Supervisors want review of energy project

Shawn Hardy

Antrim Township supervisors are asking for a visit from a representative of Transource Energy to update plans for the Independence Energy Connection.

One potential route for new overhead electric transmission lines passes through part of eastern Antrim Township. Transource held a number of open houses about the project, including one two weeks ago that drew hundreds to the Kauffman Community Center.

The township received form letters asking supervisors to address concerns and protect residents.

Supervisor Pat Heraty said at Tuesday’s meeting that he’s personally opposed to 130-foot towers in the township, but in the end it’s a private matter between property owners and Transource.

“We all want the grid enhance … it has to go somewhere,” said Supervisor Fred Young.

Brad Graham, township administrator, will reach out to Transource about sending a representative to a meeting.

The Independence Energy Connection is a $320 million project connecting two existing 500-kilovolt transmission lines in Pennsylvania to substations in Maryland, along with two new pathways to alleviate electric gridlock. The local segment includes 25 miles of overhead transmission lines connecting a new substation to be constructed in Franklin County to the existing Ringgold Substation near Smithsburg in Washington County, Maryland. According to Transource, 25 miles of line would mean about 125 towers.

In other business

Supervisors approved a request from Georgina Cranston, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, for a $1,800 donation for the community Christmas tree. She plans to ask the Borough of Greencastle for the same amount to cut down, put up, light up and keep the tree looking nice for Heritage Christmas.

The tree-lighting ceremony, with carols and community organizations contributing to the festivities, will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17, followed by the Christmas parade at 9:21 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Heritage Christmas will be celebrated the first three Fridays in December.

Tina Gipe of Boyer & Ritter presented the 2016 audit report. Asked to comment on the overall financial picture and practices of the township, she said the township is very healthy financially and has a good fund balance.

Supervisor Pat Heraty noted the township has total assets close to $70 million, a healthy cash flow and investments that are starting to pay off.

A note will be put on the plan for James and Heidi Zaiger for 10823 Grant Shook Road concerning the shared use trail. The plan must have an easement for the trail and its installation may be required in the future.

At this point, the trail is not near the Zaiger property and it has not been determined which side of the road it will eventually be placed on.

Supervisors said they need to discuss their plans and vision for the shared use trail at a work session. The trail system is envisioned for much of the township and currently runs from Antrim Township Community Park past developments off Williamsport Pike nearly to Greencastle.

Heraty said that early Tuesday morning, he saw at least eight trucks parked along Antrim Commons Drive and asked if there is anything the township can do to keep tractor-trailers from parking on the Interstate 81 ramps, as well as parking lots like Sheetz and Eldorado Stone near Exit 3.

Graham acknowledged truck parking is “a problem the full length” of I-81.