Bridgewater Twp.; Mild winter tough on roads

Bridgewater Township supervisors discussed township road conditions at their meeting Monday night, March 2, and noted that while this has been a mild winter, the effects on road conditions have been “horrible.”

“Mild winters are worse for the roads,” Supervisor Chris Harris said.

With more freezing and thawing, the ruts, potholes, and cracks that open up on the dirt and gravel road surfaces require a lot of repair work, and muddy roads become a major problem. “This winter, we needed to apply more stone to our roads than ever before,” said township secretary/treasurer Connie Ely.

At the Feb. 17 meeting, Matt Castrogiovanni asked about the ditches on his road and on township roads in general, and wanted to know the township’s plans for working on ditches at this time of year.

At the meeting on Monday, March 2, township residents had questions for supervisors during the citizen input/public comment part of the agenda. They asked whether the township has a noise ordinance, and the protocol to address vehicles from a neighboring property which are “racing up and down the road in the middle of the night.” The residents said they wanted to make sure they did their due diligence before calling the state police.

Ely said that the county does have a noise ordinance, but the decibel level “is set really high, and it’s hard to enforce.” The county’s ordinance on “noise”, however, is a design and construction standard that applies to commercial and industrial developments that must be met in order to receive final approval to operate from the county planning commission. It is not a maintenance standard.

Kurt Brunges asked if the township has a junk ordinance, and was told that it does if a property has three or more unlicensed vehicles. Ely said that a code enforcement officer can enforce the ordinance, but usually, a supervisor checks on the situation first. He also inquired about setbacks and was told that they are 15 feet or 35 feet from the right of way of the road.

Ely said that a lot of rumors have been circulating, especially among local contractors, about the Susquehanna County Council of Governments (COG) and whether it is still operating. She said that the COG is still active and enforces building permits, sewer, and code enforcement. “The only thing that has changed is that the COG has a new building inspector,” Ely said.

It was noted that bids are out for stone and road materials, cinders, pipe, and equipment service for when an operator is contracted to provide a piece of equipment for work on township roads on an as needed basis.

A permit was reviewed for a property line adjustment in the Lake Street area of South Montrose. The property line adjustment and exchange of real estate was agreed upon by the two property owners, and the township supervisors had no objections.

One mobile home park license was applied for by Maple Park. There were no objections from the township.

Bridgewater Township meets on the first and third Mondays of each month. The first Monday meeting is held at 7 p.m., and the third Monday meeting is held at 3:30 p.m., at the township building on Route 29.

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