Antis Township to discuss trespassing at old railroad bed in open forum

With liability costs to boroughs and townships increasing each year, the Antis Township Board of Supervisors decided it’s time to look at the area known as “the old railroad bed” along state Route 865 and determine what it can do to prevent a costly accident.
According to Chairman Supervisor Leo Matuszewski, a resident of the area noted that a trail continues from the railroad bed, through state game lands and on through Altoona water authority property. The resident told supervisors the water authority has its property posted against motorized vehicles and believed it would be a good idea if the supervisors would look into posting its property.
“So I bounced the idea off the solicitor and he said it would probably be a good idea,” said Matuszewski. “We’re not going to post it for no motorized vehicles, but instead against any trespasser in general. We just want to protect ourselves.”
Matuszewski said that although the township could post “No Trespassing” signs in the area, it still may not deter people who use the trail.
“But what this policy will do is provide us with that leverage, legally, that if something that did occur, we could say we had the ground posted and that you were not allowed to trespass,” said Matuszewski. “It’s a legal thing that we as supervisors felt we needed to do for the township.”
The supervisors will establish a meeting date and time for the public to express their opinion on the matter. For more information, contact the supervisors at 742-9015.
The board also agreed to establish a ten-ton weight limits on Brush Mountain Road because of the logging efforts takng place there.
“We wanted to put a limit on that so we could tell these loggers they have to post a bond that if they damage the road, we’ll have the money to repair it,” said Matuszewski. “I think its more a policy for insurance rather than anything else.”
The policy is on review at the township building.
The topic of street lighting was also discussed at Monday’s meeting.
Matuszewski said in recent weeks, the supervisors were requested by township residents to place a street light outside their residence.
He explained the township has a policy stating it will not supply lighting or maintain that service.
“If a person wants to put a light up, we say go right ahead,” said Matuszewski. “But we don’t want to pay for the installation, operation or maintenance. Once we start that, it would be never ending.”
He said the supervisors have been “really trying to tear down the budget” after the recent announcement of the one mill tax increase slated for 2003 and adding lighting to the township’s extensive list of things-to-do would only cause more financial headaches.
“We just don’t want to put any more burden on our taxpayers.”
Supervisors also decided Monday that they would not allow a land developer’s request for plans at Edgewood Estates, unless that developer, June Roarabaugh, solves a problem of a rock wall not being three feet from a neighboring property. She will have until Feb. 6 to rectify the problem.