Rice Township supervisors discuss Ice Lakes and road repairs

By Tom Huntington - For Times Leader

RICE TWP. — Supervisors briefly discussed the Ice Lakes this week when township resident Karl Kaminski scolded them for getting involved in “a bad deal in taking over the lake.”

“It’s going to cost a tremendous amount of money and you (the supervisors) are going to be held liable if something happens out there,” Kaminski said.

Kaminski’s comments came following a report by engineer Andy Pasonick that the project to repair the dam has been placed on hold because of winter weather. But Pasonick said work could resume by March 1, and he estimated it could be completed by May 7.

Following Kaminski’s remarks, Supervisor Rick Arnold rebutted that in his view, “that lake is the jewel of Mountain Top.”

“It is a great natural resource for the township and an equally great recreational area for the people,” he continued. Arnold also said the repair project wasn’t a mistake.

The only other comment on the issue occurred when supervisors approved Pasonick’s proposal to accept a change order “to secure as built drawings of the dam structure upon completion of the outlet retrofit and repairs at a cost of $5,000.”

The proposal was enacted on a 3-0 vote.

The other major topic of discussion came from Supervisor Chairman Robert Pipech. He said township roads are in “horrendous” shape because of the multiple freeze-and-thaw cycles so far this winter.

There are 23 miles of roads in Rice Township. Pipech said the maintenance crew has been filling potholes with cold patch “and doing a tremendous job but (the reality is) we’re going to have to do a lot of paving this spring. The hard part is, however, money is tight.”

In mentioning the township’s finances, Pipech also noted Rice is facing a $4,000 bill to repair the transmission on the “big truck.” He said the township has four maintenance trucks; the other three are available for storm and road work.

In other matters:

• Supervisors approved a $1,740 payment to attorney Sam Sanguedolce.

• The board allocated $1,100 for the annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 24.

• In his report on the fire department, Supervisor Arnold said membership is still declining. There is an urgent need for people to step up and volunteer.

• It was noted that PPL subcontractors will be trimming trees and performing vegetation management work along roads paralleling Big Wapwallopen Creek with access across Twin Lane.


By Tom Huntington

For Times Leader