Wysox Township passes 2013 budget with no tax increase
WYSOX TOWNSHIP - The Wysox Township supervisors on Tuesday adopted a 2013 township budget, which includes no tax increase.
At their meeting on Tuesday, the supervisors also heard from Josh Brown of Chesapeake Energy Corp., who said he is approaching townships about establishing a new road maintenance agreement with Appalachia Midstream Services LLC.
The new maintenance agreement is needed because Chesapeake is selling its subsidiary, Appalachia Midstream Services LLC, to Access Midstream, Brown said.
Currently, the township has a road maintenance agreement with Chesapeake Energy, under which Chesapeake must repair damage that it causes to township roads.
Chesapeake's existing road use maintenance agreement with the township will remain in effect, and it will cover the development of gas wells, Brown said.
The new roadway maintenance agreement is needed for "midstream gathering pipeline activity," that Appalachia Midstream Services LLC will be doing, Brown said.
Brown said that Appalachia Midstream Services LLC will use videotape cameras to document the conditions of sections of roadway where it is going to be working, before its work begins.
Foster said the existing road maintenance agreement with Chesapeake has worked well.
Basically, the agreement with Chesapeake has been: "You break it. You fix it. I have no complaints about it," Supervisor Gary Foster said.
Attorney Frank Niemiec, who was substituting Tuesday night for township Solicitor Scott Pellinger, expressed some concerns about the language in the proposed agreement, and said he will put his proposed changes in writing.
Jon Kulick, chairman of the Wysox Township supervisors, announced that the township now has in place enough volunteers to serve on a revamped township planning commission, which would have the authority to approve the land development plans for the construction of commercial buildings in the township.
Under the current arrangement, the Bradford County Planning Commission approves the land development plans for commercial buildings, and those plans are only reviewed by the township planning commission.
"We want to be (have) the main planning commission, and have the county be the reviewing planning commission," Kulick said.
He said the township will now continue to take steps toward revamping the township planning commission.
With the township's planning commission assuming additional responsibilities, the township ought to consider hiring "people qualified to review documents, who would likely be a professional engineer," said Tom Henson, chairman of the township Planning Commission.
The township supervisors will also need to pass a subdivision and land development ordinance, which is what the township planning commission would enforce, said Bill Them, chairman of the township's zoning hearing board.
It was important to be sure there would be volunteers willing to serve on the revamped planning commission, since they would have to commit more time as volunteers than would a current member of the township planning commission, Kulick said.
The new arrangement will give the township more control over the approval of plans for commercial buildings in the township.
The Wysox Township supervisors on Tuesday also approved a proposed an $80,000 sewer line extension on a section of Hillside Drive, which currently has no sewer service.
The sewer line extension would serve 7 to 10 homes, said Eric Casanave, an engineer with Stiffler, McGraw & Associates, who does work for the Towanda Municipal Authority.
There are residents on the affected section of Hillside Drive who are having problems with their existing sewer systems, Foster said.
The supervisors said they are considering using some of the $327,000 in Act 13 impact fee revenue that the township received this year to pay for the sewer line extension.
James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.