Stella And Venesky Close Historic Road
MYSTERIOUS GATE –A gate was recently erected blocking Heslop Road at the end of the gravel portion maintained by Rice Township. The gate was posted with a Pennsylvania Game Commission sign. Supervisors Miller Stella and George Venesky are proposing abandonment of the historic road, which has been in continuous public use since 1873. Game Commission representatives say they know nothing about the gate.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Land

Management Supervisor Pete Sussenbach from the NortheastOffice in Dallas told the Eagle earlierin the day of the meeting that thegame commission had not put up anygate on Heslop Road. “We have to doa land management plan, there mustbe public notice and a hearing beforeany plans to block off the road couldproceed. Putting up a gate now ispremature,” said Sussenbach.

Venesky said that the gate was noton township property and was onprivate property. Thomas retorted, “Is the gate across a townshiproad? Is the gate blocking townshipproperty?”

See Historic page 4

The Rice Township Board of Supervisors voted to schedule special

meetings to consider an ordinance to vacate a major portion of

the unpaved portion of Heslop Road at their regular public meeting Tuesday

September 10. The majority supervisors also voted to hold a special

meeting for consideration of a 10-year contract for fire services with

the Wright Township Volunteer Department. The special meeting will be

Wednesday September 25, 11:00 a. m. and will be legally advertised.

Chairman Miller Stella and George Venesky were put on notice by minority supervisor Marcia Thomas that

the road abandonment and the fire

service contract had not been presented for public discussion prior to

the board’s regular public meeting.

Rice Solicitor Bill Higgs presented invoices totaling $4,886.50 for professional services for the ordinance,

the Fire Department contract and several zoning issues

Higgs said he met with property owners Harry Kemmerer and Jim Karpinski

and two law enforcement officers from the Pennsylvania State Game

Commission at the end of the maintained area of Heslop Road at the

direction of Stella and Venesky to

discuss the road abandonment. Higgs billed the township a total of $ 1937.50 for research and drafting the

ordinance for the Heslop Road abandonment.

Supervisor Thomas stated that there was now a gate installed on Heslop

Road blocking the public roadway. Stella said he knew nothing about

a gate and if there was a gate there it should be opened until the

township took action on the proposed ordinance. No ordinance or

information about it was available at the meeting. Higgs did not provide

a copy of the Heslop Road abandonment ordinance before deadline

as requested. The gate on Heslop Road is located

near the gated entrance to the Karpinski property at the northern end

of the swamp about .2 of a mile before the Pennsylvania Game Lands

property line. The gate has a Pennsylvania Game Commission sign

attached to it that states “ CLOSED TO ALL MOTORIZED VEHICLES.”