“We’re caught with our pants down,” said Dallas Township chairman Frank Wagner after a presentation by township engineer Tom Doughton.
Doughton told Dallas Township supervisors they must hurry if they’re going to take advantage of their 2011 community development block grant. The $100,000 grant must be spent by October. He explained the lengthy process which included engineering, bidding and getting federal approval.
According to Doughton, the money has been sitting for two years and now the board has limited options because of time constraints. But he named two projects which would meet federal guidelines and which could be approved and completed in the given amount of time.
The first project described by Doughton is a footbridge near the Kunkle Fire Station to replace an old bridge taken down several years ago. He also said that improvements to Old Tunkhannock Highway have already been approved.
After discussion, the supervisors gave the go-ahead to both projects.
They then discussed possible projects for the 2014 $100,000 grant available for use by the township. Doughton said that new federal guidelines severely limited the ways the 2014 money could be spent.
Attorney Mark Van Loon presented a proposed zoning change for Misericordia University. Van Loon said that the university is presently in two different zones and that neither fit. The university retained a consultant to propose an institutional zone which would make more sense for the university.
Board vice-chair Liz Martin had reservations about the amount of control the township would have over development if the zoning changes were implemented.
The supervisors agreed that a public meeting will be held to discuss Misericordia’s zoning proposal. Planning commission members, zoning board members and other interested township officials will be included in the meeting.
According to Van Loon, the objective of the new zoning proposal would be to restrict the impact of the university on surrounding areas. But he said the proposed zoning change would give the university more latitude within its boundaries.
Resident Tom Stires made a presentation to the board about problems with runoff on his property, citing many contacts he has had with Roadmaster Martin Barry.
Doughton remembered there was a stormwater easement property near the Stires home.
Stires said that stormwater is no longer running through that easement. He believes that cutting back the berm on the easement would solve the problem. “I’m asking for something to be done,” he said.
Solicitor Thomas Brennan said that before the proposed SALDO (Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance) amendment can be voted on, a public hearing must be held. The time and place of that hearing will be advertised.