By Rob Wheary, Staff Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
PINE GROVE – Tremont Township will be keeping a close eye on the activity at the Rausch Creek Off-Road Park for the rest of 2016, and will hopefully have an agreement in place for next year.
Under the advice of township solicitor Mark Barket, township supervisors decided at their July 5 meeting to keep the current agreement between Rausch Creek and the township in place, and decide next year whether or not to enter a long-term agreement with the facility.
The two sides have been in negotiations for the past few months. In the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement, which has been going on since the park opened. Rausch Creek makes a lump sum payment to the township to operate the park instead of paying a 10 percent amusement tax on each vehicle of riders.
Rausch Creek has proposed a new five-year agreement with the payment starting at $5,600 in the first year and going up to $8,400 in the fifth year.
Barket met with park officials on June 17 and relayed the township’s supervisors concerns about the report of the number of vehicles that are traveling on the off-road park, cleanup work being done, signage being posted for those crossing, and communication in advance of events.
Park officials agreed to written reports of paid admission and notice of upcoming events on a monthly basis and said the work will be done according to a letter supervisor chairman Herman Lengle read from Barket.
“My suggestion to the township,” Barket wrote, “is to not enter into the contract at this time, and to calculate the number of paid vehicle for the entire year of 2016. At the end of the year, make the calculations and see if the long-term agreement is appropriate.”
In other business, roadmaster Larry Bender reported that the paint has been ordered to do line painting in the township with the cost starting at $7,130, but expected to be lowered due to the decisions being made on which roads to paint.
Road crews will paint lines on Molleystown Road and Lincoln Road, and on the road near the Big Lots Distribution Center, along with white lines on either side of Echo Valley Road, and on Cat Road.
Supervisors also discussed a situation when a heavy load came through on Rausch Creek Road, damaging the road. A truck carrying an excavator came through the township on Rausch Creek Road on June 21, a road labels no trucks.
“The truck dipped and broke up some of the macadam on the road,” Bender said. “The company said that they were merely following the route PennDOT gave them. We should send PennDOT a letter telling them not to go that road with the big trucks .”
Township secretary Margaret Davenport told the supervisors a different story.
“When I contacted PennDOT, they told me that they do not recommend routes, but that it was up to the trucking company to contact the township or the state police,” Davenport said. “The onus is on that company.”
According to the permit the trucking company had, it states that if they are going to use a township road, they must contact the township about using the road. Bender said that no message was left on the township’s answering machine.
A letter was sent to the trucking company’s insurance company with a damage estimate of $1,834 for payment, but that no response by the insurance company has been given as of the July 5 meeting.
Township officials also read a letter from WeCare Organics, reporting the company will be renewing its application to put biosolids on the Blackwoods site in Reilly, Branch and Tremont Townships. The company said no biosolids will be used in Tremont Township.