DCNR grant could help fund Chapel Gate trail

By on February 15, 2012

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff mreiff.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

A grant may be the answer to funding for West Cocalico Township’s walking trail at Chapel Gate Park.

As plans continue to move forward for the proposed nature trail in the Reinholds area park, a new revelation may lead to an increase in price, announced township manager Carolyn Friesema at the Feb. 2 board of supervisors meeting.

"Jim Caldwell (of Rettew Associates, the township’s engineering firm) said the area identified as wetlands is actually much bigger," she said. "He is making a revised plan … we need more boardwalk than we thought."

The park is located at 57 Parkview Drive in the Chapel Gate development. It currently includes a soccer field, baseball diamond, tot lot, basketball/all purpose court and pavilion. Planning has been in the works for a nature trail for some time now.

According to Friesema, the park board will decide at its February or March meeting whether or not to apply for a grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

"If we do that we would need to have more than a walking trail because we would be competing with other parks rather than other trails," said Friesema.

The engineers are still working on coming up with a total price for the improvements, but if the township moves forward with grant application, the hope is that DCNR will pay 50 percent of the cost.

Friesema explained that receiving this grant would enable the addition of certain items to the park right away, such as picnic tables at the far end.

Jacque Smith, board chairperson, sees multi-use potential for the walking trail. He feels, however, that something preventative needs to be done to the area to the right of the parking lot, where vehicles have been driving and ripping up the ground.

"This has been going on for years," said Smith. "It wouldn’t cost us much to put a split- rail fence or parking curbs down along there."

Friesema noted that the curbs would be more favorable to those doing the mowing, since it wouldn’t require mowing around anything.

Supervisors also discussed an ordinance proposed to restrict trucks with trailers over 28 1/2 feet long from traveling on Kiln and Strickler roads and parts of Wollups Hill Road.

"This is a safety concern as the trucks are too long to be able to make the turns without either crossing into the other lane of traffic or entering private property on the edge of the road," said Friesema.

East Cocalico Township Police Chief George Beever requested to see the ordinance before it is approved to possibly save some time and money. He noted that problems with truck traffic and detours could be due to the reliance of truck drivers on GPS, some of whom have a difficult time reading English.

"If they can’t read English they can’t read detour signs," he said, suggesting that is how some of them end up in out-of-the-way areas.

The supervisors hope to pass the ordinance on March 2.

In other business:

? Exploration is continuing into refinancing the property at 1975 N. Reading Road in order that repairs can be made by Lift Inc. This is the site partially used by BC Natural Chicken and owned by East and West Cocalico townships, Denver and Adamstown for the past seven years.

? Chief Beever reported multiple recent vandalism incidents in West Cocalico and surrounding areas where car windshields are being broken, shot at or knocked out with golf clubs.

? A stormwater disturbance plan was approved for Ridge Road resident Dwight Fox. Supervisors were happy with the improvements made to the property. More WEST COCALICO, page A10

About Ephrata Review