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Sign moratorium declared in Berlin Township

By Linda Drollinger
May 28, 2014

BEACH LAKE, PA — “I’m declaring a six-month moratorium on sign installations, sign requests, sign permit applications, and anything else to do with signs,” said Chairman Paul Henry at the May 20 regular monthly meeting of the Berlin Township Board of Supervisors.

Henry went on to explain that, because the township currently has no signage ordinances in place, the board is obliged to review each and every request for signage. And the numerous requests received have become burdensome, and not as pressing as the township’s critical need for road repair and rebuilding after last winter’s harsh weather.

Even before the start of the work session that preceded the meeting, roadmasters Charles Gries and Cathy Hunt conferred with Henry on how best to deal with receipt of an inferior grade of calcium chloride, used by road crews to control dust. Hunt noted that this was not the first time an inferior product had been received from the same low-bid supplier, also observing that said supplier had attributed the first batch to a defective supply it had received from Mexico and, at that time, had promised that it would never happen again.

Incidents like the foregoing may have been behind the board’s cautious approach toward acceptance of the low bid by an independent contractor for the rebuilding of a portion of Billard Road. Only two bids were received, and there was significant disparity between them. Hunt feared that the low bid of $39,300 might have been made without due consideration of all specifications guaranteed by the other contractor’s $55,400 bid. After discussion, it was decided to table the matter for further review until a June 9 special meeting.

Public comment produced stories of dangerously dilapidated roads throughout the township. In answer to a question about the timetable for repair of Adams Pond Road, Gries reported that part of the road had been done the previous week and that the remainder is scheduled for next week. When a resident complained that one unpaved road is now “little more than a cow path,” Henry explained that the road in question is a state road, making its maintenance PennDOT’s responsibility. Hunt agreed to include a request for repair of that road among other requests she will soon present to PennDOT.