Forward Twp. residents voice road concerns



By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer




Residents of a Forward Township housing development say they dread the approach of winter because the roads in their community are in poor condition and historically have not received adequate winter maintenance.

The roads, they said, are pothole-ridden and eroded and create driving hazards, especially when covered by snow or ice.

The property owners, who live along Golden Circle and Pond Lane, took their concerns to Forward Township supervisors at the board’s regular meeting Thursday and asked the board if it could help them.

The board said it would try but couldn’t make any guarantees.

“It’s a private road,” said Supervisor Tom Headley, noting that, if the township fixed it, the municipality would be asked to fix others.

The roads serve a development of 11 homes, owned by McHolme Construction.

Residents said the roads were given a base coat of asphalt but that surface has eroded over the years. Township officials said the plan was for the township to take over maintenance of the roads once the development was completed but the project has not been completed.

Headley said an agreement requiring McHolme to fix the roads before turning them over to the township had expired. He said the township might want


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to withhold renewing that agreement until the builder addresses the road problems.

“But we’re paying taxes here,” said Paul Hochendoner, who lives in one of the homes.

Hochendoner asked where the tax money is going if it isn’t being used for roads.

Board of supervisors Chairman Tom DeRosa noted that the road is, in effect, like a driveway because of its private status and therefore couldn’t be maintained with public funds. DeRosa said he would talk to McHolme officials about the problem.

Supervisors asked Solicitor Bernie Schneider to investigate whether the township could cite the builder for the poor condition of the roads.

Not everyone at the meeting was unhappy with township infrastructure.

Residents who live in an area served by a newly rebuilt bridge linking Ripple Road to Pangburn Hollow Road gave DeRosa a thank-you card for overseeing the project.

“We did it in rapid fashion,” DeRosa said.

The project, he said, which cost $17,768 to finish, was possible because local businesses and individuals provided at low prices, or even donated, their goods and services.

The township’s engineer had estimated it would cost $240,000 to rebuild the bridge.

In other business, there is still no word on when the township will appoint a new police chief.

DeRosa, who is handling administrative affairs for the department, said, “We haven’t decided what we’re doing,” adding that not having a chief is saving the township about $125,000 per year.

The township’s former police chief, Tom Staley, retired Aug. 14.