Letter to the Editor, Sept. 20, 2013
Ridgebury Road controversy
EDITOR: I read with interest the recent article titled Ridgebury Township citizens, supervisors at odds over roads.
It is my understanding that the supervisors did not make their decisions on which roads to start paving first, based solely on the number of people on a particular road. So one needs all the information regarding road condition, gas well activity, damage to a road, wash boarding, high maintenance, hill areas on some roads and similar factors. Thus, criticism based solely on the number of residences on a road is totally irrelevant.
In trying to relate Johnston Road to Vetter Road is a ridiculous apples and oranges comparison. A supervisor does live on Vetter Road. HOWEVER, his driveway enters Vetter Road on the paved Athens Township part of Vetter Road. I would be willing to bet you that he has very little use of Vetter Road in Ridgebury since all his business activity is down the Athens paved road. More importantly this ill-informed person or group fails to mention that Vetter Road is a heavily traveled main conduit for traffic to Sayre, Athens and Route 17. It also has two businesses on it. They also do not reveal that Vetter Road had road damage due to a couple of gas wells up at the top of the hill. Thus, this road was a no-brainer for tar and chipping.
Ridgebury Township has 60 + miles of road, some of which is already paved. Thus, if the impact funds are used to improve or pave 5 miles a year it will take several years to get to all of them. As chairman Gee pointed out there has to be a first and a last. The road crew is using approved material, and where ditch water flow would undermine the new material they are putting down, they have armored the ditches with appropriately-sized rock. Likewise, they have made good use of the creek gravel that they had removed and crushed in a prior year. The road foreman and at least one of the supervisors have been to the Dirt and Gravel Road training sessions offered by PSATS and are up to date on the most cost effective road building and maintenance techniques. New technology such as geotextile matting and such is all new to road building in Ridgebury Township.
Good people serve as supervisors with the goal to leave the township, after their term is up, in better condition than they found it. I would urge the citizens to be careful which person they listen to regarding road issues, get facts from an educated source and most of all, do not go after the supervisors based on misleading inaccurate information. It would be much more appropriate to praise them and the road foreman for the good job they are doing in the long over due upgrading of Ridgebury roads.