PAUPACK TWP. - With nearly six miles of state roads to plow every winter, Paupack Township has a yearly agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. At the August meeting, Supervisor Chairman Bruce Chandler said the township is reimbursed for the roads and the repayment covers the anti-ski and salt the township purchases.

The initial payment last year was $14,599 with an additional $8,000 for the major storm. In order to get to Goose Pond Road near Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, Chandler said the road crew must drive on state roads anyway, so the agreement is a “win/win situation.”

Public survey

Efforts continue with Paupack Township Supervisor James Martin communicating with representatives from Palmyra Township and Hawley Borough to update the Comprehensive Plan. To date, there have been two training sessions and a third is set to occur at some time in October. Looking to the public for feedback, community surveys were sent out and so far, 67 were returned. The hope, Martin said is for 100 to 150 surveys to be answered across the three municipalities. 

[Editor’s note: The plan outlines anticipated demographic changes for the years ahead and how zoning and infrastructure will be impacted.

Contact your township/borough office for information about the survey and to fill one out.

Paupack Township residents should call 570-226-3115   or visit http://www.paupacktownship.org/.

Palmyra Township (Wayne) residents should call 570-226-6566 visit http://www.palmyrawayne.org/. ]

Hawley Borough residents should call 570-226-9545 or visit http://www.hawleyborough.org/.

Under building and zoning, for July Supervisor Leigh Gilbert reported that there were: two houses, one addition, two garages, seven decks and one shed.

The Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department, Chandler reported, purchased land behind the firehouse that has a 50-foot right of way.

The purchase of the land “made sense,” as it will at some point be used for expansion. The land is undeveloped Chandler said, and so, a lumber harvest is needed. The land cost “approximately $25,000,” of which the township was likely paying the majority. A problem with the right-of-way is that a road was needed in order to service the property, which cost close to $20,000 to make the land accessible. Chandler said the land will serve the fire company for “future growth.” The board approved the township portion of land to be timbered.

Property maintenance

At the July meeting, it seemed as though the Anonick property maintenance case had concluded. At the August meeting however, Alison Nielson who initiated the complaint against her neighbor, said things really have not improved, as the supervisors had thought. Although Chandler had done follow-ups with the neighbor in the past, Nielson presented the board with photos of the land from October that resembled images taken the day of the recent township meeting, that she believed shows that there “really is no significant difference.” The neighbor, Anonick paid a $2,000 fee and had a dumpster for a period. But, before the dumpster was gone, it left Anonick’s property “pretty much empty.”

Looking at the photos Nielson presented, Chandler questioned if Anonick had moved items around the property because they were not there when he last looked. While vehicles and other items have since been removed, Nielson said there are “still piles of debris” along with boats and “all kinds of junk.” She questioned what more could be done.

Chandler responded that the board has dropped the charges because they were content with Anonick’s progress. He acknowledged Nielson might not have agreed with their decision, but applying the ordinance is not easy as people have differences of opinion. Looking at the photos, Chandler seemed puzzled by what was pictured as he hadn’t seen what was shown and so he said, “Maybe I wasn’t looking at it right.”

Nielson said her neighbor has been acting in a passive-aggressive manner, as he removed all the items, except what is visible from her home and she believes he “moves things around.” While he did get rid of jet skies and vehicles, they weren’t as visible as what remains. Chandler said Anonick had removed two to three vehicles and a snowmobile trailer, but there are “things he has a right to have.”

Solicitor Ron Bugaj questioned what is deemed a violation of the ordinance. Currently, there is nothing in the township’s property maintenance ordinance regarding boats and trailers but rather it addresses garbage, litter and tires Chandler explained.

What remains now, Nielson said is in her family’s “line of sight.” Chandler responded that he will have to revisit the property. Bugaj added that, “If we can help you, we’ll help you.”

Then, Nielson went on to ask about noise ordinances. Bugaj answered that zoning generally covers noise because there is no noise ordinance. Nielson questioned how late someone can play music outdoors or how late people can mow their lawns for long periods at night.

Those examples, “get complicated” Bugaj said and he wasn’t sure if there are specific ordnances for such instances. He told Nielson that she must “realize we live in the country and not the city.” To which Nielson responded that the homes are close together. Paupack Township Zoning Officer Roland Edwards said townships generally adopt nuisance ordinances, but the noise isn’t that loud, it’s just that it is a nuisance as it happening at the wrong time of day. To measure the noise, a decibel meter is needed and an engineer for the study.

Nielson responded that at midnight, Anonick turns his stereo on outside of his home, on his deck and leave it there for hours playing while he is nowhere in sight. She asked, how such a behavior could be justified. Bugaj answered that he is unable to open his own windows at his home, because he has a neighbor that burns at night and so, with such instances its about being a “good neighbor.” Nielson and Anonick however, “are not good neighbors.” There are times, when just talking can make a difference Bugaj believes. But, if enforcement is needed as a private citizen, Nielson is able to file a civil action if she feels Anonick is “conducting a nuisance on his property” that affects her. The township however, must “catch him in the act” or have evidence, which is “very difficult for us to do” Bugaj explained. Although there are ordinances on file for Nielson to look at, Bugaj said she might be better off meeting a private attorney to get advice.

Quarry

The quarry behind Krazy Fingers has raised some questions. Gene Yager asked if the quarry is still in operation, despite the conditional use ending last month. Edwards said he was told that the quarry was trying to reduce the slope of a hillside to stabilize the land since it had been eroding. If that is the case, then quarrying is not occurring, since materials aren’t being removed from the property.

Yager, who initiated the topic, said it seems as though those at the quarry are going over his property line based on the Wayne County map. To which, Edwards responded that the lines “aren’t totally accurate.” In order to determine if there is a problem, Edwards would like to visit the quarry when the gates are open. In the end, Bugaj suggested the concerned neighbor gather information he could and send it to him.

500 beer bottles

Township resident Steve Rabel asked the board about a property near his home where there may be 500 beer bottles. Chandler said he signed the necessary papers for the magistrate, but having seen the residence he couldn’t imagine how anyone could live in such conditions. There will be a hearing in the middle of September at some point.

The next Paupack Township supervisors’ meeting will be held Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Township offices on Daniels Road.