Antrim rejects expensive park building, gives Graham raise

PAT FRIDGEN

Samuel Miller thinks it is ridiculous to spend $200,000 for a concession stand at Antrim Township Community Park. Miller, James Byers and Rick Baer discussed the building at the Aug. 25 Board of Supervisors meeting. Fred Young III and Curtis Myers were absent.

The township had a proposal for a cedar two-story facility in the middle of the baseball complex under construction at the park. In order to use DCNR grant money, matching $225,000 in funds, the concession stand had to be designed by an architect or engineering firm. One quote listed $141,000 for the shell, $8,000 for electrical fixtures, and $14,000 for plumbing fixtures. By the time appliances and other necessary features were added, Miller expected the project to cost the rounded-up figure.

"Let's forget the grant," he said. "That's still taxpayer money. Let's put it out to bid locally."

He asked the board to look at a concession stand erected in Marion for a fraction of the cost, including donations from the public, and solicitor John Lisko added that one at the Kauffman Ruritan Center was also very nice.

Byers added, "I'm tired of rushing and spending money."

On a Miller/Byers motion, the three voted to reject the expensive plan, bid out a base block building and take a look at the two area concession stands. Lynda Beckwith was appointed local project coordinator for the DCNR grant, as required in the documents.

The board discussed a request by the Marion Volunteer Fire Department to receive its approved township contributions.  In reviewing the records, administrator Brad Graham said $5,000 was approved at the organizational meeting toward an emergency generator. Antrim had typically given the department $5,000 each year for general expenses also. That had not been put in the budget for 2009 but Byers was sure the board intended to make that donation. The additional expenditure was authorized.

Other business

Greg Creasy, Antrim traffic engineer from Grove Miller Engineering, answered questions on signalization in State Line as a result of pending development in the Molly Pitcher PRD. He said a 2006 traffic study indicated that lights at the Route 163 and East Avenue intersections would eventually be necessary to mitigate extra traffic. PennDOT was seeking Antrim's opinion for both sites.

Miller was especially concerned about East Avenue in front of Earl's Market. Creasy had stated that if Antrim did not take the lead in making the improvements, the developer would have to. Miller wanted the business intersection done first, with the many vehicles entering and leaving the roadway from Earl's, Il Castello Restaurant, Susquehanna Bank and two churches. Another traffic study had been conducted by the developer in 2008 but Creasy had not seen those results. On Lisko's advice, the board decided not to submit any letters to PennDOT yet.

A hearing was held amending ordinances related to uniform construction codes, sewers, streets and sidewalks, subdivision and land development plans, and zoning. No one testified except zoning officer Sylvia House, who pointed out the changes. It was then adopted.

Graham reported that the Melrose Meadows homeowners association expressed interest in partnering with Antrim to turn 10 acres into a natural preserve. The Pennsylvania Game Commission had plotted it into meadows and a wooded area, as well as trails. Developer Tom Shook did not want the land any more. It is currently rented to a farmer. The HOA offered money and labor toward the project.

William Needy was appointed EIT Committee member, with Mary Klein as alternate. They will represent Antrim on the new Franklin County tax committee.

The board will appoint a township auditor to replace Henry Carbaugh, who resigned effective Dec. 31. The position is normally elected. Anyone interested may submit their name to the township. The auditors typically meet in January to set wages for any supervisors employed by the township.

An executive session was called at 8:55 p.m. Myers had arrived just minutes before. When the supervisors returned at 9:40 p.m., they granted Graham a 12 percent raise since his six-month probationary period had successfully ended. His salary went from $50,000 to $56,000.