Gary Volovnik will serve as chairman of the Board of Supervisors in East Rockhill in 2019.
Supervisor David Nyman will be vice-chair.
Volovnik and Nyman received the appointments at the supervisors’ recent reorganization meeting.
A supervisor since 1983, Volovnik is now in his 36th year on the board, according to Township Manager Marianne Morano. He also served as chairman in 2018.
Volovnik’s appointment comes at a busy and contentious time for East Rockhill supervisors, who are embroiled in legal and zoning battles with the operator and site owner of the Rockhill Quarry.
Richard E. Pierson Materials Corp. has been working the quarry in support of its $224 million contract to provide asphalt for about seven miles of the Northeast Extension. Operations were temporarily suspended in December while environmental officials investigated for the presence of asbestos.
Nearby East Rockhill residents, who oppose the quarry’s operations, are concerned about the quarry’s potential to cause air pollution, water pollution, intrusive noise, dangerous truck traffic, diminished property values and more.
Battles in federal court and before the local zoning board were ongoing as of this writing.
Supervisors are instrumental in operating municipal government. They establish a municipality’s local real estate property tax rate, approve the township budget, approve or deny development plans, make open space purchases on the township’s behalf, and more.
For 2019, East Rockhill supervisors said they were compelled to hike municipal property taxes for the first time since 2015 to help cover projected costs associated with the quarry dispute. The township has budgeted $171,000 for potential quarry-related expenses. The 2019 millage rate is 12.235, up from 2018’s 10.235.
At the recent reorganization meeting, East Rockhill supervisors made a number of other appointments to important township positions. Grim, Biehn & Thatcher, as represented by Patrick Armstrong, will once more be solicitor for East Rockhill. C. Robert Wynn Associates, represented by Steve Baluh, will serve as township engineer. Supervisors reappointed Jeff Scholl as director of public works. Morano continues as township manager and zoning officer.
In addition to resolving the quarry situation to the benefit of residents, supervisors’ goals for 2019 center on providing residents with the same level of service they’ve come to expect. That includes making road improvements, such as completing paving on West Rock Road and undertaking nova chip application on Hillendale Road and Creekview Drive.
“We are also continuing to look at improvements to the municipal complex, which is the municipal office and public works facility,” said Morano. “Bid documents are being prepared for a meeting room addition and renovations to existing office space to provide an up-to-date meeting space and put in place security features for daily operations. The last improvement was in 1992 by adding an entry roof.”