Carriage Hill residents frosted by long-delayed snow removal

By on February 11, 2016

Being snowed in for three long days heated the tempers of residents in the Carriage Hill development in Reamstown.

Seventeen of those residents made their sentiments known at the Thursday, Feb. 4, meeting of the East Cocalico Township supervisors.

Those living in Carriage Hill, next door to Ridgeview Estates which abuts Reamstown Elementary School, said it was not until Monday, Jan. 25, that a snowplow began work on the roads of the development of approximately 20 homes.

Andrew Terry, 5 Surrey Drive, was the initial spokesman for the group

“It’s been horrible,” he said. “We could go nowhere for three days and this development has had residents for 14 years. The township did a great job when it finally got done.”

Other residents said that rescue equipment such as a fire truck or ambulance would have lost valuable time waiting for snow clearance to get to an emergency. One man said his wife, who is a nurse, was called twice by a hospital to come to work and she was unable to get there.

The supervisors sympathized with residents and explained that the developer, Paul F. Stitzel, from Hamburg, Berks County, did not complete the necessary work to have the development roads dedicated, which would allow the township to plow snow.

Supervisors explained that although the township cannot take over the roads until the developer completes items on the list from the township, Stitzel recently has shown “good faith” in moving toward that goal. Therefore the township has agreed to clear the development roads for future snows requiring plowing.

Residents expressed displeasure with supervisors not using their solicitor to advise them of actions they could have taken to eliminate the developer “dragging his feet” for 14 years, when the first homes were sold. They hoped supervisors “learned a lesson” from this development and history would not repeat itself in another.

The supervisors approved Haller Enterprises low bid of $41,279 for HVAC renovations for the lower level of the municipal building where the police department is located. This includes all associated controls, repairs to the upstairs heating system for better floor level heat, and a service contract.

State Sen. Ryan Arment met with supervisors on Jan. 28 regarding municipal concerns.

Supervisors said their reported concerns were:

* Arbitration rulings, such as East Cocalico’s case with the police contract, where the economics of the area and what that population can afford doesn’t seem to be considered.

* Pension reform.

* Prevailing wages.

* Adoption of the radar bill which would permit local municipal police to use radar for speed control.

In other business, supervisors:

* Accepted, with regret, the resignation of East Cocalico Manager Mark Hiester.

* Agreed to enter into an agreement with Rettew Associates to engage Steve Gabriel as interim manager.

* Accepted with regret the resignation of Brian Wise from the Traffic Impact Fee Advisory (TIFA) Board.

* Appointed Zoe’s House, an animal welfare group outside of Sinking Spring, Berks County, as the township’s dog depository. Corporal Terry Arment, East Cocalico Police Officer In Charge, explained that often strays are claimed by their owners while the police are caring for the dog. The department has a fenced in area with a doghouse outdoors, and officers have been known to personally care for a stray for a few days. The department immediately puts any stray dog information on its Facebook page. Dogs not claimed would go to Zoe’s House at $125 per dog.

* Authorized signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PennDOT for detours when the South Muddy Creed Road Bridge is repaired in spring 2017. Hiester explained that normally when detours are needed on a state road, another state road is used. In the area of South Muddy Creek Road, no other state road exists so township roads need to be used.

* Approved the Fifth Annual Rumspringa Marathon on Saturday, April 16 from 8 to 11 a.m. An estimated 400 runners are expected to participate in the race directed by Uberendurancesports.

* Approved the 2016 rental agreement for $600 for the Reamstown Swim Team to use the Reamstown Pool. The fee includes use of a storage shed for equipment.

* Approved the 2016 Reamstown Pool Snack Bar Agreement with Donny Stover.



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