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Middle School Concerns Linger for Upper Hanover Residents
Written by Candace Perry, Correspondent

            Construction on the new middle school may have ceased, but a few issues are still weighing on some local residents.

            Township Engineer John Weber, at the township's regular meeting on Dec. 12, said that he had attended a meeting with the conservation district and school district officials to discuss clean-up of the construction site.

            He reported that the conservation district had instructed the school district to perform temporary stabilization of the site by mulching any exposed earth until March 1, and then a permanent solution by layering top soil and grass. The mulch would need to be maintained on a regular basis.

            No decisions were made about the infrastructure that is currently installed. Weber also said that it was suggested that the current rented safety fence be purchased and maintained on the site.

            Several Upper Hanover residents, include new school board member Melanie Cunningham, attended the Upper Hanover Supervisors' workshop meeting to discuss the Montgomery Avenue sidewalk situation and clean-up of the construction site on Monday, Dec. 11.

            Chief among the residents' concerns were students walking on Montgomery Avenue. The supervisors were asked whether the township had any plans to install sidewalks; they answered that they did not, noting that it remained the responsibility of the school district.

            "Safety of the students is just as important with or without the middle school," supervisors' Chairman Gene Fried said.

            Township Solicitor Joseph Bresnan said that the "district is still faced with the traffic study by PennDOT."

            Township resident John Walsh asked if the supervisors were concerned with the liability the township might have if a student was injured walking along the road.

            "It's a lot more on the district, than on the township," Bresnan replied.

            Fried agreed, "It's on them for safety."

            Residents also asked about adding a stop sign at 11th Street and Montgomery Avenue, which had previously been rejected by Pennsburg Borough.

            "Everything with the school and Montgomery Avenue has to go back to the high school," Supervisor Ben Fiorito said. He noted that no traffic study had been done taking only the high school into account. "You have to start all over," he said. "This is clearly the school district's issue."

            The students are supposed to be avoiding Montgomery Avenue entirely, and walking down Seminary Street to Lakeview and then to 11th Street.

            Fried asked Melanie Cunningham to take questions about the stop sign back to the school board. 

            In other news from the Dec. 11 workshop meeting, supervisors said they have heard concerns about hunting on the Soffa Road open space. "They've always hunted there," said supervisor Fain. "We shouldn't eliminate it."

            Supervisor Steve Rothenberger agreed. "The deer are overpopulated and need to be eliminated," he said.

            In zoning news, the supervisors discussed a revision to the accessory use section of the ordinance for housing small domestic animals, and what would constitute a kennel versus owning dogs or cats as family pets. "Regardless of the number we pick," commented supervisor Fiorito, "we don't have dog police."

            In traffic news, the supervisors discussed the traffic light at Geryville Pike and route 663 and the possibility of re-timing the light and adding turning arrows, specifically going north and south on 663.

            The meeting was adjourned and the supervisors held an executive session to discussion litigation and personnel matters.





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