LEWISBURG -- The Kelly Township supervisors hired Jason Gessner as the township's first full-time employee and filled two seats on the planning commission Tuesday night.

Mr. Gessner was hired as the township's roadmaster and is scheduled to begin work at the beginning of July. He will replace retiring roadmaster John Pawling.

After months of consideration, the board put together a wages and benefit package for Mr. Gessner that includes two weeks of vacation upon one year of employment, with an additional week of vacation added when he reaches five years. The package contains six sick days per year and two personal days. Both vacation and personal days are to be used with the approval of the supervisors.

Mr. Gessner will receive medical benefits through Capital Blue Cross under the municipal authority. Wages were set at $14.75 an hour.

Following some discussion, the board voted to name Charles Zaleski and Gary Pfleegor to the planning commission. Mr. Zaleski was present at the meeting and said he believed he would be an asset to the township because of his connections with area employers and state officials.

The board also appointed Sally Phillips as secretary to the planning commission.

Friday night's power outage in the township has given the supervisors something to think about -- the possibility of installing battery backup for traffic lights in the municipality. The electricity was knocked out when a motorist hit a telephone pole along JPM Road, leaving residential and commercial facilities in the dark for approximately seven hours.

The supervisors said they weren't sure if there was a need for battery backup at every traffic light, but that it might be worth looking into the cost before making a decision.

Elvin Stoltzfus, one of the supervisors, said he was concerned about spending thousands of dollars without careful inspection of the budget.

"I'm all for safety ... and it is a problem when all of the traffic lights are out on Route 15 ... I'm all for looking into it, but we need to look into budget figures," he said.

In other business, the board discussed and then dismissed the possibility of putting signs at the entrance to Industrial Boulevard from Hafer Drive to help stop confusion among drivers who are going in the "out" lane. Members said they didn't feel the signs would do any good.

The supervisors agreed to buy a Toro mower with a 60-inch mowing deck.

The board voted to purchase a sign for the community center that will read "Kelly Crossroads Community Center ... For reservations call 524-0437."

David Hassenplug said the sign is necessary for people who are interested in renting the park. The cost is approximately $250.

n Jerri Brouse is a freelance writer who lives in Lewisburg. E-mail her at scoop@ptd.net.

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