NEWS

Antrim prefers bridge closing over extended detours in 2012

PAT FRIDGEN

Disruptions to traffic flow for six to eight weeks rather than four to five months prompted Antrim Township personnel to favor PennDOT’s inclination to close the exit 3 bridge in the spring of 2012 when it does resurfacing work.

The other choice was to keep a single lane of traffic open, supervisors learned Feb. 22. However, that would mean the project could take the entire construction season and would be more expensive.

Township administrator Brad Graham said the detour would affect anyone traveling on U.S. 11 and local residents would know the most convenient side roads. Visitors to the area would find the detour annoying.

PennDOT was required to use its own roads for any rerouting of traffic, Graham explained. Therefore, southbound traffic would go on I-81 to exit 1 and backtrack. Northbound would go to exit 5 and come back to exit 3 on the interstate.

“We’re all in agreement to close the bridge and get it done as quickly as possible,” he said of his conversations with PennDOT and engineers.

Greencastle resident Craig Myers said one concern was truck traffic entering the borough, and the likely “nightmare” at the U.S. 11/Route 16 intersection.

The board also addressed an application Atapco wanted Antrim to submit to PennDOT as the developer sought permission to add a turn lane at U.S. 11 and Commerce Avenue. Atapco was applying for a highway occupancy permit and wanted Antrim to do the same after it received an indemnification agreement from them.

Antrim solicitor John Lisko had spoken to two PennDOT representatives and didn’t understand why the application was necessary, since Atapco needed the permit to access its own road, Antrim Commons Drive. The township should only be required to turn in paperwork for modifications of the lights and stormwater management, he said.

Zoning officer Sylvia House responded that it was a proactive measure to save time if the state made a comment on Atapco’s application.

Supervisors Sam Miller, Rick Baer, Curtis Myers and Fred Young III authorized Graham to sign the agreement and apply if asked. James Byers was absent.

Other business

The board explored an option but did not take action on proposals from Pennsylvania Rural Water Association and other companies to collect on delinquent sewer bills.

Township secretary Mary Klein reported that 500 notices were sent out the past quarter, out of 3,500 customers.

“It’s getting harder and harder for us to collect the money,” she said. “Even a 25 percent fee is better than the nothing we’re getting now.”

Two properties were accepted into the ag security program. They were 141 acres on Fort Stouffer Road and 29 acres on Hollowell Church Road. The Planning Commission had recommended the action and also for the township to wait 180 days for the land to default into the program. Otherwise, the township had to hold public hearings on the matter, at an expense. After the six months the acreages would be eligible to enter the county preservation program.

Graham announced he had hired ProTech Electronics to upgrade the security system on municipal grounds. The system was outdated at 20 years old. The new equipment was for sensors on motion entry, smoke, fire, and a new monitoring device for the overhead garage doors. Graham also added the capability for him to receive reports on who entered the building through private access codes.

Supervisors were also interested in considering cameras, especially for the rear of the building.

The board needed to finalize a new lease with Antrim Township Municipal Authority by March 3, since the bonds would be paid off by that date. One final detail from the financial restructuring was to set an accurate figure for ATMA’s administrative expenses. In the past the budget called for $4,000, but that was short of the actual $11,000 each year. The supervisors unanimously approved the new lease, with those expenses not to exceed $12,000.

Craig Myers was named the Emergency Management Coordinator for Antrim Township.