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Lower Frederick Discusses Zieglerville Road Base Repair
Written by Mark Nolan, Correspondent

            The Lower Frederick Board of Supervisors continued its discussion of two road projects at its work session meeting on June 25.

            The Zieglerville Road and Spring Mount Road projects had been put out to bid. The former, except for patch work, has not been sealed or paved in over 25 years, while the latter is a smaller project which will repair sections of the road.

            Sacks & Sons submitted the lowest bids of $245,600 and $11,155 respectively, bringing the total cost of the Zieglerville road base repair and Spring Mount Road projects to $256,755.

            To fund the projects, the township has budgeted $175,717 from the liquid fuels fund, $61,038 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, and $20,000 from the general fund.

            Another option would be to utilize $81,038 in ARPA funds and $0 from the general fund. ARPA funds must be allocated and used within a limited time frame. The township intends to spread the cost of the project over two years by completing the base repair this year and then resurfacing the road in 2025.

            In 2022, the township evaluated various solutions to drainage problems that have been causing damage to Zieglerville Road. The installation of storm drains connecting to an existing swale was deemed the most cost-effective. Other drainage issues on the road were solved by recent construction projects. Additionally, several drainage pipes have been replaced.

            Supervisor Terry Sacks inquired about water coming down the hill near the Schwenksville Borough Water Authority property. 

            Township Engineer Carol Schuehler replied that most of this water is captured by the recently installed storm drains but fully addressing the problem would cost approximately $200,000.

            Vice Chair Chuck Yeiser asked if there are other areas of the road where there are "water issues", and how they should be addressed.  Schuehler replied that the completed drainage project "should go a long way to solve them."

            "The way I see the situation, unless the township has a boatload of money to solve all the water issues, I don't see anything happening down the road that's going to make that situation better with the amount of money that we have to spend in this township," Yeiser said.

            "I don't necessarily agree with what I heard discussed at the last meeting about band-aiding it. I don't think that's the solution."

            Some residents suggested delaying road repairs until a proposed sewer connection project on Zieglerville Road can be completed.

            A narrow stone arch bridge over Goshenhoppen Creek was also a topic of concern.

            Schuehler stated that the sewer project is conceptual, has not been designed, and the location of the future sewer line within the right-of-way has not been determined.

            Once designed, that project would have to be reviewed and permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Future sewer connections are not yet funded and cannot be paid for by the township's general or liquid fuels fund.

            The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) small water and sewer grant program could be a source of funding in the future, however, this program is not available every year.

            Board Chair Marla Hexter stated that "there is no connection" between the sewer connection and the base repair projects on Zieglerville Road.

            "The funding cannot come from the same place," Hexter said. "They are two completely separate projects."

            Supervisor Noelle Halter inquired about the alternative solution proposed by Sacks at the June 4 meeting that would cost approximately $64,000.

            Schuehler replied that if directed by the board, she would investigate that option further but added, "We're not solving the underlying problem, so you're not fixing the road."

            Halter asked if allocating $81K in ARPA funds to the road project would delay the construction of a women's bathroom and locker room for the two female officers on the township's police force.

            Township Manager Jason Wager assured Halter that the locker room would still be funded.

             Said Hexter, "This is something that has needed to be done for a long, long time. Kicking it down the road means it gets more expensive. We have a plan. We have funding. I think putting band-aids on things is penny-wise and pound-foolish. We will have a vote on this at our next meeting."

            Mandatory sewer connections were also discussed by the board. In November 2023 and March 2024, the township sent "notice to connect" letters to 48 residents impacted by the Fulmer Road, Riverside Avenue Sewer Extension Project, informing them of their need to connect to the new sewer line. 

            In April 2024, the township followed up with a "mandatory connection" letter, which was sent via certified mail. Currently, eight residents whose properties are mandated to connect have failed to act.

            The board authorized township staff to hand-deliver the mandatory connection letter to these eight residents, determine why they have failed to respond and assist them in completing the connection process. The mandatory connection date was June 30, 2024.






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