PALMYRA TWP. (Wayne) - Blasting in the Didder Ridge Quarry is causing windows to rattle and items to fall from the shelves in the Lake Region IGA. Storeowner, Jim Shook spoke to the Palmyra Township Board of Supervisors at the October meeting regarding the blasting that has “gotten stronger.” In the last two months specifically, he said there have been “significant vibrations” in the store.

Having communicated with other business owners about this matter, Shook said others have expressed their concern too; more specifically as the chairman of the Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District, he is aware of “extremely strong vibrations” being felt at the dam.

Shook mentioned Brookfield Energy, which owns the dam, purchasing a seismometer that would be installed on the dam. As of yet, Andy Davis, spokesman for Brookfield, said a device hasn’t been purchased, but there are many protocols followed to ensure the dam is soundly maintained. 
        More recently, Shook said there has been “lot of concerns” about the blasting as it “seems to be less than 500 yards from the dam.”  

In response to Shook’s concerns, Supervisor Chairman Pete Steffen replied that he would “put a friendly call” to the appropriate persons to learn if there have been any changes regarding the “criteria” or “loading of more holes.” With what’s happening, Shook said he thinks the blasting is at the point of the ledge, which is different than the initial height the blasting was at. 

Solicitor Jeffrey Treat questioned about an “awful lot of dust” traveling on Rt. 590 recently. Shook answered that there was a windy day, where the dust did travel and cover tress. Supervisor Road Master Joe Kmetz suggested contacting the quarry owners and having them put water on the dust so it doesn’t travel. Steffen said he would make the call.

Other matters

Secretary Treasurer Lois Powderly reported that as of September 30 in the general checking account there was $220,26338, with $130,236.99 in the state road account. As for the building code account, there was $39,805.71 with $5.00 remaining in The Dime Bank from the sewer project, which totaled $390,311.08. But, with certificates of deposit the total was $443,639.70. 

Income for September, Powderly said was $13,245.26 with salaries for the month totaling $3,170.39. Salaries from July through September totaled $12,170.88. In the state road account she said the township occurred $82.44 in interest. Revenue for the building code account was $1,727.32. 
           Hawley Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott Mead reported that in September the volunteers responded to nine calls that included: three in Hawley Borough, three in Palmyra Township with mutual aid to Forest Volunteer Fire Department three times and Hawley ambulance once. As for certifications for air packs and equipment for the year, Mead said that was completed. 

Kmetz said “in a few years” Pike County is “very interested” in having the Hawley Area Authority wastewater treatment plant sewer line extended there. That means the township would receive their “kickback later on” because of the “few years” that it will take. Even still, there is great interest in getting the line “up across the river,” he said.

Palmyra Township is ready for maintenance of the winter roads. Steffen said the township is in the same salt program as last year. With the salt and anti-skid recently received, Kmetz said, “we’re ready.”   There was a conditional use hearing to amend the existing zoning ordinance 17-02 to include a definition of theatre in rural, residential and commercial districts in the township Steffen explained. This was initiated in regards to Henry Skier planning to build a theater for performing arts on his property at some point. The board adopted Ordinance 17-02.

Zoning Officer Paul Natale reported that for the month of September, one permit was issued.

Steffen said a commercial audit was completed and passed in the township. Because there are some incomplete files from the application to certificate of occupancy, Steffen said Natale is trying to complete the files for the “sake” of the township and property owners. The work though, is “not a witch hunt” for anyone, because Natale in Steffen’s opinion is “protecting” the township by trying to make the files proper. Natale will be focusing on open permits from the past 18 months so there are “no flags” for the next audit.

The next Palmyra Township supervisors’ meeting will be Monday, November 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the township building that is located at 219 Oak Street in Marble Hill.