NEWS

Antrim starts budget talks

PAT FRIDGEN

The Antrim Township budget for 2011 got a first look Oct. 19 as the Board of Supervisors pondered suggestions at a work session. Chairman Rick Baer, James Byers, Fred Young III and Sam Miller ran over a list of suggestions from administrator Brad Graham and staff. Curtis Myers was absent.

Above all other projects, Miller pushed for traffic lights or safety measures at the Hykes Road/Williamsport Pike intersection. Once Norfolk Southern closed Milnor Road next year for construction of its intermodal facility,  Miller said the added traffic to Hykes would increase danger to motorists at the limited visibility corner.

"I want it fixed before someone gets killed," he declared.

With Hykes a township road, and the Pike a state road, Baer responded, "PennDOT won't do anything. Do you want to spend our taxpayer dollars to fix it?"

Graham said if the dip was filled, studies would have to be conducted for the stream under the road between Hoffman and Worleytown. Miller said the $300,000 Antrim would receive from Norfolk Southern in lieu of them addressing the intersection could be used, though it had no designated purpose.

Byers and Miller also asked that Hykes Road be upgraded, except for the final overlay, before NS built its bridge over the tracks. They thought the wider and improved road could still handle the construction trucks, and would better accomodate the extra vehicles heading for U.S. 11.

Other roads under consideration were finishing Marion, Maryland Line, Coseytown, Hollowell Church and Lehman.

The Park Committee had turned in a list of wants. It hoped the budget would include repairs to the Antrim Township Community Park pavilion roof, ballfield maintenance and equipment, more picnic tables and a lighted flagpole at Enoch Brown Park.

"A lot of people have been asking for that because of the monument," said Baer. He had priced the pole and solar lights.

At Martin's Mill Bridge Park the committee wanted the culvert replaced, as well as the roof of the pavilion.

Byers added, "I'd like a professional tree company to really cut back the trees by the bridge. They have taken over."

Graham said document management software would be good for the office, but he needed to have glitches in the new computer system resolved first.

Antrim Township Municipal Authority also turned in a wish list. It wanted an updated map that showed all the lines and lift stations. Some of that information from newer developments was not shown. Two roofs at the sewer plant leaked and needed to be replaced. Other projects from 2010 were delayed, too, when the township considered switching engineers, Graham said.

ATMA and the supervisors wanted the municipal building hooked to public sewer.

Graham prodded, "How far do we go in sprucing this building up, or do we just renovate it?"

Byers said his only priorities were hooking up to sewer and using the space vacated by the district dustice in January.

One project not completed this year was to spend the $40,000 budgeted to move the controller boxes on both sides of I-81 at Route 16. When trucks bumped them during turns, it always resulted in emergency calls to Antrim to reset the lights. Graham would not say how many calls it received in 2010, but said based on the number, it was not necessary to move the boxes.

He asked about upping the donation to the Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library from $5,000 to $7,000 because of its building campaign. Young was supportive but the other three considered the library "a dying breed." Young defended it, saying it had become more of a community center as the staff shifted programs, some of which had waiting lists.

Graham had hosted a meeting with representative from Shanks Church of the Brethren and Antrim Meadows to find a route from the end of the Shared Use Trail into town. The supervisors looked at different options through the residential development.

Budget discussions will continue, and Graham hoped the draft would be ready Nov. 23 so it could be advertised.