During the Moore Township Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, February 7, the township discussed possibly vacating two roads and received input from the residents whose properties border those roads.
Public Works Director Craig Hoffman brought up potentially vacating Trach Road, which runs from South Summit to Bauer Road, and Bigley Road between 946 Mountain View Drive and Glase Road. Both roads are surrounded by farmland on either side and are dirt and gravel roads. Hoffman added that the roads are very hard to maintain in the winter.
Contiguous property owner Jeffrey Henderson expressed that the erosion on Trach Road is deplorable because of neglect and worries that if the road is vacated, it will fall on the property owners to take care of the road, which will be costly. Henderson added that he would like to come to some kind of agreement with the township to see if some corrective measures can be taken before the road is vacated.
Township Solicitor David M. Backenstoe clarified that the Board of Supervisors has the right to vacate a road if it deems it in the best interest of the township. However, before the board can vacate a road, they must hold a public hearing, with advertisements prior to the hearing and written notice to the contiguous property owners, so property owners can attend the hearing and voice any objections.
Once a road is vacated, it becomes owned by the contiguous property owners, who would be responsible for maintaining the road.
Once the board adopts an ordinance to proceed with the vacation, property owners can file exceptions with the Court of Common Pleas within 30 days. Property owners can then file a petition with the court to offer further testimony where the court would decide if the road should be vacated. If the court decides the road should be vacated but property owners feel they have incurred damages, they can file an appeal to the court and petition for a Board of View where three individuals who are appointed by the court to go out and take a look at the road and property will determine if there are any damages. If property owners feel they lost a proprietary interest in the road, they could seek damages from the township or reach an agreement.
Henderson expressed that he would like the road to be fixed to how it was prior to the erosion since the erosion is permeating into the fields and creating a hazard.
The board decided to have Township Engineer Kevin Horvath investigate the condition of the roads and come up with suggestions based on what the board can do to move forward.