Roads, Sinkholes and Storm Water
Updated: Oct 1
September 27th Borough Council Work Session
In their first official work session since April 2021 the council was back on September 27th. The discussion focused on roads and storm water systems. The solutions will require the council, the engineer, PennDOT, property owners, and HOA’s to work together to address storm water issues throughout the borough.
Sinkholes, PennDOT Roads and Maintenance
Last on the agenda and a very serious and expensive matter for the borough is the issue of storm water sewers along PennDOT roads. This discussion was prompted by the sinkholes on Valleybrook Road near Baltimore Pike in front of Madison Apartments. First reported by a resident to the borough in July 2020 the sinkhole issue among other discussions launched the borough into a series of conversations with PennDOT about WHO IS RESPONSIBLE for their maintenance. Unfortunately, PennDOT has refused to fix the failing infrastructure and is foisting the responsibility on to the borough per their Maintenance Manual. More detail on the PennDOT rules can be found in the notes from March Regular Council Meeting.
The solution to these specific sinkholes is being implemented by the owners of Madison Apartments who will bear the financial burden of this PennDOT decision. It also appears that it is possible that the erosion further undermines the stormwater system throughout various areas of the Madison compromising the clarity of the pond in the center of the apartment complex causing excess sediment. The borough has committed to assisting Madison in
getting the appropriate permits with PennDOT to address this sinkhole issue within the next few weeks. Hopefully this will also alleviate some of the pond sediment issues.
The Borough Roadmaster asked for the council to approve the preparation of an emergency bid plan to address all the storm sewer work and potential sinkholes that are not being addressed by Madison. The motion passed.
Storm water Inlet at the end of Bonnie Lane
(17 Bonnie Lane)
In a public comment Paul Weyhmuller addressed the council regarding the inadequacy of the inlet at the end of Bonnie Lane and the impact it was having on his and adjacent properties. It was clear from the discussion that the borough engineer had already reviewed the matter with the homeowner. At the meeting he presented the council with an option to bid out the repair and was granted authorization to work with a contractor to place sandbags to help divert the water temporarily. It is anticipated that the remedy will occur within this construction season.
Mattson Road Repaving
The bid came in for the repaving on Mattson Rd. The price is just under $47K. The council is considering whether to spend an additional $4300 to expand the paving to the sides of the road to include the sections where residents and visitors park when they fish in the creek. The council moved to table the decision until the next council session.
Many residents shared concerns about the large amount of water that comes down the hill from Camp Meeting impacting their homes. The sediment coming down the hill compromises the water inlets sending water towards the resident’s homes. After much discussion of who was responsible (Contractor 1 (Mr. Conrad), 2(Mr. Kerry sp?), or the undetermined contractor #3) it was determined that the engineer would write a letter to the Camp Meeting Management and advise them that the final responsibility, unfortunately, falls on the landowner and they must secure the unfinished earth to prevent it for compromising the inlets for storm water regardless of whether or not the contractors fulfill their obligations. A triple layer of compost socks was mentioned as an option.
Road work at Brookfield continues. The borough engineer reported that 6 of the 19 inlets have been fixed/replaced. Once these are completed the builder will move on to the curbs. These will need to be completed before the road can be paved and dedicated. The original schedule was to complete paving in October even though we are in the last week of September the Builder has not moved the timeline for paving. Fingers-crossed.
BROOKFIELD (Hunters Lane)– SCHOOL BUS
In response to a request by the residents of Brookfield regarding the dangerous bus pick-up, Councilwoman Lim reached out to the School District transportation office asking them to address their concerns. After a few site visits and a review by the GVSD transportation team bus #16 & #5 were rerouted down Mattson Road adding a few minutes to the route but allowing the children to now safely get on to the bus at Brookfield. Due to the construction, parking of vehicles on Hunters Lane, and curb issues the buses will not be permitted to enter the development for pick-up and drop-off. Ms. Lorraine Bytheway will be in direct contact with the parents to communicate the changes.
GVSD transportation requested that they be consulted when future developments are planned given that poorly laid out developments can have a serious impact on routing buses and the safety of our children.
The Historical Sign Recognizing the contribution of the DiSalvo Family and the origins and history of the Chester Heights Fire Company has been installed and unveiled. Many thanks to the tireless leadership of Anne Searl & Tony Ieradi and the members of the historical committee. Thanks to them 22 historic borough properties now have signs recognizing them as such. The oldest from 1725 to the new builds of the early 1900's.
The solicitor has received the comments from the Borough & County Planning Commissions on the Marijuana Dispensary Zoning, Marijuana Grower Zoning Ordinance and the Sewer Ordinance. The Council moved to advertise for the public meeting where the ordinances will be presented. The hearing will be either at the October 25th work session or the Nov 1st regular council meeting.
The County is moving forward establishing a Health Department.
180 Cars came through and used the services provided. The E-Recycling truck was full.
Darlington Park / Formerly the Strine Property
In August the borough approved an additional $9,200 for Natural Lands Trust to create a plan for the Darlington Park - 11 acres of unbuildable land purchased by the borough for open space. This plan will be presented to the council shortly in late October or November. Once presented it will be posted on the borough website for public access.
These are my notes and not an official representations of the boroughs actions. The official borough minutes will be posted on the borough website after they are approved in the next regular council meeting scheduled for October 4th. The full audio of the meeting should be posted on the borough website within a day or two.
As always thank you for reading.