No concession stand for Antrim Township Community Park

PAT FRIDGEN

Bids for a concession stand went out the window again. The Antrim Township Board of Supervisors struck out in a fourth effort to finalize the presence of a food stand/comfort facility at Antrim Township Community Park at the Dec. 14 meeting. Over the summer the board rejected a bid of $139,353 for a 30x30 building due to documents which didn't follow specs, and because some felt the bid was too high. After a contentious discussion the board then voted not to construct a stand at all. Next a supervisor tried to round up volunteer labor for the project but was unsuccessful. In September the facility was modified and let out to bid again.

Tuesday night the results were in, and the construction companies, plumbers and electricians who bid made errors or omissions in their paperwork. The supervisors and township admininstrator Brad Graham were surprised and disappointed. Solicitor John Lisko informed them the township could not allow any waivers because grant money was set aside for the construction. If the bids were acceptable, the price would have been approximately $17,000 less than the earlier low bid. Supervisors Curtis Myers, James Byers, Samuel Miller, Rick Baer and Fred Young III unanimously agreed to reject the bids and did not take any further action. One idea pondered was to pour a concrete slab or lay crushed gravel in the area between the four baseball fields, and let teams bring in portable concession stands. The bids for a pavilion were also rejected due to an incomplete submission.

GRC General Contractors was awarded its bid of $29,300 to construct tennis/basketball courts.

Let there be fireworks

Two supervisors wanted to honor the views of Antrim residents, who several years ago opposed the establishment of a fireworks store at exit 1 in State Line. Though the Sky King project is still inactive in the Community Commercial zone, the township amended a zoning ordinance in 2006 to only allow fireworks sales and storage as a conditional use in Highway Commercial. The lot size was ruled to be at least two acres, with a 250 foot setback on all sides. Last week Miller and Byers supported that ordinance as written.

Tom Burke, a property owner near exit 3, told the board he had been contacted by Keystone Novelties about the 17 acres he owned near exit 3. He asked for consideration, since no one else had approached him about developing his land since he purchased it in 2005. He wanted the setback requirement abolished, or half of his acreage would go to waste.

Brian Shaub from Keystone had attended the Nov. 23 meeting. He supported House's suggested changes in setbacks, fire suppression systems, lot sizes and parking, adding that she went beyond what he had asked for.

Resident Bob Coladonato wondered if a gas station, which was a permitted use in HC, would be prevented from building at the exit if a fireworks facility got there first, since there had to be a distance between them. Byers cautioned that changing an ordinance should not be due to specific plans of one company, but in the overall scheme of what was deemed best for Antrim.

A Miller/Byers motion to retain the current ordinance was defeated by Baer, Young and Myers. A Young/Myers motion to allow zoning officer Sylvia House to advertise an ordinance change as drafted passed 3-2.

Visitors return

Robert Wertime and Brenda McQuait returned to express their concerns about Norfolk Southern's terminal as it could affect air quality. Both had researched EPA standards and said the township had the right to establish stronger regulations. McQuait offered to visit a Virginia terminal to see how the rail company handled pollution control there. Baer and Lisko asked her for copies of her information.

Wetime chastised Antrim for the lack of a requirement for sewer modules. He said DEP had asked him what the municipality had done, and EPA said Antrim had the power to implement land development plans. He worried that Norfolk Southern had been given "carte blanche" and the township could be setting a dangerous precedent for future developers.

Greg McLanahan from Public Financial Management and Scott Mehok, bond counsel for Eckert Seamans, explained options for refinancing the Antrim Township Municipal Authority 2005 and 2006 series bonds. McLanahan said ATMA could carry the loan through a bank or Antrim could get a bond for the greatest return. Because the township leased the sewer plant from the authority, it could change the arrangement to a simple lease. By consensus, the board directed the men to have Antrim issue a general obligation bond and take the savings at the end of the loan.

In other business, the board approved an agreement with OnDemand Energy as an electrical supplier in 2011, using a program offered through Chamber Choice.