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Forward Township approves timbering ordinance

| Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 3:41 a.m.

Forward Township's board of supervisors approved a timbering ordinance on Monday night.

The ordinance aims “to encourage the owners of woodland to continue that land use for the long-term production of timber, recreation and wildlife habitat,” promote stewardship, protect the rights of adjacent landowners and the public and minimize the impact of “improper timber harvesting.”

It sets standards, including buffer zones.

“It is going to regulate timbering and set up a permitting process,” township Solicitor Matthew Racunas said.

“We've had a few bad experiences with timberers in the township,” board chairman Tom DeRosa said.

The board authorized advertising for bids for paving eight township roads, including all or part of Brauft and Ferry streets, Ivory Lane, Dorring and Homeplace drives and Saddler's Hollow Road.

A report from Amy Cline, the township's representative to the Twin Rivers Council of Governments, prompted DeRosa to wonder why the township doesn't get federal Community Development Block Grant funding for roads, whereas it does for demolition.

“Where (other Twin Rivers COG members) get $60,000 or $70,000, that money stays there and is visible (on the roads),” DeRosa said. “When you tear down a house a contractor gets $20,000 and drives away.”

Former supervisor Tom Headley pointed to a possible need for local matches to CDBG funding. Racunas said he would look into how Elizabeth matches its block grants.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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