2009-02-26 / Local & State

Ayr Sits Down With County On JLG Turn-lane

Questions posed on necessity of turning lane project and construction status
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Two representatives of the Ayr Township Board of Supervisors sat before the Fulton County commissioners Tuesday afternoon armed with questions pertinent to the necessity of a turning lane at JLG Industries given the numerous layoffs and the resulting reduction in traffic coming in and out of the McConnellsburg plant along Route 16.

Township Supervisor Marlin "Sonny" Harr told commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer, Daniel Swain Jr. and David Hoover II the Board of Supervisors remains committed to donating a flat amount of $30,000 toward the project regardless of the overall price. He did point out, however, the board is willing to give the first of three installment payments of $10,000 each. If progress is not seen in 2010, the supervisors would not be willing to ante up the next share of the funds.

Harr along with fellow Supervisor Thurman Nesbitt III were informed by county planner Mary K. Seville even though preliminary engineering is already under way, the actual groundbreaking or construction itself is not scheduled to begin until 2011.

"We just don't want to end up with just a couple flags in someone's yard," said Harr of the possible end result of their contribution. Harr went on to say that the supervisors have spoken with representatives at PennDOT in Hollidaysburg about the feasibility and necessity of the proposed turning-lane project. Posing the same question on a county level, Hoover responded to Harr in the event JLG and the economy would continue to remain stagnant, they should not proceed.

"I say if we can do it, we should do it though," stated Hoover, who added that traffic is not as heavy in that particular area, but it is still difficult turning in and getting out during the busy shift changes.

County projects coordinator Karen Hann said the project was initially suggested as a safety enhancement project and would be beneficial to any company operating from that facility. Furthermore, in addition to spending some funding on preliminary issues, JLG has already given an additional $52,000 toward the project. Commissioners chair Keefer added JLG must have thought the project was a necessity since it was the original requester fothe enhancement at the entrance to

the plant.

Hann concluded the supervisors would be kept abreast of future meetings between PennDOT and JLG officials. The overall local match for the project is an estimated $300,000, with sources including JLG Industries, the county and township. Federal funds constitute the remaining money needed to finish the project.

Greg Reineke and Seleen Shives of the Conservation District presented the commissioners with a draft of the job description pertinent to Reineke's newly acquired duties as county recycling coordinator. The group also reviewed a memorandum of understanding between the county and Conservation District for the recycling program, which will in turn be passed onto county solicitor Stanley Kerlin for final perusal.

The commissioners authorized Keefer to sign a letter indicating Fulton County is interested in participating in a household hazardous waste collection program. Centre County Solid Waste Authority was designated as the agency to procure and solicit proposals for the event.

Reineke noted he has applied to the Department of Environmental Protection for grant monies that could be utilized for the clean up of illegal dumps as well as tire dumps. He said he is also reapplying for money through the Tire Recycling grant as money is still available for 2009.

Bulky pickup days, it was noted, will likely be offered by townships in late April or the beginning of May, and the possibility of offering electronics recycling is also being investigated. In order to accept old electronics from local residents, Reineke said he must first secure a building with a small amount of storage area and a loading dock.

Randy Zeger was appointed to a two-year term of office on the Southern Alleghenies EMS Council effective immediately.

Local attorneys Stanley Kerlin, Travis Kendall and Jim Schall appeared before the commissioners to discuss relinquishing financial expenditures and related information belonging to the county law library to the county for use in the single county audit by Zelenkofske & Axelrod. Kerlin, as an appointed member of the Fulton County Law Library Committee, reminded the commissioners that the law library does not fall under the county's umbrella and was actually created through a statute in 1865. Monies coming into the law library stem from fines ordered through judges of the Court of Common Pleas.

Kerlin was asked to draft and send a letter to the auditors to rectify this matter and ensure it does not become a finding in the annual audit report completed by the firm.

The group also discussed the future chambering of a fifth judge in the Court of Common Pleas and if the individual could at least be housed in Fulton County on a temporary basis while Franklin County undergoes a construction project.

Chair Keefer was granted further permission to sign grant documents for the Department of Community and Economic Development, allowing Fulton County to receive $10,000 for the development of a joint model subdivision and land development ordinance and and additional $12,500 to update Mc- Connellsburg Borough's zoning ordinance.

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