Talk of trash, sewage, taxes and trees at Dingman Township meeting

Dingman Township. A public hearing for a Conashaugh Lakes dumpster and trash compactor was held at the supervisors meeting, and an update was given on the Sunrise Lake sewage problems.

| 12 Dec 2022 | 04:23

A public hearing was held at the December 6 Dingman Township supervisors meeting for a location change for the Conashaugh Lakes community dumpster and the addition of a trash compactor. This proposal had been approved by Conashaugh Lakes community members and Dingman supervisors were considering conditional use approval.

Concerns raised by meeting attendees included the dumpster’s proposed location near the mail boxes, the school bus stop and the community entrance, causing a potential eyesore for people entering the community. Some also feared that runoff from the trash could foul ground water. Non-Conashaugh community residents who live nearby also had runoff concerns.

The township supervisors were asked if they could intervene. The answer was no. They only had authority if any laws were violated, said Supervisor Chair Tom Mincer. The Conashaugh community is seen by the state as a separate legal entity. The township has no authority to overrule what was voted on and approved in Conashaugh Lakes. Legality of the conditional use zoning permit is the township concern, but cosmetics and aesthetics is not.

The supervisors approved the zoning permit with conditions that included land grading, use of concrete slabs foundation, electrical wiring, driveway access and storm water measures.

“Eyesore issues aren’t relevant,” Secretary Treasurer Karen Kleist said later. “Those concerned can go to a planning board meeting and request screening.” The applicant’s engineer was advised to consider “secondary containment” to prevent runoff.

Other agenda issues included the Route 739 traffic light by Weis shopping center. Kleist pointed out that maintenance is a joint venture between the Township and Weis, but Weis has failed to forward a certificate of insurance for the light to the Township and to provide generator access to the fire department in case of electrical outage..

Meanwhile, Sunrise Lakes Section 9 has a sewage problem, as the septic system has failed and a tanker truck has had to remove sewage for the last two or three years. Jim Ott, of Appletree Management in Sunrise Lakes, gave an update presentation on the situation, noting that the tanker would be monitored to keep groundwater out of the sewer system.

The system was permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and their representatives will meet in January and issue a consent order determining what needs to be done. Residents have been billed for the trucking of sewage but not paying, Kleist said.

“Sunrise wanted the Township to be the permit authority and not deal with the DEP, “ she said, likely because that’s more costly. But the DEP permitted the system because of its size.

The supervisors voted to approve exemption from township taxes for a combat disabled veteran. Anyone who might qualify should contact the Pennsylvania Department of Veteran affairs to apply for the exemption and then send letters to taxing bodies--the school district and township for approval, Kleist said later.

Emergency services made 1,900 calls so far this year and 171 last month alone, Dingman Township Fire Chief Mark O’Brien said. Certificates of appreciation will be given to individuals who gave their time for the township, Mincer said. John and Laura Stryka were acknowledged for donating about $1000 worth of Halloween decorations for the town’s haunted trail.

The state program, Keystone 10 million trees, will be contacted to see what trees the Township will receive. Pike County Conservation District had applied for the trees and Kleist requested the board’s approval. She expects the town to receive about 15 trees, she said later.

Road Master Shane Williams said that a new heater will be purchased for the Dingmans Maintenance building.

Finally came payment of bills, with $135,819.63 in the general fund; 543.08 in the Recreation Fund and the general Fund Balance has $891,070.71.

For any questions, contact Secretary Treasurer Karen Kleist.

The supervisors fielded questions from attendees with detailed explanations.