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Conoy Supervisors Hear About Plans for New Bainbridge Retail Store

Conoy Township supervisors heard about plans to build a Dollar General store on the site of a former gas station and convenience store in Bainbridge, which will require approval from the Zoning Hearing Board to go forward.

Paul Platko, the real estate site selector for Schuylkill Haven-based MBC Development LP, and Terri Delo, a project manager from the architecture, engineering, environmental and land surveying firm BL Companies, described the plans to township supervisors at their meeting on Thursday, July 11. Zoning would normally require 51 parking spaces; the project aims to have 31 parking spaces instead. Platko said Dollar General stores typically have 25 to 30 parking spaces and usually have only five or six customers’ vehicles parked at a time. Usually, three employees are working at a time, he said, but there could be four or five when the store is receiving deliveries. The store is planned to be 9,100 square feet; a variance for intense commercial use is required for a store of more than 3,600 square feet.

The Zoning Hearing Board is to hear the requests for variances at a meeting on Thursday, July 25. Supervisors voted to have their chairman, Stephen L. Mohr Sr., represent the township at that meeting rather than a lawyer or an engineer.

The site of the planned store at River Road and Chestnut Street is the former location of a Uni-Mart gas station and convenience store. That was the only place in Bainbridge that sold gasoline when it closed several years ago. Mohr said the space was too small for current regulations for gas pumps, but the pumps serving that store had been grandfathered in. He said the township had tried to get another convenience store and gas station, but operators such as Turkey Hill and Sheetz were not interested in serving an area with a traffic count that low.

Also at the meeting, supervisors discussed the Bainbridge Fire Company’s request for $33,815 for a new generator to supply electricity during a power failure; its old generator is broken and is beyond repair. Supervisors agreed to defer action on that until their August meeting. Mohr said the generator was there because the fire station needed to be available as an emergency management headquarters in the event of a problem at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, but with that closing, a generator might not be needed. Mohr noted that the garage doors can be opened manually and although the siren summoning firefighters will not work without electric power, they are alerted to emergency calls via cellphones these days.

Mohr also said a deer gave birth to two fawns in Bainbridge recently and the fawns have been seen in the fire company parking lot and the Arch Street playground, Mohr said. He urged people not to let children chase them. The fawns are being fed by their mother, but they will not cross the railroad tracks with her to go to the woods, he said.

“It’s unusual they’ll come into town like that,” Mohr said.

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