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Springfield to continue broadcasting quarry review

Expenses are high for labor and equipment


Springfield supervisors agreed to continue broadcasting the quarry hearings at the fire hall despite the $800 a month bill.
Supervisor Tony Matzura, who pushed to end the broadcasts, acknowledged it was convenient for residents but expressed concern over the steep monthly bill given the duration of the hearings, which are expected to continue well into 2022. Labor to operate the A/V equipment amounts to $650, with the equipment making up the rest of the bill.
The hearings on a proposed quarry off Route 309, which began over a year ago, generated a tremendous initial response, with some listening to proceedings outside the hall, but that in-person number dwindled to three at a recent meeting in August. Nonetheless, the board plans to continue spending $140 a month to rent the Springtown venue.
Supervisor Chairman Jim Nilsen said there may be a way to reduce the cost using COVID-19 relief funds but he was not personally in favor of getting rid of the hybrid scenario. “Unfortunately, we are dealing with numbers that are increasing, not going down.” Nilsen’s colleague, Jim Hopkins, agreed. “It’s now an expectation of every person, whether it’s a citizen or employee.”

During public comment, resident Pete Jones praised supervisors for “taking the bull by the horn” and providing the virtual option. “This has been a real boon for the township. The demographics of the people here tend to be older. They are leery to go out to in-person meetings.”
Long a technological blackspot, the township has standardized its communication system, and now provides wifi and data backups at the Township Road building. Its antiquated phone system, long a source of frustration, is set to be replaced soon.
Supervisors also reviewed a sketch plan from Haycock Camping Ministries, which plans a 30-year phased expansion of indoor and outdoor facilities, parking lots and stormwater management facilities.