Catasauqua Press

Friday, December 14, 2018

Hanover council not giving up on Troxell repairs

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

An ongoing discussion on the condition of road repairs on Troxell Avenue and surrounding streets continued at Hanover Township Council’s meeting Oct. 3.

The township experienced some major problems with leaking water lines that damaged sections of roadways. The area is served by the Bethlehem Water Authority, which repaired the leaking supply lines. They covered up the trenches and sealed the roadway. The repair was not up to code or to expected standards.

“They did a repair on Hoover that meets our expectations,” Councilman Robert Heimbecker said. “What we have in Sherwood is not acceptable.”

The township met with representatives of Bethlehem Water Authority, who, after evaluating the results, determined the paving met their standards. The township contends the patches do not meet either accepted Pennsylvania Department of Transportation standards or township standards. The township is willing to bring the matter to court.

To meet the demands of the legal process, Solicitor Jackson Eaton offered to bring in a company to measure the inconsistencies in the roadway to determine if it meets PennDOT standards. Heimbecker objected to the extra cost, indicating the poor quality of the patches was visibly apparent.

If Hanover takes the matter to court, it could be months or years before a resolution is reached. Troxell Street is scheduled for resurfacing in seven months at the township’s expense.

Chairman Bruce Paulus asked Eaton and township Manager Christopher Garges to propose an option. Under Paulus’ plan, Bethlehem would mill high spots in the road and repair major cracks, essentially enough to get through the winter. The township would put the finish coat on in 2019 as part of its street repair program.

There were questions on who accepted the finished product from the subcontractor. The discussion determined that Bethlehem accepted the finished product. Garges pointed out that Bethlehem did not get a permit as required.

The results of Paulus’ proposal will be presented at the next meeting.

After numerous rewrites, council held a hearing on its fireworks ordinance. The new ordinance conforms to the state code. Fireworks are confined to 6-11 p.m. There are no time restrictions on sparklers. However, it remains that you cannot throw sparklers into a passing car or similar offenses.

Consumer fireworks conform to a state rule that prohibits display within 150 feet of an occupied structure. That condition largely rules out displays of consumer fireworks. Local rules are provided for professional displays.

Rules prohibiting consumer fireworks do not seem to resolve the problem. Garges proposed that fireworks violations be included in the list of township enforceable violations so local code enforcement officials can issue tickets and fines.

Township Engineer Albert Kortze updated council on the status of the township’s MS4 permit, which regulates stormwater runoff. The plan was submitted, and the new time frame for the permit began in January 2018.

The permit has not been approved. The township’s plan involved spending between $300,000 and $400,000 in detention facilities. According to Kortze, the Department of Environmental Protection is suggesting that the airport, which pays no taxes to the township, be included in the stormwater plan. Kortze contends the township cost could triple by including the airport.

“They have their own permit, and they have their own requirements to comply with the stormwater rules,” he said.

The disagreement is still open.

According to Kortze, there are 160 small municipalities with open permits waiting for resolution, and none have been issued in 2018. The five-year permit window started in January 2018.