Some environmental concerns nearly derailed the adoption of a right-of-way ordinance at Durham Township’s June meeting, but a compromise resulted and the supervisors put in place Ordinance 2019-1.
Lois Oleksa of the township’s Environmental Advisory Council said she was concerned about damage to the environment she believed was not addressed in the ordinance directed at Verizon’s 5G wireless telecommunications stations to be placed in the township.
The technology is said to offer speedier bandwidths and reduced lag time.
The ordinance was drawn up by Peter Nelson, township solicitor, who claimed it would be the best way to obtain some control for the municipality.
Oleksa is not only worried about the placement of extra poles in the right-of-way but also thinks the township should demand that if any soil is disturbed it should be re-seeded with native grasses. She also wants to ensure that structures no longer in use be removed from the areas in question.
Supervisor Kathleen Gentner reminded her state regulations are in place for much of what happens in rights-of-way so the township is limited in what it can do.
In the end, the supervisors adopted the ordinance but also decided to ask the solicitor to prepare amendments concerning re-seeding and the removal of obsolete equipment.
In other business, the supervisors voted to hire a certified public accounting firm, Zelenkofske Axelrod LLC of Jamison, to complete the annual audit of the township’s books in place of the elected auditors who said they were unable to complete the work successfully.
The supervisors also authorized the advertisement of bids for work on Old Furnace Road. Peter Cox, roadmaster, said the work will be the same three-coat process used successfully last summer on the lower portion of Kintner Road.
The supervisors voted to give $20,000 to Community Fire Company No. 1 of Riegelsville as the township’s annual gift.