Salem hears driveway wash-out complaints
By Rodney L. Sherman
CLARION NEWS Editor
Salem Township supervisors this month heard complaints from two residents upset about water damage to their driveway entrances.
Sue Moss-Schruers of Triangle Road and Dwayne Van Tassel of Cropps Corners Road both said recent heavy rains damaged their driveway entrances because the roads are not properly sloped or because ditches are backed up and force the water over the driveway.
"The end of my driveway washed away and it needs to be repaired correctly this time," said Schruers.
Van Tassel said he recently spent "thousands of dollars" having his driveway sealed and chipped only watch the materials wash down the creek after water overflowed a ditch and washed out his driveway.
Van Tassel said he brought a similar complaint to the township two years and nothing was done to correct the matter.
"I know these rains we've had aren't normal, but I was here two years ago about this," said Van Tassel. "I'm not here to poke you in the eye but I am poking you in the behind to get something done. I wasn't too happy to watch thousands of dollars in materials wash away."
Supervisor and road master Eric Sherman acknowledged there are some problems.
"The rain has been terrible," said Sherman. "We have PennDOT municipal services coming in to look things over and hopefully give us some advice on how to fix some of these things that have been let go for years."
Equipment decisions made
Sherman and fellow supervisors Larry Smith and Eric Barnett made several decisions regarding township equipment.
The board declared an old road roller machine of little or no value, clearing the way to sell the roller for scrap metal.
The machine has not run for several years and several attempts to sell the roller were unsuccessful.
The board of supervisors also agreed to offer a John Deer tractor and boom mower to Ashland Township for $5,500 and possibly an old truck Salem Township could use for parts.
Smith suggested the township start looking for information and prices for a new or quality used one-ton general-purpose truck.
The township's current one-ton truck is basically worn out and will have difficulty passing inspection without expensive repairs.
"Let's see what's out there," said Smith.
Finally, the board tabled action on the possible purchase of a new road grader.
Like the one-ton truck, the township's current road grader is wearing out it's more than 30 years old. It's been increasingly difficult to find parts for the machine.
The board of supervisors heard proposals for a new grader last month.
The board is considering two models a John Deere 622G at $246,153 and a John Deere 672G at $261,879.
The difference between the graders comes down to blade size and other options depending on what the buyer wants to do with the machine.
Final prices and financing totals could change slightly depending on what optional equipment the supervisors decide to include or drop.
The board of supervisors agreed to seek additional information about possibly establishing retirement plans for qualifying employees.
The township is considering 401k plans under which the township would match employee contributions up to 3 to 5 percent.
Sherman said the move is aimed at retaining employees.
Currently, only two or three employees would be eligible to participate in the plan.
Spook Hollow Road
The Salem Township Board of Supervisors remains interested in working with Ashland Township to replace a bridge along Spook Hollow Road.
Sherman said he saw a feature in the CLARION NEWS reporting Ashland Township is considering a "jump bridge" along the little-used road.
The project has been under discussion between the neighboring townships for a couple of years now.
The deteriorating bridge at the site spans a high-quality water stream that feeds into the "Beaver Ponds" area.
Permitting and engineering costs for a full-scale replacement bridge or even the installation of a large pipe would have been a heavy burden on both townships.
The "jump bridge" proposed by Ashland supervisors is available at a much lower cost.