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Issue 16 — Thursday, November 16, 2017
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Snowplows Can't Handle Delaware Drive, Cummins Hill

WESTFALL — Township supervisors rejected PennDOT's contract offer for the township to maintain two state roads in Westfall over the winter. Supervisors discussed the Delaware Drive and Cummins Hill Road maintenance issue and other PennDOT matters at their regular public meeting earlier this month. In Public Comments, Westfall Township Fire Dept. President and former department chief, Bill Koferl, advised that the PennDOT offer was insufficient to cover township expenses.

Westfall Township Highway Dept. chief Bill Schneider said, "We have never done it before. We don't have enough drivers. Our trucks are not as large as PennDOT's." Schneider said that he found that PennDOT is seeking municipalities to help maintain state roads in Pike to take pressure off PennDOT's unexpected additional 37-mile road maintenance obligations this winter.
According to Schneider, Lackawaxen had plowed 37 miles of state roads for years, but this winter it rejected PennDOT's contract-renewal offer.

Schneider said, "We can't handle it. Some of the difficult sections of Delaware Drive [in Mill Rift] would need a large Freightliner plow truck [such as used by PennDOT, which are much larger and have a wider plow than the township trucks]. Supervisor Jerry Dotey said that supervisors would make their decision based on Schneider's assessment. Supervisors then approved sending the rejection letter.

In other PennDOT matters, supervisors asked township Solicitor Robert Bernathy to find and review an agreement between the township and PennDOT that the township maintain the pedestrian tunnel that runs beneath Route I-84. The tunnel runs from Rose Lane, near the Riverview complex, to Willow Lane and Margaret Street, near the Grille Restaurant. Koferl and Supervisor Lester Buchanan recalled that the township and PennDOT signed the agreement circa 1968.

Supervisors and Schneider agreed that for decades, the township has not been able to keep up with the graffiti artists who deface the walls.
Schneider said that no matter how many times the township tried to remove graffiti, virtually the next day the culprits defaced the walls again. He said that removing or painting over the walls is hampered by cold and wet weather for almost six months a year, when paint and chemicals for removing spray paint are ineffective.

Buchanan said, "People still use the tunnel, so we can't close it." After Bernathy's review and recommendation, supervisors said that they would consider renegotiating the contract... for complete story, get this week's issue.

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