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Upper Hanover Approves Stipulation Agreement for New School
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

School District will fund construction of sidewalks, bike path


            Upper Hanover Township's board of supervisors voted April 20 to ratify a stipulation agreement with the Upper Perkiomen School District related to the proposed construction of a new middle school on Montgomery Avenue.

            By a 3-1 vote, the supervisors approved an 11-page document that settles a conditional use appeal by the district against the township and requires the district to install sidewalks on both sides of Montgomery Avenue.

            Alexis McGloin, the district superintendent, called the agreement the proper solution for the district, township and students. She said it will allow a safe pedestrian path for students walking to and from the new school.

            Upper Hanover Supervisor Steven R. Rothenberger cast the lone vote against the agreement, which requires the district to install a sidewalk and bike path from Walt Road to Eighth Street on the southern side of Montgomery Avenue, as well as a sidewalk on the northern side of the street from Eight Street to Sixth Street.

            Municipal and district officials expect the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to eventually install a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Eighth Street and Montgomery Avenue, according to township Solicitor Joseph Bresnan.

            "We're very pleased," McGloin said following the vote. "We are satisfied that is the right thing to do."

            After the special public meeting, Rothenberger explained that he voted against a "poorly written" document with a plethora of issues, including concerns over who would pay for future road repairs on Montgomery Avenue.

            "When the public reads this they are probably going to be a little upset," he said. "This whole process has been rushed."

            Vice Chairman Richard K. Fain did not attend the meeting. Fain has recused himself this process because of a potential conflict of interest, according to township Manager Stan Seitzinger.

            However, Bresnan expressed more surety about the agreement he wrote with Mark Hosterman, the attorney representing the district. 

            "It's well written," Bresnan said. "My clients wanted sidewalks, which is what they got. That's a good day."

            The settlement requires the district to complete the sidewalk project before the school opens. According to Bresnan, the township won't issue a use and occupancy permit for the new facility until district officials have completed the installation the sidewalks and bike path.

District officials hope to commence the sidewalk project as soon as possible, according to McGloin. She told the supervisors they can expect to see plans submitted within the next four months.

            School officials previously estimated the cost of that construction at approximately $800,000. Hosterman said that figure does not include any potential right of way acquisition costs.

            According to the lawyer, the district will build a bike path and sidewalk from Walt Road past the new school for sixth, seventh and eighth graders through the property of William Chrisman Jr. to Eighth Street.

            Chrisman, along with two other Montgomery Avenue residents and Pennsburg Borough Council, filed a petition to intervene in the district's conditional use appeal before Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Del Ricci.

            The settlement requires the district to indemnify Chrisman. According to Hosterman, the district would represent the resident in court if anyone is injured walking on new sidewalk constructed on his property.






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