Antrim to hire another employee

PAT FRIDGEN

Following an executive session March 9, the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors voted to add another employee to the road crew. Administrator Brad Graham was authorized to also write a job description for a person to replace Paul Minnich, roadmaster/maintenance superintendent, who resigned in February. The title was changed to public works director, and will include responsibilities for roads, utilities and parks. The vacancies will be advertised.

Fred Young III, Curtis Myers and Rick Baer supported the measures. Sam Miller had left the meeting by that time and James Byers was absent.

Engineer finally hired

Though the hiring of township engineers is usually settled in January, the fate of Brinjac Engineering wasn't finalized until last Tueday. At the Jan. 4 organizational meeting, the supervisors present, Young, Myers, Miller and Byers, hired Martin and Martin, Brinjac, Frederick Seibert and Associates, and Dewberry-Goodkind, as township engineers for various responsibilities.

The Antrim Township Municipal Authority interviewed engineering firms Jan. 18 and on Jan. 25 approved a resolution 5-0 recommending the supervisors hire Brinjac for the sewer system. The two entities are intertwined because ATMA owns the sewer plant and leases the operation to Antrim.

During deliberations last week, Young said it was 'ridiculous' to change engineers midstream but the township should open up future projects to other companies. "Antrim Township shouldn't be beholden to any engineering firm."

Graham cautioned, "Keep in mind there is value in having history. I'm concerned if every project has a different engineer we'll be forced to have someone on staff qualified to watch every project. We don't have the manpower for that."

Brinjac has worked for ATMA for 12 years.

Young said the ATMA vote wasn't as unanimous as it seemed. He reported he had spoken to three of the members separately and they also had issues with Brinjac.

Steve Zeller was present and took the brunt of criticisms on behalf of his employer for past performance. Myers was irritated the township was billed when the company sent someone down to pick up a $100 check. He pointed out that the firm had lowered its price on one project after the board challenged the numbers.

"How much have we overpaid for years?" he asked. "And your billing has been atrocious. It is not itemized."

Graham said the firm had improved in that regard.

Miller supported retaining Brinjac. "If they get their act together, I have no problem giving them another year."

On a Miller/Baer motion, the company was hired for 2010, with Myers also in favor and Young opposed.

Zoning under debate

Discussion on possible changes to Antrim's zoning districts was delayed until another public meeting, set for 6 p.m. Thursday, March 18. Miller had hoped the five supervisors could express their opinions at the current meeting, since none had shared their own thoughts yet. Young wanted the Planning Commission back instead. "I value their opinions."

The PC and Antrim met together Jan. 26 when zoning officer Sylvia House introduced the first alternate plan. A March 4 worksession brought out citizens and developers who gave input.

House said based on that information, she would be designing a new map with significant changes.

Other business

Because Fayetteville Contractors used an incorrect PennDOT formula for billing calculations, it overcharged Antrim $42,504 for roadwork. Graham said the company had already returned $32,674. Out of the balance due, it wanted to keep $4,446 because of extra mobilizations required when Antrim did not have roads prepped in time so they could do their work. As a result, the paving was done in October rather than August. The board agreed and FC will refund the final $5,383.

Sewage enforcement officer Jonathan Piper had submitted an idea to help fund his position, since reimbursements from the state had dropped. Other townships were charging waste haulers $5 or $10 per pumping of septic tanks. The board turned down the concept.

Antrim secretary/treasurer Mary Klein was appointed security officer and privacy officer to comply with HIPAA regulations for township data and personnel information.