and yet had done considerable work on the property including installing a foundation for a new home. Zoning Officer John Doddo stated then that, once he saw construction was happening there without a permit, he ordered Thomas to halt the work.
Gemmell expressed to the board several times his agitation with Thomas completing as much construction as he had without the township knowing. Attorney Donald Karpowich told him then that it is impossible for officials to know what each and every resident does on his property. Further, while Gemmell called for Thomas to be fined, Karpowich explained that the law is meant to correct, not to punish. If it’s found out someone is building without a permit, he must halt construction and get a permit.
At the Feb. 6 meeting, as Doddo announced the permits were issued and Thomas was clear to commence construction, both Zurek and Gemmell asked to see the permits and plans. They were told those documents are available to the public and to make an appointment with Doddo to view them during regular business hours.
After clarifying that the roadway being installed for the property is considered a driveway and that it will not be paved, plowed, or maintained by the township, Zurek surmised that the property owner might ask for a reduction in taxes, since he isn’t enjoying all the amenities of other homeowners.
Typical property appraisals are based on the real estate market value and not on public amenities, Karpowich responded. Still, Zurek said, if the owner does get a reduction in taxes, it will affect the other residents of Dale Drive, and thus affect the township.
“By not having an updated zoning law, you’re costing the township,” Zurek asserted. “These zoning laws aren’t updated and it’s going to cost Fairview Township in the future and it’s going to degrade our neighborhood.” Karpowich replied that the supervisors can possibly explore the existing zoning laws and the idea of amending them.
In other business, the Board of Supervisors agreed to submit an application for upgrades to two traffic signals, one at Route 309 and South Main Road, and the other at Route 309 and Kirby Avenue.
The board was asked by Steve McGinnis, of the Mountain Top Historical Society, to relocate the Mountain Top historical marker sign to the top of the mountain, where it will be visible. Currently, the sign is near the Internal Medicine Associates office. Supervisors were also asked, and gave permission, for future meetings of the Historical Society to be held at the municipal building.
The board created a Municipal Services Partnership Agreement between the township and the SPCA of Luzerne County, establishing a fee for turning over stray animals. For the first year of the five-year agreement, the cost will be $20 a stray, going up slightly each year and concluding with $100 per stray in the final year of the agreement. Without this contract, Supervisor Michael Iorio said, the SPCA would either refuse to accept strays caught by the township or it would charge a high rate to do so. Last year, 13 stray animals were turned over by the township.
The Mountaintop Hose Company No. 1 answered 38 calls in January, President David Hourigan reported, which included many automatic alarms at the industrial park, activated by cold temperatures.
Fairview Police handled 305 incidents in January, Supervisor Robert Orloski stated, including 30 calls for suspicious persons or vehicles, five fights, four domestic disturbances, three animal complaints, and one theft. Police issued 15 traffic citations, 15 verbal warnings, and 11 written warnings, and officers assisted with 15 motor-vehicle accidents.
The township’s annual Easter egg hunt, organized by the parks and recreation committee, will be held on March 24, from 1 to 3 p. m., at Memorial Park, announced Supervisor Fred Rose.
Road crews have been salting, cindering, and clearing township streets several times a day, reported Roadmaster Russ Marhold. Crews were also busy dealing with drains in the township that had a buildup of frozen leaves on top, as well as with maintaining vehicles and handling problems with a payloader, used to load trucks with salt.
At the beginning of the winter season, the township ordered 10 truckloads of salt and cinder, each containing 23,000 pounds, and about two-thirds of those have been used, Marhold went on. Another 12 truckloads have been ordered to get the township through this winter.
The zoning department took in $2,217 in fees and permits in the month of January, stated Doddo, which included road cuts, a deck and hot tub installation, and renovations at Turkey Hill.