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Wayne residents seek solution to road woes

| Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 12:51 a.m.
Bill Shirley
Denny Crissman a resident of Underpass road in Wayne Township is upset about the condition of the township roads, specifically Underpass Road and points a finger at Township Supervisors Dale Brockoff, Terry Rupp and C. Ross Grooms at the monthly meeting held at the Old Wayne Township Election house, Monday, March 4, 2013. Bill Shirley | For The Leader Times

WAYNE — Residents frustrated with the poor condition of their township road are a step closer to getting their issue resolved after bringing their complaints to the township supervisors during a public meeting on Monday night.

Donna Crissman and Michele Kowalski-Stanton both live in homes along Underpass Road.

At issue is their battle with icy road surfaces, potholes and concerns that the deteriorated culvert along the road poses a serious hazard to all of the residents living along Underpass.

They claim their road has been neglected by the township supervisors and employees.

Crissman asked why Underpass was overlooked by the township when it came to clearing snow and treating the surface with ash and anti-skid material.

“Who in this township decides on what roads are taken care of?” asked Crissman.

Kowalski-Stanton said her father and son have disabilities and both have fallen on the road. She told the supervisors she is concerned about their safety and about the family's inability to exit the untreated road for medical appointments during snowy conditions.

Crissman pointed out that other township roads also are in need of repair.

Supervisor C. Ross Grooms wanted to know why Crissman hadn't notified him before.

“We're doing the best we can,” said Grooms. “You never contacted me this year to tell me you had a problem.”

Grooms and supervisors Dale Brockhoff and Terry Rupp contend that Underpass Road lacks adequate room for township vehicles to safely turn around without endangering the drivers and risking damage to the residents' property.

They also claim their previous attempts at working out a solution with residents — such as putting in a turn around at the end of the road — were met with resistance last fall.

According to Rupp, Crissman's husband, Denny, was uncooperative in November when township employees showed up to make the turn around.

Denny Crissman had been present for a time at the meeting but left early.

“We're not going to send a crew down there to have someone antagonize them,” said Rupp.

Donna Crissman said she had not been aware of her husband's reaction to the work crews and said she would welcome the supervisors back to look at turn-around options.

Rupp was hesitant at first to discuss the matter because of the possibility of pending legal action brought against the township by Crissman and Kowalski-Stanton.

However, the women said that they had only contacted attorneys to get advice and would not be taking legal action.

Rupp noted that they have filled in some potholes, including ones on Underpass, but the work can't be done when the ground is frozen.

Some of the roads need the base to be rebuilt with larger stone before covering with smaller limestone, said Grooms.

“It takes time. You cannot fix 70 miles of road on the budget we have this year,” said Grooms. “We don't have enough funds or ashes available to paint every road black.”

The supervisors encouraged Crissman and Kowalski-Stanton to keep them informed.

“I don't see why we can't find common ground,” said Rupp.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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