Nature walking trail in the worksWest Cocalico discusses water, roadway issues

By on October 12, 2011

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

The Chapel Gate Park in West Cocalico Township may soon have a walking trail surrounded by trees and bushes, according to township manager Carolyn Friesema, who showed some concept designs to Rep. Tom Creighton when he visited the site recently.

"They would like to make it more of a nature habitat," said Friesema at the Oct. 6 board of supervisors meeting.

Creighton, who is going to look into getting funding for the project, feels there should be money available since it will be encouraging the fairly large population in this area to walk.

"It is a feasible idea because it complements the park, complements the people that live there," noted supervisor James Stoner.

Friesema added that the park and recreation commission, highly interested in establishing the trail, will be opening up their Oct. 26 meeting to the public in order to let interested community residents make their comments and secure volunteers.

Several residential property and roadway issues were also addressed at the meeting. The first was a resident complaint of a storm drain backup at 911 Parkview Drive, resulting from Tropical Storm Lee.

"Tom (Showalter, roadmaster) and I went out and looked at it. It’s a nice little fish pond there right now," said Friesema. "It silted up terrible."

Friesema noted that the issue was brought up at a previous meeting. It was tabled at that time because the property is partially owned by the homeowners and partially owned by the township, and the homeowners did not want to fix it.

The question was raised of whether Showalter should do the repairs even though he has a backlog of work or if an independent contractor should be hired.

"If we don’t do something, this winter when the water freezes back up in there it’s going to cost us a lot more if we have to go back and fix that," said Stoner.

Chairman Jacque Smith proposed that the association be notified as to what their responsibility is and that they have a certain amount of time to take care of it or that the township is going to do it and they are going to be billed.

"We’ve had a complaint. We have to address it and get the response from them," said Smith. "If it looks like we can’t do it we can notify them that because of backlogs we may need to get an independent contractor."

Friesema brought it to the board’s attention that a resident of Sandy Hill Road had a contractor put in a road curb. He was told by the township that he had to get a permit and an engineer. Not only did he end up not getting a permit, but the road curb was an illegal height: six inches instead of the maximum allowance of four.

"We have a contractor coming out to tear it out and restore the edge of the road," said Friesema, who added that the resident has a certain amount of time to do this and pay it or his house will be liened at his expense.

Two additional roadway observances were discussed. Friesema noted that the metal plates may soon be gone on Route 897, since construction crews appeared to be out stuffing pipe down earlier that day.

Also, Smith addressed the issue of citizen complaints about the current construction on Swamp Church Road.

"People have had to back up and turn around because work crews were not letting them through," said Smith, who added that travelers were not noticing any "road closed" signs.

The supervisors discussed ideas of who to invite as the guest presenter for their December meeting. It has been traditional to have someone speak on municipal issues at this time.

Sgt. Ray Burns of the East Cocalico Township Police Department offered to speak on behalf of the Youth Aid Panel. Burns was instrumental in getting the panel started locally about five years ago.

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