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Because of the engineer that would have been proper protocol, yes?” said Stella.
“We had a consultant who had worked over there and they combined on the specifications. To my mind that should not have happened. That should have been prepared by the township engineer. And that’s what’s being corrected,” explained Solicitor Bill Higgs. I’m hoping we can do an amendment so that we don’t have to go through all the forms again. This will be a one shot.”
Felicia Bierzynski countered, “There is this landowners agreement. The grant is “growing greener” they allow them to use it for what they want. It’s right here. Did anybody here on the board read this before you agreed to it?” I’ll bet you two to one that you didn’t read this grant. Did Mr. Armstrong show any of the supervisors the whole agreement? Did they read it before they agreed to it for 20 years?” implored Bierzynski.
Stella said, “I didn’t read it.”
“Three supervisors agreed to accept this grant with all of these proposals in here without reading it,” continued Bierzynski.
Bierzynski produced a copy of the 2012 PALMS grant agreement and handed it to Higgs and asked him to read at the public meeting.
“This is the landowners agreement. Where’s your 20 years?” countered Higgs.
Bierzynski said it was included in Item 11.
Higgs said that once the construction was completed the 20-year did not apply. “You are misreading it,” said Higgs.
Bierzynski said she knows what the agreement says about the 20 years and that she had shown it to Mullery’s assistant and he agrees with it too.
Stella agreed that the language in the contract should have been changed as it does refer to 20 years after the construction. Whatever this new plan is we are all going to get a copy?” asked Stella.
“Sediment is a normal thing. That lake is 100 years old just like Blythburn Lake,” said Bierzynski.
Tom Cherry stated that he had participated with the Boy Scouts 40 years ago and the eastern shore of the lake in the proposed restoration area was always shallow.
Rice previously repaired a swale from Ice Harvest Drive that directs water down toward the lake. Miller Stella said that recent storms had washed stone out of the swale and deposited it into the lake.
“It’s only going to be in the one section? I still completely disagree with this. Mr. Gallagher drew up the contract, Mr. Gallagher . . .”said Bierzynski.
“I don’t think Mr. Gallagher has anything to do with this this time,” continued Stella. “Our engineer is doing the whole thing. I assume that Gallagher will bid on it again like he did the last time,” said Higgs. “Everybody will know exactly what is in the project,” said Higgs.
Why do you think the (Gallagher) bid came in exactly the same as the grant?” pressed Bierzynski.
Higgs said he didn’t know why and he “was not going to speculate why, although somebody may profit or benefit from materials staying there . . .” continued Higgs. The sediment that is taken out of the lake was to be spread onto the Bortz property on Ice Harvest Drive in the original grant specification.
“The township should get the benefit of it. I can’t see why a private property should get benefit of what is being taken out of the lake,” said Bierzynski. “It should be dried and carted away because there are a lot of topsoil people that would like to buy that, and the township could get that money.”
Higgs countered, “You would have to take tri-axles across people’s lots, which would then damage their lots.”
The original PALMS project will be extensively altered with the board’s amendment, but will still include sediment removal near the Bortz property on Ice Harvest Drive to deepen the water in that area from four to six inches to as much as 2.5 feet. The original PALMS grant was for $22,500 with a matching cash and work in-kind component of $21,500 from Rice Township. The annual maintenance of the lake after the initial construction phase was for 20 years. Only two contractors bid on the “Upper Ice Pond Restoration” project: Ecological Solutions of Conyngham, PA owned by Joe Gallagher, a former president and board member of PALMS for $22,500 and Site Services Group, LLC, Springbrook Township, PA for a total of $392,937.50.