Ash pickup ceases in township

By Rebecca Zemencik, Managing Editor •

HEGINS – Hegins Township residents will have to dispose of their own ashes.
Last Wednesday, the Hegins Township Supervisors voted to eliminate ash pick-up. The supervisors have been discussing whether or not to stop the pickup for the past two months.
Supervisor Bruce Klouser was the driving force to eliminate the pick up. He felt it was unsafe for the township road crew to be picking them up. He also said he contacted several other local municipalities and boroughs and was told they don’t provide the service to their residents either.

Klouser did provide the name of an individual who is willing to pick the ashes up and charge $3 per tub. Residents can do what they want with their ashes, but the township will no longer be offering the service.
“I believe this is something that should be offered,” said Roger Wetzel, a Valley View resident. “We have a lot of elderly people who burn coal and this was a nice service for them.”
Supervisor Brad Carl also agreed that the township should continue. He was the only person who voted against eliminating the service.
“I drove around and I saw the ash tubs sitting at the curb,” said Supervisor Chairman Gary Harner, I also saw vehicles in most of the driveways that could haul the ash tubs. If people can haul them to the curb then they can just as easily put them in their vehicle and drive them to the township building on their own.”
The supervisors also voted to eliminate the collection of sticks and yard waste.
According to Harner, this service was being abused and he was fed up with it. He said people were taking advantage and dumping items there that were not meant to be placed there.
Supervisors Michael Begis and Carl voted against eliminating that service.
In other business, Hegins Township Police Chief Steve Lohr was questioned by township resident Randy Shadle in regards to the recent crash of the police cruiser. Shadle wanted to know what exactly happened.
“Officer Troy Maurer pulled out behind two vehicles traveling east on Main Street,” said Lohr. “The middle vehicle passed out the first vehicle. Maurer engaged his lights and went to pursue the vehicle when the first driver decided to make a left-hand turn into the police car.”
Resident Roger Wetzel asked if the driver of the first car was cited. Lohr said no and then was told to stop speaking by Hegins Township Solicitor Donald Karpowich who said the matter shouldn’t be discussed publicly.
Later during the meeting, the supervisors approved purchasing a replacement cruiser, a 2016 Ford Taurus through the state’s COSTARS program, at a cost near $30,000. That costs doesn’t include lettering. Township treasurer Cathy Moyer said the final total the insurance would pay hadn’t been determined as of the meeting.
Lohr also encouraged the public to take better care of their dogs. He said recently there have been several dogs turned over to the police. He said the police will keep them a couple days and then they are turned over to the SPCA.
The rash of thefts has gone down significantly. Lohr said they switched some shifts and he believes that has helped to decrease the thefts.
During public comment, Ernest Witmer voiced his concern over a postcard several residents had received from Comcast. According to the postcard, Comcast customers were receiving five channels in error and may lose them October 4.
“These channels on our list and we’re supposed to get them, what are you going to do for us?” asked Witmer.
Moyer said she would contact Kristen Ritchey, the township’s Comcast representative to investigate. Solicitor Karpowich also asked to see a copy of the franchise agreement and he too would investigate. He said the township gets a five percent commission from Comcast.
“A recent review found that some customers in Hegins Township are receiving channels on their digital adapters that are not part of their subscription. These channels were added in error and will no longer be available on digital adapters for affected customers beginning October. 4. Customers have not been charged for these extra channels, and we apologize for the error. Lineups received on set-top boxes are unaffected and customers will continue to receive all channels that are part of their service level,” said Bob Grove, vice-president of public relations, Comcast Cable Keystone Region.
Earlier this summer Hegins-Hubley Water Authority experienced a water main break on Maple Street. Authority Manager Demetrius Kasmari wasn’t available when the break occurred and business manager Stacy Andracchio eventually was the person to turn the water main off. Since that time the authority has discussed how to be more prepared for a situation like this in the future.
Kasmari asked the supervisors if the authority could provide maps of the valves as well as valve keys to the township road crew so that they too would have knowledge in turning off the system if there is a problem. The supervisors agreed that the road crew should be trained.
Kasmari also requested a fire hydrant be placed on Locust Street to the rear of the Valley View Church of God. The supervisors approved the request.
Hegins Township will be participating in the Schuylkill County Fall Cleanup and Recycling Event. Hegins Township residents can take items to the township complex at 421 S. Gap Street, Valley View, on Sept. 22 and 23, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 24, from 8 a.m. to noon. Electronics will not be accepted this year.
Items accepted will include: tires, appliances, and bulky items. Freon bearing appliances, such as air conditions, refrigerators, and dehumidifiers, cost $10 each. There is no charge for non-freon items, such as stoves, washers, dryers, water heaters, bicycles, barbecue grills and metal furniture. Bulky items refer to mattresses, box springs, rolls of carpet, doors and windows which are $10 each. Sofas, overstuffed chairs are $5 per cushion (example: a love seat, two cushions, $10.)
Electronics can be taken to Vertigo Systems, Schuylkill Mall, 570-874-3358; Staples, 6104 Cressona Mall, 570-385-7360.
Important dates:
• Food pantry, September 21, beginning at 8 a.m. at the township building.
• Special meeting concerning blight, Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Hegins Area Ambulance Building.
• Hegins Twp. Supervisors Meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m., Hegins Area Ambulance Building.
• Trunk or Treat and Trick-or-Treat, Saturday, Oct. 29, 6 to 8 p.m. Trunk or Treat will be held in the parking lot of Trinity Lutheran Church, Valley View.

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