Snow plow

Coming off the hottest stretch of the summer, Peters Township Council prepared for the cold.

Council members voted unanimously to approve a resolution Monday adopting a new winter storm road maintenance policy, which municipal staff members developed as part of a review process of all township policies.

“The snow removal policy was actually our oldest policy,” assistant township manager Ryan Jeroski said. “It was adopted in February of 1991.”

The new version takes into account “changes in snow removal equipment, techniques and materials, as well as intergovernmental agreements and current township practices,” according to the resolution.

Among the topics addressed is the clearing of sidewalks, which is not mentioned specifically in the 1991 policy, although a township ordinance requires “abutting property owners to perform snow removal services on sidewalks within 24 hours of the advent of winter weather conditions.”

The 2019 policy contains a reminder of the ordinance and further states all township-maintained sidewalks are to be cleared within the allotted time, as well. The document also strengthens language regarding winter maintenance on private roads, for which property owners are responsible.

“The lone exception for this shall be emergency situations that directly threaten the life, health or property of a resident along a private road,” the policy states.

According to the guidelines, clearing a private road does not constitute adverse possession, or having it revert to township ownership, nor does the public works department’s “one-time response to the emergency situation create an expectation for residents along a private road for such responses in the future.”

For new residential developments in which the streets eventually will be part of the Peters’ road system, snow removal services could be provided for a fee established as double the rate in the township’s agreement with the state Department of Transportation for services on Bebout Road, which for 2019-20 is $1,251.28 per mile.

The contract calls for the township maintaining 38.72 miles of state roads for a fee of $50,550. In total, the public works department provides maintenance for more than 136 miles of local and state roads.

In other business Monday:

  • Council voted to apply for a $2 million state Multimodal Transportation Fund grant toward construction of the second phase of the road to be built through the former Rolling Hills Country Club property.

The municipality and Peters Township School District, each of which owns half the property, were unsuccessful in securing a grant for the first phase of Rolling Hills Drive, which will extend southeast from Center Church Road.

“We’re in a better position for phase two,” Jeroski told council. “We’re further along in design and permitting, and we have buy-in from all the impacted property owners.”

The second phase will include realigning East McMurray Road to create a “hammer” configuration allowing residents better access to their homes. The cost is projected at $3.2 million, and if the grant is awarded, the district and township will pay $600,000 apiece.

  • With renovations taking place in council chambers at the municipal building, it was announced the Aug. 12 meeting will be held in the community room at the rear of the police station. The township planning commission’s Aug. 8 meeting also is scheduled for the alternate location.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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