ELK TWP. - Buying in bulk isn't something smaller, rural townships can often do, but Elk, Beaver and possibly Salem townships are considering a joint effort to bulk up on "tar and chipping."

Beaver Township Supervisor Jim Weeter was a guest at the April 12 meeting of the Elk Township Board of Supervisors to discuss a possible combined purchase of supplies and labor for tar and chipping in Beaver and Elk townships.

Elk Township Supervisor Dave Polatty said Salem Township supervisors had expressed interest in the joint effort, however, no one from Salem Township attended the talks.

Also attending the meeting were Steve Sanfilippo, Pennsylvania regional sale manager for Suit-Kote and Todd McConnell, a sales representative for Suit-Kote.

Suit-Kote is a privately-owned asphalt products manufacturer, road construction, maintenance, and asphalt applications engineering company based in Cortland, N.Y.

The company has done many jobs for various municipalities in the area.

According to Weeter, he, Polatty and Salem Township Supervisor Eric Sherman discussed contracting for the application of "tar and chips" on various roads throughout the three townships.

The individual townships would supply their own gravel chips and possibly enter a joint purchasing agreement for the tar actually an oil used to bind the chips to the road through the state COSTARS program.

COSTARS is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's cooperative purchasing program and serves as a conduitthrough which registered and eligible local public procurement unitsand state-affiliated entities are able to leverage contracts established by DGS to cost-effectively and efficiently identify suppliers with whom to do business.

The townships could then contract with a company to apply the oil and chips.

There are several drawbacks to that plan, Sanfilippo pointed out.

Sanfilippo said no contractors hired to do the application is likely to offer a full warranty on the work if that contactor did not supply the oil and chips.

Also, the townships would have to have the gravel chips delivered to a staging area where the material would then have to be loaded onto the contractor's trucks.

While all three townships have loaders, dumping the gravel on the ground and then reloading it into trucks for the application on the road could mix dirt and other contaminates into the gravel and that in turn could affect the durability of the finished surface.

Weeter and Elk Township Supervisor Brian Miller said the work warranty issue is a big concern.

After nearly an hour and half of discussion, Weeter, representing Beaver Township, and Miller and Polatty, representing Elk Township (supervisor Ray Rennard was absent) agreed to seek bids for the tar and chipping work as a total package, with the contractor to supply all materials, equipment and labor.

However, the township will seeks bids that include the needed work in all three townships.

Weeter said Beaver Township is closing in on having its designated roads ready for the tar and chip and work.

Polatty said Elk Township planned to start preparing its ditches and roadways for the work the next day (April 13).

Weeter and Polatty agreed the tar and chipping work should be started later this summer.