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Donegal Township road project to move forward

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The planned installation of an improved drainage system on a Donegal Township road can proceed following the recent completion of a study by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

At Monday's monthly public meeting, the township's board of supervisors voted to authorize the township engineer to advertise for bids for the Ridge Road project.

“We want to try to complete this project this fall, if possible,” said board Chairman Tom Stull.

In June, township officials applied for state Community Development Block Grant funding to help finance the project. The board was notified in early July that the township was awarded $43,000.

The project is intended to address complaints from township residents, who have said rainwater runoff washes gravel onto their driveways off of Ridge Road.

The project was postponed, however, until the state-required environmental study could be completed. The study included an analysis of endangered species including the buffalo nut, a rare form of plant life, Stull said.

“They didn't find any (buffalo nut plants) right in our project area,” said Stull, adding that the township was informed of the survey results in late July.

The board subsequently voted to sign an agreement to accept the project money, which will pay for a portion of the work.

The township has approximately $50,000 remaining of budgeted funding for roadwork, said township Secretary Trudie Harkcom.

“We've added up to $10,000 out of the township's general fund to help pay for these kinds of projects in the past,” Stull said.

Bids will be opened at next month's regular meeting at 5 p.m. Sept. 9.

The board also voted to declare damaged structures located on property along state Route 31 in Jones Mill owned by David F. Bendinelli and Joseph Pasquino to be a nuisance. The property owners will be notified by certified mail that the structures must be cleared within 30 days. If the owners fail to comply, township Solicitor Les Mlakar will be authorized to proceed through Court of Common Pleas channels to remedy the situation, Stull said.

“We could then get partial funding to tear (the structures) down,” Stull said.

During the public comment period, Beverly Braverman, executive director of the Melcroft-based Mountain Watershed Association, produced copies of a letter she wrote citing the potential environmental and quality-of-life impacts of a proposed mining project by LCT Energy. She said she will distribute the letter to residents of Donegal and Saltlick townships who live in the vicinity of the proposed project. LCT Energy proposes to mine nearly 3,000 acres of with surface facilities of nearly 70 acres, the letter states.

“They (LCT Energy) have also submitted a new ‘Intent to Explore' application that expands their interest all the way to Mammoth and Stahlstown,” Braverman said.

The annual fall clean-up for the township and Donegal Borough will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 27 and 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 28 at the township municipal building. Residents can bring large household items for disposal but no electronics. The board also recently purchased 2007 Freightliner dump truck with only 1,970 miles on it for $5,500 via the Federal Surplus Property Program.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or