Farmer wants his shed back

Joe Shearer, right, has asked Antrim Township to solve a problem created by the paving of a rural road. Sheri Morgan, left, attended the Jan. 12 Board of Supervisors meeting, holding a sign that read, ‘19% of Americans have a disability. ADA is the law.’ She did not speak during public comment.

For the second time, Joe Shearer approached the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors to ask for a remedy to regain use of his shed. He told the board Dec. 29 and Jan. 12 that due to the paving of Shinham Road in 2009, he'd lost the practical use of his storage building.

"You raised Shinham 10 to 12 inches and widened it, too. My shed is close to the road and now I can't open the doors to get my tractor out. What are you going to do about it?" he asked.

Because the shed sits too low now and is about five feet from the road, he explained that he can't extend the doors fully, and the cab won't clear the roof. In addition, in the past he could fuel farm equipment on a level surface. Now a tractor tips half on the road and half off.

Shearer said in the 1950s Antrim moved the shed for some road work. He wanted it done again, or raised three blocks. Water runoff was also a problem on the dirt floor.

After the first meeting Chairman Curtis Myers said solicitor John Lisko would have to look into options. Board members wondered if the shed was in the township right-of-way. Lisko said at the January meeting that it likely was not, since Antrim would have surveyed before moving the building. The stormwater could be controlled but the road would have to be milled or the entrance to the shed raised. Shearer said the latter wasn't possible.

"The supervisors are stewards of the taxpayers' money," Lisko said. "They must do something that works. We have to solve the problem."

Fred Young III commented, "There's got to be a more common-sense approach than moving a shed."

Without anyone knowing the true figures, speculation was that a replacement steel building for the three-bay shed could be $25,000.

James Byers and Samuel Miller offered to go to the farm to review the situation.

Shearer was also dissatisfied with another result of the paving. "It's like I-81 down my road now. Yes, the road was rough, but it's a back road. I liked it when people drove slow."

Martin's Mill Bridge

Administrator Brad Graham told the board it was time to decide whether to use the $245,000 earmarked from federal funds for restoration of Martin's Mill Bridge. If the answer was no, Congressman Bill Shuster would release the money for other recipients. Marty Malone from P. Joseph Lehman, Inc. reintroduced an October proposal for rehabilitation. While that document had said a complete job would cost $800,000, his firm would scale back to meet the budget of the awarded funds. Because of the economy, no other outside funds would be available for restoring the historic covered bridge.

Antrim would be responsibile for the soft costs, such as engineering, which would be $55,070, he said.

Malone and Antrim personnel had met with John Kennedy from PennDOT, who said doing 'something' could extend the life of the bridge for several decades. He had suggested roof repairs, insect damage repairs, fire retardant treatment and cosmetic work.

The board voted to spend up to $75,000, which would cover unexpected costs. Graham reminded the supervisors the expenditure was not included in the 2010 budget.

Other business

Antrim received a cost estimate for the community park concession stand from Centura Associates. The company thought construction would be $155,925; plumbing, $18,225; and electrical, $28,350. Expressing surprise and disappointment at the numbers, the supervisors felt with some certainty that through the bidding process, the total cost would be much less. They approved putting the building out to bid and paying Centura its professional fees of $850 for bidding administration, and $3,850 for the design. Centura's final fee would equal seven percent of the construction cost, of which those two expenses are a part.

The township heard back from seven companies in its request for proposals for an information technology service provider. It awarded a one-year contract to Global Data Consultants, LLC, Chambersburg. The total was $20,550, which included backup services.