Mark Van Etten explained the details of the proposed Back Mountain Community Partnership Local Share Account grant to Dallas Township supervisors at a public work session on Nov. 5. Van Etten said the grant is being written by the NEPA Alliance and the amount requested has not yet been determined.
Vice Chair Elizabeth Martin agreed to have Dallas Township sponsor the grant at the October partnership meeting. Van Etten said this meant all money, should the grant be approved, would be passed through Dallas Township.
Conrad Higgins asked to which municipality property purchased through the grant would belong since the township sponsors the grant. Van Etten said the municipality that requested the equipment will own it.
Martin would like to include a regular partnership report in the township meetings.
The board discussed lending its support to Misericordia University for a proposed LSA grant to install sidewalks from the campus to Center Hill Road. There have been concerns for student safety when they walk along the roadside to reach local businesses.
Since the sidewalk would sit on a PennDOT right-of-way, an agreement would have to be reached and engineering estimation costs would be the responsibility of the university. The board agreed to support the university in looking into the process. The board felt it would be a beneficial project for both businesses and residents of the university and the apartments near Center Hill Road.
The board discussed the ongoing dispute between Dallas Fire and Ambulance and Kunkle Fire Company regarding lines of responsibility. Dallas Fire Chief Harry Vivian reported that the two have reached an agreement on the areas of Lower Demunds Road and Spencer Road, but are still trying to reach an agreement on a wooded area between Brown's Field and Martin's Pond.
A meeting was planned for this weekend with the Kunkle fire chief to review maps and make a decision.
Roadmaster Martin Barry asked the board to consider the installation of a manual switching station when planning the 2013 budget. The township purchased an Army surplus generator in 2007 to power municipal buildings in the event of a power outage. For the past several years, the township has set the switching station aside in lieu of other projects but, with the recent power outage resulting from Hurricane Sandy, Barry feels the switching station should be regarded as a priority for next years budget.
Barry also reported that the repair of problems on Old Highway Road associated with Stall Shaffer Engineering were scheduled to begin Nov. 5 and, weather permitting, finished by Nov. 16. The areas being repaired are Old Highway Road at Martz Lane, areas around the mobile home park and the access road near the ballpark. Barry didn't know who had been contracted to do the work, since the township is not responsible for repairs.
Supervisors approved Barry to submit 10 problem streets for estimates to be classified for weight restrictions. It was noted that these restrictions would offer exemptions to local businesses. Martin said she would raise the issue of assessments at the Back Mountain Community Partnership meeting so adjoining municipalities with connecting roads would be aware of the assessments.
In other business:
• Van Etten announced that Lehman and Dallas Fire and Ambulance are prepared to move forward with a merger of their forces, an alliance nearly four years in the making, in January. He stressed that none of the services would change and that the workman's compensation insurance would remain with the municipality of the worker.
• Chief Vivian submitted a proposal for an ordinance allowing the Dallas and Kunkle Fire companies to bill insurances for costs generated by response to calls.
• Sergeant Doug Higgins requested the board consider an investment of approximately $1400 for the purchases of a bar coding system for the police department's evidence locker.
• The board authorized advertisement for two DAMA board members and a zoning board member.
• The board noted it is time for the county to perform its five-year update of the 2009 Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan must be updated so residents will be eligible for flood insurance.
• The board congratulated solicitor Thomas Brennan for receiving the Luzerne County Bar President's Award.
The regular meeting of the Dallas Township supervisors will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 20 at the municipal building.