The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 1, 2014

Kelly Township tables land plan for new high school

LEWISBURG — The new Lewisburg Area High School hit a sudden bump in the road Tuesday night as the Kelly Township supervisors tabled a vote on the land development plan, asking the school district to consider paying the estimated $175,000 cost for a left-turn lane for the property.

The proposed left-turn lane from William Penn Drive onto Newman Road is recommended in a traffic study of the Newman Farm property, where the high school is to be built.

The township’s morning traffic calls for the turn lane at that tri-section with or without the new school, noted Todd Smith, ELA Group project manager, who presented the traffic information and storm water management improvements Tuesday night.

Because the turn lane is an off-site improvement, the school district is not responsible for the cost. “It’s something (the school board) can discuss,” said board President Kathy Swope, but she noted the need for the lane without the school.

Supervisors Chairman David Hassenplug recommended tabling the vote “until we can get some answers.”

“If we’re forced to make improvements, it may burden the taxpayers,” he said. Supervisor Elvin Stoltzfus added that Kelly Township “is working with a very small budget.”

“If this was something that would pay us back,” such as a commercial or residential property with a tax base, it would be one thing, Stoltzfus said, noting the new high school is budgeted at $30.4 million while the township’s yearly budget is $821,000.

The cost of the left-turn lane could account for as much as 23 percent of the township’s budget, he said.

Both Swope and the township supervisors said they don’t want animosity to develop from the issue; rather, they want to work toward an amicable solution. Swope said she would check to be sure a quorum of members will attend the next school board meeting on July 17 should a vote be taken.

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