West Cocalico hopes to give speeding a red light

By on July 25, 2018

In delivering a police report to West Cocalico supervisors at their July 17 meeting, Ephrata Police Lt. Tom Shumaker discussed traffic issues in the township with two members of the board, James J. Stoner and Leon Eby. Supervisor Jeff Sauder was absent.

The police report showed 16 traffic citations for the month of June, and 14 vehicle crashes. Supervisors asked if the number of crashes was high, and why there were so many collisions that month — whether, for example, high school students on summer break might be sowing their wild oats in dangerous ways.

Shumaker did not attribute the crash rate to anything specific.

“We had a busy month,” he said, adding some good news: fatal crashes, he said, have been down in recent months.

Many serious crashes, Shumaker said, are speed-related; supervisors discussed problem areas.

“South Cocalico Road is bad,” Stoner said, also mentioning the intersection of Sportsman’s Road and route 897.

Shumaker also reported a finished speed enforcement detail on Main Street, where the department issued over a dozen citations recently. He noted that stop sign violations are a problem, talking about one scofflaw he cited who didn’t even slow down much.

“He sailed straight through it,” Shumaker said.

Stoner also mentioned problems at stop signs, ascribing a kind of lemming-like behavior to lines of stopped drivers.

“When there’s a line of vehicles,” he said, “when the one goes, the others keep following after.”

Supervisor Leon Eby asked Shumaker about fireworks violations, in the wake of the busy Fourth of July season.

“I’m not aware that we made any arrests in any municipalities,” Shumaker said, noting new laws that make additional types of fireworks legal in Pennsylvania this year. “I know we do get a lot of complaints about fireworks.”

“I don’t know what they’re setting off, but it’s loud,” Stoner said of a possibly unrelated noise issue. “It shakes the windows down at my place… I don’t know where it’s coming from.”

Later in the meeting, township manager Carolyn Hildebrand gave the township a thumbs-up on finances.

“I feel like we’re doing really well financially,” she said, reporting that revenues are tracking higher than projected in the budget, with expenses staying right about on track.

Supervisors also discussed a new project in collaboration with the regional sewer authority, to buy a plot of land for a new treatment plant. Stoner said the state requires the township to complete its plan by the end of the year.

“I don’t anticipate any reason why we won’t have that done,” he said. “We’ve already asked for three extensions. I don’t know if they would give us another one.”

Hildebrand said a plan proposal should be available to the public in September.

Justin Stoltzfus is a correspondent for the Ephrata Review.


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