Martin’s Mill Bridge to get grant, a lift

PAT FRIDGEN

A century and a half-year-old bridge in Antrim Township will be getting a real boost.

Antrim administrator Brad Graham, in response to a citizen's query at the Tuesday, Dec. 13 regular meeting of the board of supervisors, talked about a $700,000 federal grant the township just received for Martin's Mill Bridge.

Awarded by the Federal Highway Administration, the money will not be available for several years, and will be distributed by PennDOT.

Graham said it would be used to extend the life of the 162-year-old covered bridge. Antrim also received $245,000 in matching earmarked funds from Rep. Bill Shuster's office in 2008, but Graham said it was yet unclear how much of the new money would have to be matched.

Road end finally closed

The Patton Bridge Road conflict ended quietly Dec. 13 with terms that satisfied neighbors along the rural road. Attorney Paul Schemel appeared before the Antrim Township Board of Supervisors to present a compromise between William and Heidi Yaukey, Dean Meyers and Lee Meyers, and another family on installing a gate closer to the private homes in an effort to discourage unruly visitors at all times of the day or night.

"Tonight we're able to turn in, thankfully, an agreement that was signed by all affected parties," said Schemel. The plan would leave a couple parking spaces for the public, allow access to the Conococheague Creek through the Yaukey property, create a turnaround for vehicles, and keep an access for the Meyerses to get equipment to their farm field.

The Yaukeys first approached Antrim in 2009 to close the end of the road. They have called Pennsylvania State Police a number of times because the area was used as a dumping ground, for parties, and other activities they felt put their family at risk. The supervisors agreed to temporarily close the end of the road and the Yaukeys will cover the cost of putting in a new gate and alterations to the layout of the deadend, as well as legal fees of the township.

Other business

The board set a Jan. 24 hearing date for adopting a floodplain ordinance, and to hear from Greencastle Land LLP, formerly called Greenspring Valley, located off Craig Road. The developer wants to provide private water instead of subscribing to public water through Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority. Antrim planned to hire a hydrologist to review the data compiled by the developer's own water consultant to verify it had an adequate water supply.

Following an executive session, James Byers, Curtis Myers, Sam Miller and Fred Young III voted with regret to terminate the employment of sewer plant operator Lynn Shatzer. Graham said the township hoped to fill the position as soon as possible to return the utilities crew to full staffing.

Laurels fly

With just one short meeting left for outgoing board members Myers and Miller, several people thanked them for their six years of service. Myers did not run for re-election and Miller was defeated in the primary by John Alleman and Pat Heraty.

Schemel, also leaving a spot on Greencastle Borough Council, hoped that the two municipalities could work together on issues. He thought it quite possible.

Citizen Dan Pellicano appreciated the open discussion at meetings, with the public allowed to comment before and during the sessions. "Often times you make your decision based on things you've heard from the people in this room."

Young said the tenacity and passion of the two outgoing supervisors led him to run for office too. He applauded their accomplishments: defeating the construction of a municipal building, restructuring the organization of the township, eliminating the real estate tax and building the $2.3 million Antrim Township Community Park.