Share This Page

Gilpin residents want better road maintenance

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Some Gilpin residents want improved roads and improved road clearing after snowstorms, even if it means a real estate tax hike.

Township supervisors on Monday heard complaints from a number of residents, particularly in the Godfrey Road area, about the condition of roads after a Dec. 29 snowfall.

Supervisors Chairman Mike Steimer told residents that one public works employee was on vacation and another got his vehicle stuck in a ditch on his way to the township maintenance building, leaving just one worker to plow 30 miles of townships roads.

Supervisor Ryan Sprankle suggested officials “black out” a number of dates in the heart of winter where public works personnel can't take vacation days. Solicitor James Favero said that might need to be negotiated with the Teamsters Union, which represents township workers.

Others wanted roads treated with road salt instead of plowing, but Steimer said road ashes are used because salt tends to damage tar-and-chips roads as well as unpaved roads. Residents have complained when road ashes end up in their yards, Steimer added.

Some were concerned that school buses can't navigate untreated roads during snowy days while others complained of drifting snow at the crest of Godfrey Road.

Residents asked that more roads be paved but the township allots just $90,000 per year — enough to pave one half mile of road. With the current program, it would take 60 years to pave all township roads.

A real estate tax hike of 4.5 mills would bring in $200,000 annually, enough to pave two miles of roads each summer. Favero suggested a revolving fund as a possible ballot initiative.

Supervisors voted 5-0 to have Favero research what is needed to establish a revolving fund designed for permanent street maintenance.

No residents at the meeting voiced opposition to a real estate tax increase.

Reorganization

Supervisors meetings will remain the second Monday of each month this year.

A meeting will be added in late December at a date to be determined.

Steimer was re-elected chairman and Jenine Remaley vice chairman.

Sharon Long was appointed secretary-treasurer and zoning officer at a salary of $4,300 per year.

The remainder of Long's salary will be determined today at a township auditors meeting.

Favero will continue as solicitor at a rate of $65 per hour and Larry Loperfito will be zoning hearing board solicitor at $100 per hour on an as-needed basis.

Doug Smith was reappointed to the water authority and Pete Pinto was reappointed to the Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority.

Dave Pochiba will be emergency management coordinator at a $1,200 annual salary.

Township engineer will be Bill Braun of Senate Engineering Co.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.