Antis Township supervisors vote to vacate Tipton Manor alley

A public hearing was held Thursday, just prior to the Antis Township meeting, regarding the possible vacation of a property being used as an alley in Tipton Manor.
The supervisors heard the concerns of citizens who currently live in the area and use the alley to access their driveways.
Township Solicitor, Patrick Fanelli, explained if the township should vacate the property, public rights would be extinguished, not private rights.
Fanelli said, in most cases, the alley would be split directly down the center and divided between the properties on either side.
“I think all taxpayers have a right to get in and out of their properties,” said Supervisor Ron Gensamer. He felt the township should be able to send a plow down the alley and clear it with one swipe.
Supervisor Robert Hornberger disagreed, saying, “If you do that, you’ll have to do this for all.”
Hornberger pointed out all the alleys in the township, most of which are not as wide as the Tipton Manor alley. He said the alleys would never be able to accommodate township plows.
When it came time to vote on the ordinance, Supervisor Robert Walker expressed his concern saying, “I’d like to question again how much of a problem this is going to be for those who need access.”
Fanelli said, if there are any private rights to the alley, the ordinance would not impair those in any way.
“What you do is vacate any public rights that exist in the piece of ground,” said Fanelli.
Basically, anyone using the alley for private use, such as access to their driveway, will be able to continue using the property. What changes is the public’s right to use the alley.
Supervisors voted in favor of vacating the alley in a three to one vote, with Supervisor Ray Amato absent from the meeting.
The board also voted in favor of an ordinance to enact a no parking zone along a portion of Becker Road. Manager Jeff Ziegler said the signs are already ordered and are ready to go up.
Supervisor Charles Taylor said there has been a continual problem with individuals parking on the Bellwood side of the railroad overpass and its causing quite a bit of traffic problems.
“From what I understand, there’s been many near accidents,” said Taylor.
He said a traffic study was done on the area and it was decided that the area should be posted as a no parking zone.
Supervisors decided to defer action, at this point, on a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the Blair County Conservation District, until further discussion could be had.
In new business, a resolution was adopted, authorizing Berkheimer Tax Collection Agency to collect delinquent per capita taxes for 2001-02, in the amount of $2,055 and for 2002-03, in the amount of $2,535.
The Subdivision and Land Development Fee Schedule was agreed upon.
Also the board approved a bonding agreement for Kings Highway. A very short segment, according to Taylor.
“Somebody wants to move a house, cut it in two and move it, but we have a weight limit on Kings Highway and that’s what this is for,” said Ziegler.
Supervisors also discussed winter plowing. The board needed to decide whether or not to renew an agreement with PennDOT to use township plows to clear state roads.
The board debated on the issue, looking at the cost of maintenance for the plows and safety issues with snow-covered roadways.
“We (township plows) have to travel over the road anyway,” said Hornberger.
In order to plow township roads, the plows must travel over the state roads.
“It’s always been a policy for plows not to go over snow-covered roads,” said Ziegler, “It’s a safety issue.”
Hornberger pointed out the township isn’t making money but it’s a service to the residents who live along state roads.
“It’s nice for the residents,” agreed Gensamer.
The board voted to continue plowing three state roads for the 2005-06 winter season.