By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer
A public dialogue about a recently rebuilt bridge in Forward
Township led to angry words being exchanged between a township
supervisor and a resident.
Supervisor Chairman Tom DeRosa and township resident Howard
Fleming traded threats and four-letter words at a public meeting
The mood of the meeting turned hostile after Fleming spoke during a
public comment portion about bridge construction work near his home.
Fleming contends the township did not have all the required
permits for work it completed this week on a bridge that connects Ripple
Road with Pangburn Hollow Road.
He claims the work, which was conducted by township crews, runs
afoul of state Department of Environmental Protection guidelines
because, he says, it altered the flow of water in Mill Creek.
“As far as I’m concerned they changed the flow of the creek,” Fleming
He said structural work around the bridge narrows the flow of the
He said he’s concerned that debris will jam up at the bridge during
rainfall and cause the creek to overflow its banks.
“The DEP comes up with rules (township workers) are supposed to
follow and they don’t,” Fleming said.
In addition to contacting the DEP about the bridge, Fleming said he’s
also called the offices of state Sen. J. Barry Stout, DSomerset
Township , and Rep. David Levdansky, D-Forward Township
, to complain about possible wrongdoing in the permitting process.
Supervisors say Fleming has a long-standing gripe with the township
related to a citation he received for having a messy property years ago.
DeRosa said he got an emergency permit from the DEP to fix the bridge
and that he personally oversaw the project himself.
DeRosa said two township workers did most of the work. The
township hired the contracting firm Earth Concepts for concrete
work, he said.
DeRosa said the township engineer estimated it would cost
$240,000 to rebuild the bridge.
He said he was able to get the job done for approximately $24,000.