East Cocalico supervisors sell used police vehicles, talk roadwork

By on March 23, 2016


Reflecting the downsizing and reduced coverage area of the East Cocalico Township Police Department, supervisors approved the sale of two police vehicles.

A 2010 Ford Interceptor with 140,000 miles and a 2007 Ford Explorer with 234,000 miles were both awarded to high bidder, Ted Covington Sales, Pottsville, at the supervisors Thursday, March 17, meeting.

“Four bids on each vehicle were submitted,” said Chairman Doug Mackley. The Interceptor is basically a Crown Vic, which isn’t made anymore, and sold for $1,533.00 The Explorer sold for $888.

A busy summer of projected road projects includes a leveling course and overlay on Gehman School and North Muddy Creek roads. Some of the roads slated for oil and chipping are Long and Ridgewood avenues, as well as Woodcrest Road and Pinewood Drive. Permission was granted to advertise for bids on the projects.

Residents Jeff Mitchell and Brian Wise said that when Roadmaster Ken Eshelman came to the supervisors meeting when plans for the Foxbrooke Development on Route 897 were being discussed, they found the roadmaster’s comments regarding how the development’s winter road maintenance would work useful. They wondered if the roadmaster might come to a few meetings a year, especially when larger projects, such as all the summer ones, are discussed.

Mackley said that supervisors do an annual road tour to see and learn more about road conditions from the roadmaster and they’d be glad to answer questions.

“When the roadmaster was here before, it was on his own time,” Mackley said.

Supervisor Noelle Fortna, board secretary, reported a positive pre-planning meeting with two people who might be a “potential Carriage Hill buyer.”

Pre-planning meetings save a developer money because questions about zoning, water, and township regulations can be answered at one meeting by administrators attending from each of these offices. Pre-planning meeting costs, such as paid time for an engineer or other professionals, are paid by the developer.

The Carriage Hill development is located off Reamstown Road, adjacent to the development next to Reamstown Elementary School. Part of the development is completed.

Supervisor Alan Fry, board vice president and liaison for recreation, recommended, and supervisors approved, hiring 22 lifeguards. Pay rates are $8.10 to $9 per hour.

Pool attendance last year set a record high, Fry said, and noted he looks forward to another successful summer.

Recreation board members Curt High and Jim Brossman volunteered to help with some work to begin the proposed trail for Stoney Pointe and assist if needed in relocating the disc golf.

In other business, supervisors approved an amendment to the police pension plan document to remove the “killed in service benefit.”

“I sat in on an audit meeting,” Mackley said. “The state has changed the language in their state pension plan and they now pay when an officer is killed in service. We need to remove this from our plan because it could be confusing.”

In other business:

* Adamstown Area Library President Jane Webber and Treasurer Mike Wetherhold, updated supervisors on the planned purchase of the former Adamstown VFW building for $225,000 on April 29. A public “Before Party” from 3 to 7 p.m. on April 29 will permit people to walk through the former VFW building, 110 W. Main St., to see it before renovations begin.

The building will become the Brecknock Cocalico Community Library, and more than double the outgrown space and parking places the current library has. April 29 also officially marks the capital campaign kick-off for the new library. The new library will have a mortgage. Currently the library rents space in the Adamstown Borough Building for $1 per year. Adamstown Council gave the library a gift of $150,000 for the new library. The Friends of the Library group pledged $100,000. Webber and Weatherhold said that they will be looking for additional donations to help with this community project and they thanked the supervisors for their annual contributions.

* Public comment following the library presentation provided some tense moments for everyone.

Mitchell asked Mackley, who he knew was working in the municipal building during the March 15 recreation board meeting, why he “didn’t drop in on the meeting.”

Mitchell also asked what two supervisors (Mackley and Fry) were doing/discussing “in the back room for 20 minutes after the rec board meeting.”

Mackley said that the two were signing checks and no township business was discussed.

“Now, come on; it wasn’t that long,” Fry said. “It was only 15 minutes, if that.”

Mitchell didn’t disagree with Fry, and began asking Mackley another question regarding the two supervisors being together. (Sunshine Law states a quorum is needed to conduct business. Municipal business must occur at public meetings, except in certain circumstances.)

“You’re getting close to stalking me,” Mackley said. “Are you stalking me, yes or no?”

Mitchell began speaking and Mackley interrupted, raised his voice, leaned forward, pointed his right, index finger at Mitchell and repeated: “Yes or no?”

Mitchell switched topics and asked why Stoney Pointe didn’t have a homeowners’ association, like Foxbrooke is planning.

“There’s a big difference between the number of homes in Stoney Pointe and the 400 units planned in Foxbrooke,” said Fortna. “The two developments are very different.”

Remarks about playgrounds and the park concluded Mitchell’s public comments.

In other business:

* The supervisors approved the floodplain ordinance as mandated by FEMA.

* Zoning Officer Tony Luongo reported permits for two new single family dwellings in Februrary and 13 false alarm violations. The zoning hearing board approved with conditions the Reamstown Fire Company request for an LED message board sign.

* Supervisors approved sending 2016 mowing and lawn care packets to last year’s vendors, with whom supervisors were pleased. J. Bang, Green Lawn Mowing and Landscaping, mowed and Bob Landis, Total Lawn Care, did weed control.

* Resident Jim Miller asked about any decisions regarding a target shooting ordinance following the accidental shooting of a female resident inside her home. Police arrested seven people for reckless endangerment and other charges.

“We certainly don’t ever want anything like this to happen again,” Fry said.

Mackley indicated that they are studying the issue and want to think it through.

“We all have paperwork on our desks and items to read concerning this,” he said.


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