Supervisors reverse Atapco decision

PAT FRIDGEN

A matter that was settled Sept. 14 was upended Sept. 28 after a short but contentious discussion by the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors.

Chairman Rick Baer said his vote was wrong at the previous meeting, when he joined Sam Miller and James Byers in requiring development company Atapco to reimburse Antrim indefinitely on expenses related to a traffic light to be installed at the entrance to Antrim Commons Business Park. Atapco, represented by vice president of development Patrick Coggins, had agreed to make a one-time payment of $100,000 for a light to go in at exit 3 near Comfort Inn. He wanted a similar agreement for the light planned to the north.

At the earlier meeting, Fred Young III and Curtis Myers supported Coggins' request, but went down on the 3-2 vote. Baer put the agreement back on the agenda, stating later he had been "a slacker" in not researching the issue more prior to the vote.

Antrim solicitor John Lisko said there were pros and cons for either method of guaranteeing monies for maintenance of the lights, but recordkeeping for the township would be more involved if a yearly reimbursement bill had to be sent to Atapco. Coggins had stated Sept. 14 that it was also more paperwork for him.

"We voted last meeting," interjected Miller. "There's no new information here. Why is this being brought up again? We used to have gentlemen's agreements that votes were final, but now we bring things up again until you get your way."

He said he had researched further when he realized the issue had resurfaced, and the owner of a traffic lighting company said the lights had to be replaced every 15 to 20 years, specifically the electronics and computers. Another consultant recommended asking for $200,000 per light for escrow. Miller was adamant that $100,000 was not sufficient, and expenses would eat into the principal.

Young countered that the money would draw 1.4 percent interest and that Atapco would have trouble attracting businesses who would have to contribute to the maintenance. He believed companies would refuse to settle in Antrim Township because of the light issue.

A Young/Myers motion to not enact the ordinance as advertised Sept. 20 passed 3-1, with Miller opposed. Byers was absent. A Myers/Young motion to create a traffic light agreement with Atapco paying a one-time fee of $100,000 passed 3-1, with Miller again opposed.

Coggins was present at the meeting, but did not speak. Lisko said Atapco paid for publishing the legal notice of the proposed amendment to the Code of the Township of Antrim, which included payment requirements for maintenance of the traffic lights.

Miller then moved that all other developers in the township be allowed the same concession concerning traffic lights, in the manner of fairness. It died for lack of a second, and Young said every situation was different.

The enactment of the revised ordinance, following the publication of another legal notice, will occur at the Oct. 12 meeting. If adopted, items tabled from Sept. 28 will be approved — an assumption agreement and traffic light agreement with Atapco, and signing a letter of intent from PennDOT for exit 3 improvements.

Water woes

The attorney for Green Spring Valley planned residential development off Craig Road submitted a letter to the supervisors asking for clarity on the ordinance requiring connection when a subdivision was within 500 feet of a public water supply. Such was the case to the Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority water system.

Zoning officer Sylvia House said Green Spring thought it would be cheaper to build their own centralized system.

Daniel M. Frey from Barley Snyder LLC pointed out key reasons why Green Spring did not want to go public.

• GAFCWA was not capable of providing water unless improvements to the system were made

• Greencastle wanted Green Spring to spend $3.5 million on the upgrades

• Greencastle expected them to erect a 750,000 gallon water tower

• a mile of new line and obtaining easements would cost another $1 million

• the improvements were more than were necessary for the PRD and would benefit future needs for others

• Antrim Township Municipal Authority was also unable to supply water

• the ordinance required a complete water main supply system, including fire hydrants, but Antrim could waive or modify that.

Frey concluded in the letter, "We request that the township acknowledge the ordinance has no application to the proposed development. Kindly provide a written response to this letter confirming the same."

Lisko said Frey could ask, but they didn't have to give a written determination. He thought the interpretation of the ordinance should remain consistent with the 500 foot rule and the PRD should connect. The supervisors shared the same inclination and tabled action to the next meeting.

Other business

The board approved a $6,800 quote from Martin and Martin Engineers to prepare the plans to connect the township building to the sewer system. It would include a low pressure sewer lateral served by a grinder pump.

Rather than pave along South Allison Street where it became a township road, due to residents complaining about the crumbling, the board voted to cut and patch the sides. They believed Antrim personnel could do the work for less than the professional paving bid of $4,486. Since some neighbors had paid to repair the parts in front of their homes, they didn't want to set a precedent by hiring a contractor for the others.

Secretary Mary Klein reported on the meetings she had attended concerning Earned Income Tax collection beginning in 2011. Representatives from Franklin County municipalities had considered three options for voting power on the Franklin County Area Tax Bureau, formerly called the Chambersburg Area Wage Tax Bureau. They were: keep with the current practice of Chambersburg Area School District with two votes, Chambersburg with three votes and everyone else one vote; one entity — one vote; or weighted votes as utilized by the Franklin County Tax Collection Committee based on population. The one vote per entity option carried and had to be approved by each municipality.

The supervisors appointed Klein to the FCATB and William Needy to the FCTCC, with the understanding both would attend both meetings.

The board met in executive session to discuss personnel.