During their meeting on Oct. 24, the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors officially took a stance against Keystone Cement’s plans to drill deeper into the ground (about 150 feet above sea level). The cement company is currently in the permitting process with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, but has remained tight-lipped with township officials and residents.
Hanover Engineering, the engineering firm for the township, conducted a geological study. The firm has strong concerns about water drawdown for residents south and southeast of the drilling area. All residents along Jacksonville Road would see their wells affected.
When township manager Brent Green asked Keystone officials to hold a public meeting with residents, they expressed reluctance. According to Green, the company felt the township was dispersing false information to residents. However, Keystone is not willing to meet with residents to clear up any information, Green said.
What is seen as a lack of transparency prompted Supervisor Roger Unangst to make a motion that officially denounces Keystone’s plans. He asked that Green draft a letter to DEP, Keystone, and state representatives that rejects these new drilling plans “until we get some answers.” All supervisors voiced support for this motion.
In other news, the township has awarded the bid for the demolition of the Weaversville Secure Treatment Facility to Penmar Services. The township has been holding on to a 2017 LSA grant of $200,000 to use for the demolition project.
Penmar’s bid for the demolition of the former juvenile facility came in well below the grant’s total at $133,350. The company will also be removing the underground oil tanks and the facility’s old basketball and tennis courts.
The low bid leaves the township with enough money to demolish the property’s farmhouse. The township will be working on bids for that project next.
Finally, residents of Montauk Lane signed a petition asking whether the township can consider road repavement in their 2020 budget. Over 80 homes line the road, which has not been repaved in nearly 40 years. Two residents have already been injured while riding bikes over potholes.
Green said the road would require a full-depth reclamation. Springs beneath the road have made it hard for public works to employ temporary fixes. Under drains would need to be installed to capture the spring water.
Green estimates the project could cost well over $400,000 and may have to be broken into phases.
Green, public works, and the board will be meeting in January to look at all township roads and begin completing a list of those that need work.