New police chief in town

By Rebecca Zemencik, Managing Editor •

VALLEY VIEW – If one asks what’s new in Hegins Township? The answer this month would be a new police chief and two new ordinances.
During its meeting Wednesday, Nov. 3, the supervisors unanimously approved appointing Sgt. Beau Yarmush as the new police chief and also adopted a driveway ordinance and animal control ordinance.
At the start of the regular meeting, before any other business was conducted the supervisors held public comment concerning the proposed ordinances. One question came up regarding stray cats and Solicitor Donald Karpowich said the ordinance addresses that matter.

The animal control ordinance includes a $25 registration fee for an animal in the township that is considered dangerous or vicious. This doesn’t mean anyone with a pet must be a registration fee. According to Cathy Moyer, township secretary/treasurer, the fee would be enacted if someone reports an animal for running loose, biting, attacking other animals, etc. The entire ordinance can be viewed at the township office.
The driveway ordinance requires a permit for any new driveway or altered driveway. The cost of the permit is $125. A driveway permit isn’t required for maintaining an existing driveway. That ordinance can also be viewed at the township office.
Sgt. Yarmush will take the role as chief of Hegins Township Police when the current Chief Steve Lohr retires at the end of December.
Yarmush has been employed with the township since 2006 when he was hired part-time and then went full-time in 2007.
“I look forward to serving the community,” said Yarmush.
While on the topic of police, Supervisor Brad Carl said during the budget meeting the police had requested the purchase of additional flash lights at a cost of $150 each. The supervisors agreed to purchase two flashlights.
Treasurer report
Moyer said the treasurer’s report looks different this month. She said she has been playing around with how to do it on the new computer system. She said anyone that would like a more detailed report should stop by the township office.
Resident Roger Wetzel questioned the pool account. He asked if the pool account balance was the amount that is in the account as of the end of the season.
Moyer explained that the $15,790.91 balance has not been rectified because some of the pool employee salaries were paid out of the township’s general account and there are also leak repair bills that need to be paid from that account yet too. She also noted that donations to the pool are still coming in and that a donation was just received from the Schuylkill County Wine Festival which wasn’t on the report yet as well as a donation she was expecting from the Hegins Valley Arts and Craft Faire too.
Road foreman report
In the absence of Craig Coleman, road foreman, Moyer presented his report.
The supervisors are seeking the identity of an illegal dumper. According to Coleman, a dumpster was placed on the township property for the demolition debris of the old zoning officers building. Coleman said in his report that sometime between Friday, Oct. 28 and Monday, Oct. 31, someone placed old camping gear, etc. and old size 9 shoes in the dumpster. Coleman said the person had to be pretty strong to lift the items high enough to place into the dumpster.
Rob Feldman of Rausch Creek said he would like to speak to the supervisors about the items found in the dumpster. According to Moyer, as of press time, there were still no solid leads as to who placed the items.
“We need cameras,” said Supervisor Chairman Gary Harner. “People just keep abusing things.”
Fire company report
Chad Richards attending the meeting on behalf of Hegins Valley Fire-Rescue. He said the department could use more volunteers to help with fundraisers. He said currently there are about eight firefighters who run on calls and they also help with the fundraisers. More volunteers to help with fund raising would allow the firefighters to get in more training.
The fire company was presented a firemen’s relief check in the amount of $19,600.42, from the state.
Planning commission
Russel Richards of Valley View, has been appointed to fill the vacancy on the planning commission created when Ken Smeltz resigned because of leaving the area. Supervisor Brad Carl cast the only no vote for Richards.
New bulbs
The township will be saving over $1,000 a year, by allowing PPL to change the street light bulbs to LED bulbs. The only cost to the township will be for three of the bulbs that are newer than 10 years. The cost will be $517. PPL will change the other 214 with LED free of charge.
Supervisor Sandra McCullough questioned if the light will be as bright. She was told the LED bulb will create a clearer light and will use less energy.
School zone signs
Supervisor Carl asked Kelly Boltz, a mother of a Tri-Valley High School student who was struck by a car in front of the high school several years ago. Since that time, Carl has been trying to have school zone flashing lights installed as well as cross walks at the high school.
Carl said he thought now was the time to bring up this project again and try to bring it to fruition. Carl said several years ago he did collect signatures on petitions which he still has. The project must go through the state and it was never carried through.
Carl said he would like to continue and finish this process and include the intersection at Forrest Drive, plus put two crosswalks in. He said before the cost was around $13,000 for the set of electric signs to be installed. He asked if this was something the current board wants to pursue.
Chairman Harner said on May 4, 1988 he lost a child and he knows what it’s like to lose a child and no one should have to go through that.
The board said they will work with the township engineer on the project to move forward.
Moyer said the township received a letter concerning the township’s website. She said the website is being revamped and she hopes by next month’s meeting a new web address can be shared with the public.
Upcoming dates
Food pantry, November 16, 8 a.m. at the township complex on Gap Street.
Next meeting, December 7, at 7 p.m. at the Hegins Area Ambulance Building, Gap Street.

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