Frailey Twp. to get $52K in block grants


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DONALDSON - The Frailey Township supervisors received some good news October 2. Schuylkill County Grant Administrator, Gary Bender, informed the board that a $52,000 Community Development Block Grant has been approved and contracts were awarded for repairs to the Walnut Street drainage problem.

Although the grant will pay more than half of the project, the remainder will be paid with township funds. According to roadmaster Keith Allar, the $95,565 price tag covers drainage work by Dallago's Backhoe Service, Marlin, and paving work by Ronnie Folk, Shoemakersville.

Another project for this year involves the paving of several streets. It includes Walnut Street, from Harrison to Maple; Maple and Oak streets, from Center to Walnut; and parts of Harrison Street and Coal Alley, also from Center to Walnut.

Building

A special meeting was held September 18 to provide the owner of the old factory building located on the corner Martin Street and Cedar Alley the opportunity to show why the building should not be demolished. The structure had been inspected by the township's engineers and had been found unsafe and in violation of township Ordinance 2001.2.

Attending the meeting in addition to the three supervisors and building owner Lewis Graver was Attorney Eric Lieberman who has been retained by the township for this matter.

Following an explanation of the engineer's report, Graver agreed the roof needed to be fixed, but disagreed that the building was as bad as the report claimed. He indicated that he and two friends who were willing to put some of their money into repairing the property were interested in starting a business. Since the property was already scheduled for a September 24 tax sale, Graver would need to pay at least one year's taxes to remove it from the sale. According to Chairman Allar, that had later been done. Graver also suggested he was willing to turn the building over to the township if the supervisors would fix it up for a community center. The minutes of the meeting state that Allar informed Graver that the building would cost too much to repair, but if it is demolished the land is useless since nothing can be built on the site.

In accordance with the ordinance, Graver has 30 days from the date of the meeting to inform the board of his plans. Failure to do so will result in legal action against him.

D. Allar reported, to date, the township has spent $1,998.25. A demolition quote of $20,682 has been received from a local contractor which does not include the cost to landfill the debris.

Collection

The township's Tax Collection Committee representative, Steve Pellman, reported the new tax collection agency has $7.5 million waiting to be disbursed. Berkheimer, he said, is attempting to find out where it goes. Pellman noted that there are many municipalities who are hurting because they have not received their tax money. Frailey, he said, is not in that predicament. Although the Earned Income Tax represents 22% of Frailey's taxes, it only represents 6% of the township's total revenue.

Refunds, said Pellman, are another problem but are low on the list of priorities and will be dealt with when all the auditing is done. He noted also that Frailey's weighted vote last year was .16, but is now .14. "Almost nothing," he said.

Cats

Several residents noted complaints of excessive noise, stray cats, and an unwelcome Code Enforcement Officer. When one resident said she feels sorry for the 28 cats that she feeds, roadmaster Keith Allar said he had counted 50 one day when he stopped to pick-up trash. The supervisors agreed they would contact Hillside SPCA for assistance.

The CEO, it was noted, had not been informed that the supervisors had agreed to give the resident until the end of the year to remove items from the front porch.

According to the resident with the noise complaint, the police can not act without a noise ordinance. Solicitor Joseph Zerbe disagreed. Disturbing the peace is against the law he said. The resident agreed when the police were driving through the neighborhood, the noise was not as bad.

Police

The Tremont Police Department reported over 32 hours of coverage for August, with only 37 minutes devoted to an assist to the State Game Commission and a civil dispute. Patrolling was done at various times throughout the afternoon, nights, and some early morning hours, and on every day of the month at a cost to the township of $2,087.61.

The Code Enforcement Officer listed three properties requiring his attention. One, initially contacted in the middle of June for debris and unregistered vehicles, is showing progress removing the debris, although car parts and tires remain. Four follow-up visits had been made to the property.

Another property owner was first contacted towards the end of June due to the materials that were being stored on the front porch. Because the property is under renovations, the owner was given until the end of the year to clean off the porch.

The third property had a collection of trash and high grass, and upon discussing the matter with the property owner, both problems were taken care of.

It was noted that code enforcement activities for September was billed at $467.

In other business,

- Information was received from the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority that the Miners Bank in Tremont will no longer be accepting water payments.

- Expected Liquid Fuels money for 2013 is $20,759.32.

- D. Allar reported he had signed a three year lease agreement with the county for the township's recycling site. The lease can be terminated with a 90-day notice.

- EmberClear, an energy development company based in Canada, has awarded the contract to build a power plant along the Good Spring stretch in both Porter and Frailey Townships. According to D. Allar, the plant will not be using coal. They were drilling, he said, but they didn't find what they expected.

- Trick or Treat night will be held on October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m., the same night as Tremont borough's. According to D. Allar, the same night was chosen so that sufficient police would be on duty.

- Firemen's Relief in the amount of $2,040.16 was received and will be given to the Donaldson Fire Company.

- Zerbe informed the board that the Flood Plain Ordinance would be advertised and ready for approval at next month's meeting. He suggested, however, that the ordinance be re-worded to indicate that the supervisors would appoint the Flood Plain Officer instead of specifying a certain type person, such as an engineer. It will give the board more flexibility, said Zerbe, and not require an amendment.

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