Antrim farmer anxious to build

PAT FRIDGEN

A Guitner Road farmer wants to build another poultry barn, but Antrim regulations on stormwater management were slowing his construction plans. Dennis Rife appeared before the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors June 7 to ask for some relief. If he couldn’t get an exemption of some sort, he said he would halt his plans to expand his operation. That would hurt the school district, which would benefit from the additional real estate taxes without adding more children to the enrollment.

Last year Rife received an exemption from stormwater development plans for a 63x500 foot barn, which replaced one that burned down. This year zoning officer Sylvia House denied his waiver request for an adjacent barn of the same size, and she said the supervisors acted on the matter. The four present, Sam Miller, Rick Baer, Fred Young III and Curtis Myers, however, did not recall ever voting on it.

Rife hired someone to design a system, and the person chose an infiltration trench. The plans had been returned several times by Antrim’s engineer, Dewberry Goodkind, for more information. Because Rife’s consultant was not a certified engineer, the plans had to be approved by another one, which added to his expense. Rife wanted to switch gears and install two retention ponds instead, and to begin barn construction at the same time. He was willing to get a bond to protect the township and guarantee he would finish the water management system.

The supervisors understood his dilemma. Because Franklin County Soil and Conservation District was also involved, and Rife had obtained National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, those issues had to be cleared. The board said if Franklin County approved the change, they would too.

In other business, the supervisors discussed changes to the Comprehensive Plan, which would be reviewed by the committee of township, borough and school district representatives on June 30. House said one term that disappeared was Conservation by Design. It would now be called Conservation Practices. Nutrient trading was also taken out, replaced by phrases that supported Chesapeake Bay strategies which would not require upgrading the sewer treatment plant.

Zoning districts were reduced to match what Antrim currently had in the ordinance, which allowed several areas to utilize smaller lots, resulting in higher density. An old plan for the connector road was taken out, since it would have run through what is now Norfolk Southern property.

The board met in executive session to discuss personnel.