West Donegal Township supervisors heard from a township resident who was upset about water drainage during storms and wanted to be reimbursed for work she and her husband had done to improve drainage at their own expense.
Cathy Cassell told supervisors at their meeting on Monday, June 10, that there have been major problems with drainage on her property on Furnace Hill Road near Hess Road. She said she had tried contacting the township repeatedly about the problem. She said the township manager and roadmaster had come to the property unannounced and surveyed the property, leaving pink spray paint in the yard.
Cassell said she and her husband, Gerry, had quarry stone and piping installed at their own expense in May and since then, the problem has not returned, even in torrential rain.
“The drainage we put in front of our yard works,” Cassell said, adding that it has not pushed the problem onto neighbors’ yards.
Cassell gave a letter to Supervisor Doug Hottenstein asking for compensation before leaving the meeting. Later in the meeting, Hottenstein said the request was for $2,500 and asked township staff to respond to this issues Cassell raised.
Roadmaster Todd Garber acknowledged that he had surveyed the property, but said Cassell had asked him to do so, then invited him in and smiled when he told her his findings. Garber said he had given Cassell his phone number and told her to call him day or night about flooding problems, but she did not call. He said he stopped by on his own accord. He said he regretted not getting Cassell’s contact information when he gave her his phone number; he said if he had it, he would have called before showing up at her home.
Supervisors Chairman Roger Snyder said the township should forward the letter seeking compensation to the township solicitor to get advice on how to respond. Hottenstein said the township should be careful to document everything it does related to the property, even driving by it. Township Manager John O. Yoder III said he expects the work the Cassells had done will not improve drainage indefinitely and that eventually the situation will be back to what it was before.
Supervisors were also informed of a proposed one-year extension to the intermunicipal agreement for Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation & Community Services. The current 10-year agreement for GEARS ends on Dec. 31, 2019; the extension is to be voted on at a joint meeting of elected officials from the region on Aug. 29. Yoder said a one-year extension would allow for time to come up with a longer-term extension. One issue that needs to be worked out is the Elizabethtown Area Community Services Authority, which manages the former school building on Poplar Street in Elizabethtown now used as a community center. Conoy Township withdrew from GEARS years ago, but is still part of the Community Services Authority; Yoder said separating Conoy Township is part of what needs to be worked out.
In other business, supervisors approved a waiver of a step in a subdivision plan for a development of five new homes near Newville Road between Turnpike Road and the Amtrak railroad tracks. Supervisors also approved payment of $1,632 to the company that had repaired the area inside the railroad tracks at the Bossler Road railroad crossing; the company had repaved some area just outside the tracks at the township’s request to make the crossing smoother.