Dirty business in West Cocalico: Supervisors say no go to convenience store until piles of debris moved

By on August 12, 2015

 

The West Cocalico Township supervisors dished a lot of dirt at their Thursday, Aug. 6, meeting and they had good reason to do so.

Piles of contaminated debris the size of a ranch house lay to the side of the Reinholds Getty Mart, 185 E. Main St, Reinholds. The discussion centered on removal of the debris.

Photo by Michele Walter Fry The piles of contaminated debris are preventing the re-opening of this convenience store at 185 E. Main St., Reinholds.

Photo by Michele Walter Fry
The piles of contaminated debris are preventing the re-opening of this convenience store at 185 E. Main St., Reinholds.

“The owner there is not the same as when the original tanks were taken out,” said Carolyn Hildebrand, township manager. The new owner is Harry Patel of Sinking Spring, Berks County.

“It was owned by Getty and Getty is in New York state,” she said. “They’ve also changed their name since they owned the property so the new owner has been trying to get Getty to write a letter saying they changed their name and they are the same company, and then to pass the insurance claim to him since he’s the new owner. He’s having trouble getting Getty to do that.”

The mart is ready to open, but Patel can’t do thath until the debris is gone. He has asked for a temporary occupancy permit. Patel said he is working with the township.

There is the fear that weather will wash the dirt and debris away and infiltrate into the area.

“That dirt is contaminated,” said supervisor Chair Jacque Smith. “Was it okay in that last downpour the night we had three-and-a-half inches in just a very short time?”

“If we grant this, then there’s no incentive for him to clean this up,” said James Stoner. “If we grant him a temporary one and have to go and close it down, that makes us look like the bad guys.”

Gasoline trucks were seen filling the pumps a week ago.

“If he has to remove it (piles) himself, it wouldn’t surprise me if it would bankrupt him,” Stoner said.

The supervisor said they would like to help the owner because it would help the community. However, they voted to deny a temporary occupancy permit.

In other news:

* Hildebrand attended a meeting Aug. 6 at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center to discuss preparations for a possible outbreak of avian flu.

* Sunoco Logistics is donating $50,000 to be used in West Cocalico parks.

* The township is trying to find a location along the railroad to store pipe which will be used in the Mariner East pipeline project. The property at 215 N. Line Road is being considered.

* The Main Street Park stream restoration project is moving forward with design and cost estimates. The owners of the area between the Main Street Bridge and the Creamery Road Bridge are willing to have work done on their property.

* The board is still accumulating and evaluating information of five police forces for coverage starting in the new year. They expect to have numbers in the next few weeks. East Cocalico gave a quote of $803,333.89 per year for police services. The quote is more expensive than this year, but less than in 2013.

* Supervisors unanimously voted to sell their share of the seven-acre land from the controversial joint municipal ownership property deal at 1975 N. Reading Road.

“It’s unfair for the taxpayers in West Cocalico Township to have been paying on that property for all them years,” said Stoner.

* The park board will discuss the possibility of planting a tree in memory of Terry Bergman, former Lancaster County sheriff who died while at an out-of-state conference last month.

Michele Walter Fry welcomes your comments at michelewalterfry@gmail.com.

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