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Durham wrestles with road and bridge repair funding

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The resurfacing of a portion of Kintner Road in Durham Township has been completed and the board of supervisors at the October meeting approved the payment of $100,553 to Asphalt Maintenance Systems of Center Valley for the work.

Meanwhile road repairs after an August flash flood are still troubling the road crew. Dani McClanahan, township administrator, said representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently visited the site on Dogwood Lane where a storm on Aug. 11 washed out a bridge over a tributary of Cooks Creek. Floods on the same night undercut a section of Stouts Valley Road.

The township had estimated to replace the Dogwood Lane bridge, repair the road and protect the creek would cost about $500,000, but McClanahan reported FEMA said its figure was “vastly different.” She said FEMA funds can only be used to return the road to its condition prior to the disaster. Also, she said the granting of FEMA funds is considered for the county as a whole so other townships with more damage would get more funding.

The township has received a $150,000 grant from Penn State’s Dirt, Gravel and Low-Volume Road Maintenance Program. Those funds will be used to provide temporary repair to the damaged stretch of Dogwood Lane.

The supervisors are agonizing over what to do about the township’s recycling program. Roadmaster Peter Cox told them only 12 residents dropped off recycling materials earlier in the month. He said it was his opinion the program should be stopped because all the trash haulers in the township also provide recycling and most residents simply do curbside recycling rather than take items to the township yard once a month.

Supervisor Richard Johnson said the township had spent a lot of money to establish the program years ago when most townships started to offer recycling and Supervisor Kathleen Gentner said residents she had talked to wanted to keep recycling. Supervisor Chairman Bartley E. Millett told Johnson the money spent on constructing the recycling center would not be lost because the building could be repurposed. No decision was made.

Louis Bucci, chairman of the township’s board of auditors, questioned the way the township’s profit and loss statement for January to September this year was prepared. The financial sheet was available at the meeting.

Bucci said, “I’m seeing a lot of zeros here, Where did that money go?” He said, “I’m not suggesting anything illegal is going on. It just should be accounted for. He also said the preparation method should be looked at when the supervisors meet later this month to start work on the 2019 budget.

After the meeting McClanahan said, “Mr. Bucci did not have a full understanding of what he was looking at. I did ask him to come into the office so I could explain it to him.”


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