can work something out, with more time, if there is a legal way to limit access."

The board took no action after a lengthy discussion on possible remedies.

The board reviewed recommendations from the Park Committee, to use a pending donation to fence horseshoe pits; to add nine beginner holes to the 717 Flying Disc Golf Club course; and to improve and add mountain biking trails.

Because the township personnel policy and the health plan document did not match, the board decided to drop the ability for part-time employees to be covered under the township health insurance plan, paying 50 percent of their own premium. It had been available to anyone working 20 to 39 hours per week.

"No one fits that category now, and no one has ever asked for it," said township secretary Mary Klein.

"Not to be cruel," said Myers, "but that's why we have part-timers, to save money."

Miller asked that Brinjac Engineering appear at a future meeting to present its findings on a 2010 study on developing pretreatment criteria for transmissivity of liquids sent to the sewer treatment plant. The discharge from Waste Management had not been as clear as desired, but the township had taken steps at the plant to make sure it was handling it as efficiently as it could. The study was to determine if WM, or any company, should install systems to pretreat their waste.

Miller also expressed his displeasure that Antrim accepted Armada Drive and part of Antrim Commons Drive from Atapco before Antrim Business Park was built out, as was policy. On Sept. 13, he was the only nay vote on accepting the road, not yet developed, and thought it set a bad precedent for other developers.

"It makes it more attractive to tenants," said Fred Young III. "I'm comfortable with it."

Since no activity had occurred on plans for renovating the municipal building, Young asked that a committee get active. Byers and Miller opposed any construction until the building was connected to public sewer, and even then, Byers only wanted the former district justice office made usable.