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Supervisors asked to level fees for satellite and cable television

| Thursday, Aug. 1, 2002

Supervisors were asked to consider a franchise fee for satellite television companies in the township during a meeting Wednesday.

Resident Mark Fiano addressed supervisors stating his most recent cable bill contained a 3 percent increase due to the franchise fee the township imposed on Armstrong this year.

"It looks like the largest and selective tax increase in over 20 years in the township," said Fiano.

Fiano said only those who have cable television will feel the effects of the township ordinance enacting the franchise fee, and asked how the township plans to use the funds derived from the fees.

Supervisor John Coughenour explained revenues from the fees would be used for basic operating costs for the township such as health and liability insurance, which have risen significantly in the past few years.

Fiano said he understood costs are rising, but asked why only cable television subscribers are seeing an increase in their bills.

He asked supervisors to look into imposing a fee on satellite television companies. Supervisors agreed to do so.

Also during the meeting's public comment period, resident Kenneth Shea informed supervisors a new problem has developed at his property on East Lake Road in Bear Rocks during heavy rains. He said large amounts of storm water drain onto his property bringing ash and other debris into his yard.

Supervisors said another resident in Shea's neighborhood has already informed them of the problem. Supervisors intend to clear the drainage ditch along the road down from the cross pipe to see if it corrects the problem.

In response to additional public comments, supervisors said they would contact Roger Adams regarding junk vehicles still parked on a property in Bear Rocks. The property owner appeared before District Justice Robert Breakiron on June 17 and was given 30 days to either remove the vehicles in violation of the township ordinance that prohibits more than two unlicensed vehicles on a property or to appeal the decision. supervisors also agreed to check the weight of the truck the owner parks on his property to see if it exceeds the 10-ton weight limit for roads in Bear Rocks.

Supervisors were informed of a property at the end of Forest Street that contains junk vehicles and car parts. Supervisors said they would investigate the matter.

Solicitor Michael Macko urged Bear Rocks residents to have their homeowners' association enforce related restrictive covenants listed in the deeds for properties in the community.

During a discussion of new business, supervisors announced A.C. Moyer Co. began the second phase of the township's paving project Wednesday.

They also passed a resolution approving a modification to the CDBG program for the 2000 fiscal year to use $10,000 remaining from that grant toward work done on Poorbaugh, Medsger, Wiltrout Hollow, and Whipkey Roads this summer.

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