Antrim builder over the line, option agreement expires

PAT FRIDGEN

Both parties made a mistake so they will split the $700 fee for a meeting with the Zoning Hearing Board. Zoning officer Sylvia House reported to the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors Aug. 9 that the as-built drawings of a house at 5663 Tranquil Way revealed it was constructed outside the setback. The township-approved permit stated the home would be built 28'7" from the rear property line, and Antrim's standard was 30 feet. Therefore, the builder needed to request a variance at a hearing.

House said Chris Picking, Homes and Spaces, had built many houses for Divinity Investments in the subdivision, and should have known the setback requirements. On the otherhand, she and assistant zoning officer Lynda Beckwith should have caught the error when they reviewed the permit. She didn't recommend letting the matter pass, since it could cause problems for future owners. She asked that the township pay half the hearing fee. The supervisors present, James Byers, Curtis Myers, Rick Baer and Fred Young III, agreed to do so. Sam Miller was absent.

They also approved a sign request by the Franklin County Historical Society. Antrim will purchase and install a historical sign with an arrow pointing to Brown's Mill School in Kauffman. It was be placed on private property. The cost of materials was expected to be around $70, plus a short amount of time for labor. The board also waived the permit fee of $25.

Water system sale

While Antrim administrator Brad Graham initially planned to table discussion on the township extending the loan from Antrim Township Municipal Authority to Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority until a full board was present, the others decided to discuss the option agreement in which the loan was a clause.

Since the timeframe on whether to transfer the loan had passed because 30 days had already elapsed from substantial completion of the water plant upgrade and all permits had been issued for operation, Graham said technically the agreement had expired. He thought there was enough interest to bring the matter up again.

Myers moved, seconded by Baer, to rescind the option agreement entirely.

"I don't trust their solicitor," Myers said. GAFCWA's legal advisor is Jan Sulcove. Myers had attended a meeting when Hess Development residents expressed their displeasure at the mandatory water connection Greencastle was enforcing.

The motion passed 4-0, though with regret by Byers.

Myers, Baer and Young confirmed to Byers that the sale of the water system was off the table.

Other business

Graham was authorized to prepare the specifications to bid for Antrim Township Community Park athletic field maintenance, including fertilizing, overseeding and aeration, as well as other determined needs. He hoped to award bids by winter for the work to commence in the spring.

Baer got one quote from East Coast Greens on a sprinkler system for the park, specifically the baseball and soccer fields. An inground system for baseball and a rain train sprinkler for soccer would be $26,000 per field if the well water flow was less than 70 gallons per minute, and $18,000 per field if it was over that speed. No action was taken.

The board revised a revision adopted July 26 regarding comp time for hourly employees. An early policy allowed 15-minute increments to be applied to overtime or comp time. Last month the supervisors changed that to one hour increments valid for 90 days. After an executive session last Tuesday, they changed the policy to let employees use the time worked outside of normal business hours in 30-minute increments, either as overtime or time off during the regular shift. There is now no limit on how much time builds up, but it has to be used by Nov. 30 each year, and any hours accrued in December must be accounted for in the same pay period.

"It morphed over the years to not be what's in the policy, so that's why we addressed it now," explained Graham.