Month: July 2017

Hubley Twp. will appeal decision on Act 537

By Rebecca Zemencik, Managing Editor • rebecca-z@citizenstandard.com

SACRAMENTO – Hubley Township Supervisors Robert Barr, Frank Krammes and Keith Masser are standing by the joint Act 537 plan that was ruled against by the Environmental Hearing Board.
During a meeting of the supervisors Wednesday evening, a resolution was adopted stating that Hubley Township will appeal the decision voting in favor of the Concerned Citizens that the Environmental Hearing Board released on Wednesday, June 7.
The resolution, which was unanimously adopted is as follows:
HUBLEY TOWNSHIP
SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
RESOLUTION NUMBER: 2017-001
A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THIS TOWNSHIP AUTHORIZING HUBLEY TOWNSHIP to appeal the environmental hearing board’s decision on the joint ACT 537 Plan:
Whereas the benefits to Hegins and Hubley Township residents of the joint plan include: Improved environmental conditions in both Townships Reduced ground water contamination Economies of scale reducing future costs Increased economic development opportunities Avoidance of PADEP enforcement action Following PADEP regionalization efforts which allows for grant funds Supports PADEP approval of the joint ACT 537 plan
Whereas on April 6, 2012 a JOINT ACT 537 plan (alternative ten) was submitted to the PADEP for a user rate of $69.04 even though alternative six had a user rate of $66.32.
Whereas on February 20, 2013 the townships withdrew the JOINT ACT 537 plan, precluding rejection of the plan by PADEP, allowing time for extra surveys required by the DEP comments.
Whereas after extensive meetings and public hearings the ACT 537 Plan was revised to the “2014 alternative six” plan which was approved by both Hegins and Hubley townships and submitted to the PADEP.
Whereas on April 2015 the “2014 alternative six” plan was approved by the PADEP
Whereas the environmental hearing board on June 7, 2017 ruled in favor of the concerned citizens of Hegins Township.
Whereas as the “2014 alternative six plan” approved by the PADEP would cost the Hegins Township users $7.50 less per month than the Hegins Township (only) ACT 537 plan.
Whereas Hubley Township has expended well over $200,000 to date on the joint ACT537 plan, not including the hundreds of thousands of dollars Hegins Township has spent over the last 10 years.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the authority of the Board of Supervisors of Hubley Township, we will engage Paul Bruder of Rhoads & Sinon, LLP, to appeal the Environmental Hearing Board decision of June 7, 2017 as follows:
The foregoing resolution was duly enacted by Supervisors of Hubley Township on the 5th day of July, 2017 by unanimous vote.
According to the supervisors, the solicitor feels that Hubley Township has a good case and the supervisors felt it was the right thing to appeal the decision to benefit the entire community.
In other business, Sacramento resident Herb Rose asked the supervisors if they would consider trying to keep the supervisors meetings at the planned time. Rose said maybe more people from the public would attend the meetings if they followed a certain schedule.
Supervisor Keith Masser said the board will try to look at the schedule better when setting up the meetings for next year. He said this meeting was moved from the regularly scheduled date because of the July 4th holiday.
Sacramento resident Olaf Saugen suggested the supervisors try to post the date of the meetings on the fire company sign located along Route 25. He also suggested asking the public to submit their email addresses to the township secretary, Kathy Krammes, and then she could send out a general email to all on file of upcoming meeting dates.
Masser said both suggestions were good ideas. The township email addresses is hubleytwp@yahoo.com. Interested persons can submit their email addresses there.
Hubley Township has a new code enforcement officer. Donald Boyer, who was the current officer, resigned from his post as of July 5. The new code enforcement officer will be Alyssa Deibert.

 

Now what? Carl asks about Act 537

By Rebecca Zemencik, Managing Editor • rebecca-z@citizenstandard.com

VALLEY VIEW – Now what? That was the question Hegins Township Supervisor Brad Carl posed to the board of supervisors last Wednesday night at the monthly meeting of the Hegins Township Supervisors.
Carl was inquiring about the recent ruling on the Act 537 plan in which the Environmental Hearing Board sided with the concerned citizens.
“What’s going on, what’s the next step, what do we need to do,”? asked Carl.
Solicitor Kevin Walsh Jr. of the Karpowich Law firm was filling in for Donald Karpowich, who normally represents the township. Walsh was the solicitor that represented the concerned citizens for the Act 537 hearing.
“You shouldn’t discuss the matter publicly,” said Walsh. “You should discuss this matter with Attorney John G. Dean, of Elliott Greenleaf and Dean, who represents the township for the Act 537 appeal.”
Carl asked the concerned citizens who were in attendance if they knew anything or where it stood.
Richter asked township secretary Cathy Moyer if she had a copy of the plan created by Alfred Benesch and Company with a plan for Hegins Township alone.
Moyer said a copy of that plan should be in the file. (more…)

Commemorative mug will feature Porter Tunnel Miners

By Rebecca Zemencik, Managing Editor • rebecca-z@citizenstandard.com

cs13 mug P1

Rebecca Zemencik/Citizen-Standard Photo The Bootlegger’s 33rd Annual Independent Anthracite Picnic commemorative mug will feature the names of the miners who died in the Porter Tunnel Mine disaster 40 years ago and the one surviver. The mug will also feature a photo of the Breaker Boys, who have been providing musical entertainment at the picnic for years.

HEGINS – He was only 26 years old working in his dad’s coal mine in Donaldson and he can remember the day like it was yesterday.
David A. Lucas, Hegins, organizer of the Bootlegger’s 33rd Annual Independent Anthracite Coal Miner’s Picnic, slated for Saturday, Aug. 12, will pay tribute to the nine miners who perished and the lone survivor of the Porter Tunnel Mine disaster 40 years ago.
This year’s commemorative mug will feature the names, ages, and hometowns of the miners who died and the one who survived.
David A. worked at the Porter Tunnel Mine years before the disaster.
“I worked at the Porter Tunnel just shy of a year,” said David A. “I went off in the Army just shy of my one year anniversary. At that time already we were tapping water from the Brookside Colliery. It was me and Dean Updegrave of Tower City and Hutch Miller from Klingerstown. I trusted my life with those men. I was the youngest of us. At that time I was 19 years old. A million things go through your mind when you hit water. That water had a stench that could have taken your breath away. One thing I’m gonna tell you about water – you can never outrun water and you can never hide from water. It will get you.”
David A. says he can remember the day of the disaster like it was yesterday, as he recalled the moment while sitting on his front porch Friday afternoon.
“I was 26 years old and by that time I was working in a mine with my brothers that my dad, Ray A. ‘Checky’ Lucas and partners owned in Donaldson,” said David A. “As soon as we got the news we shutdown and drove directly to Porter Tunnel. We had our helmets, light and boots and were ready to go in and offer support in anyway we could. We never had to go in, there were enough there helping already but we stayed for a couple days to offer our support and by the third day we were back working at our mine. I knew every one of the men who were killed. Some of them were going to come and work at our mine, but they stayed at the tunnel so they could have health insurance for their kids. Our mine was paying $2 more a day, but we didn’t offer health insurance.”
David A. spoke with Beth Harman who was the organizer in getting a memorial erected this year at the site of the Porter Tunnel Mine to commemorate the men who lost their lives. Beth’s father, Dennis Morgan, 30, of Valley View, was one of the miners who lost their life. Beth helped supply the names and information to David A. to be placed on the mug and helped him to design it.
“This is probably one of the best mugs we’ve ever had made,” said Lucas.
Featured on the mug, in addition to Dennis Morgan will be the following names: Gary Lee Klinger, 19, of Hegins; Philip Sabatino, 50, of Hegins; Ralph Renninger, 40, of Donaldson; Donald Shoffler, 40, of Gordon; Ronald Herb, 32, of Valley View; John Moyer, 44, of Ashland; Tim Grose, 19, of Ashland; Mark Kroh, 48, of Goodspring; and survivor Ronald Adley, 37, of Tower City, who was rescued more than five days later.
Also featured will be a photo of Stu Richards and Tommy Symons, the Breaker Boys, who have provided musical entertainment at the picnic for several years.
The commemorative mug can be purchased for $8 and can be pre-ordered through David A. by calling 570-682-9140 before July 17. A limited amount of mugs will be available at the picnic. T-shirts and hats will also be available for sale at the picnic.
The picnic will begin at noon in the Hegins Park. At 3:30 p.m. David A. has asked Harman to read the names and information of the Porter Tunnel Miners aloud to those in attendance. She will also read the names of local miners who passed away just this year: Normy Klinger, Ira “Ike” Kintzel, Fritz Shingara, Clayton “Blapper” Shade, Carl Wetzeland Carl Wetzel.
Every year David A. also remembers verbally the following: Robin “Slob” Lucas, John Kroh, David “Stu” Himmelberger, Dale Reightler, Bob and Kenny Wolfgang and David A.’s father, Ray A. “Checky” Lucas.
A “Miner’s Prayer,” written by Symons, will be read prior the hot meal being served at 4 p.m.
A donation of $20 will include admission to the picnic, all food and entertainment. Musical entertainment will be provided by DJ Gold Dust, The Breaker Boys and Red Halo. Children age 18 and under are admitted free.
Those attending will also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a miners statue, five to seven tons of coal, a hand-crafted drump truck and two lottery baskets. Those items will be chanced off at 6 p.m.