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Donegal Township receives annual Act 13 Impact Fee payment

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Donegal Township's board of supervisors on Monday voted unanimously to amend its 2014 budget to include an Act 13 Impact Fee distribution of $62,461.

The money will be added to the township's capital reserve fund.

It represents roughly $12,000 more than the board anticipated the township would receive via the fee when supervisors approved this year's township spending plan.

“We had budgeted to receive $50,000, and we actually got a little more than that,” said Trudy Harkcom, the board's secretary, adding that the capital reserve will total roughly $64,000 with the infusion of Act 13 dollars.

The higher-than-expected amount was based, in part, on an increase in the price of liquefied natural gas, said Tom Stull, the board's chairman.

The fee covers any potential damage related to the Marcellus shale natural gas extraction process, according to supervisor Dan Pribisco.

The money will be used for road reconstruction and reconstruction equipment and materials, Stull said.

Ridge Road work nears completion

Stull said the installation of an improved drainage system on Ridge Road has been completed.

The work, completed by El Grande Industries Inc. of Monessen, involved the installation of new cross pipes, drains and precast and concrete inlets on a 12-mile, uphill stretch of the road near a cluster of township homes, he said.

In 2012, the board applied for and received $43,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding via Westmoreland County's Department of Community Development for repairs and upgrades to the road.

Last fall, the county agreed to allocate more than $24,000 in additional grant funding to the township to secure a contractor to complete the work.

County officials offered the additional money after increased erosion on the road in the area of several residences, along with damage wrought by torrential rain storms which hit the township in late August.

Those factors prompted supervisors to invest approximately $10,000 of township funds into keeping the road up to speed for motorists, Stull said.

The funding was used to hire El Grande — the lowest bidder for the work — at a cost of $67,235.

When the work wound up costing roughly $80,000, the county saw fit to offer one more boost to the township to make up the nearly $14,000 difference.

“We always like to work with municipalities in situations where they have invested their own time with their own skilled labor and work force,” said Terri A. Yurcisin, deputy director of the county's Department of Planning and Development's Community Development Division.

According to Stull, the township will finance $50,000 worth of paving to take place where the system was installed.

“We're doing that on our own,” Stull said. “We really appreciate the extra CDBG money from the county.”

Township awaits PennDOT feedback

Supervisors also said they have yet to hear back from PennDOT officials reviewing information gathered at public meetings concerning a pending project involving reconstruction of State Route 31 around the Donegal interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The project is aimed to improve safety and reduce congestion throughout the corridor, according to Kevin Bittner, a consulting engineer with Gibson-Thomas Engineering Co., the engineering consulting firm for the PennDOT project.

There are potentially 66 properties that could be impacted.

They include 45 potential partial acquisitions and 21 with potential displacement.

Bittner said of those 21 that could be displaced, four are due to potential physical impacts, six are because of potential impacts to the parking or access to the property, and 11 are because of potential impacts to septic systems.

Supervisor Henry Hoffer said the state agency effectively gathered information from township residents for review. In turn, township residents offered a reasonable discourse, he added.

“I thought PennDOT did a good job of asking questions,” he said.

The board's next meeting will be at 5 p.m. Aug. 11 at the township municipal building.

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

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