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Supervisors Okay Airport Fence Waiver on Second Try, Fall Leaf Pick Up Set

COOLBAUGH – The Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport Authority successfully convinced the Coolbaugh Township Board of Supervisors to reconsider last month’s denial of their request for a waiver of the requirement to place a fence around a stormwater basin on airport property.

At the September 1 supervisors meeting, Adam Switzer, from Delta Airport Consultants, engineers for the Authority, and John Kerrick, vice-chair the Authority, appealed to the board to reverse their denial of the request. Last month, the board denied the request on the recommendation of the township engineer and in the absence of anyone from the Authority at the meeting.

Switzer told the board that the basin was for the Clarius Partners development in the industrial park. The Authority allowed them to locate it on airport property because they could not place it on their own property due to height restrictions on property adjacent to airports.

Switzer and Kerrick told the board that the basin is located between two runways. Regulations require that aircraft have a runway visability zone, which the four-foot fence required under the ordinance would violate. In addition, Kerrick said, the airport needs to mow the basin to discourage birds in the area, which are a threat to air safety.

Ruiz-Smith Concerned About Danger to ATV Riders

Weimer Cites Threat to Air Traffic Safety

Supervisor Alma Ruiz-Smith objected to the waiver citing concern for ATV drivers “taking a header” into the basin unaware it was there. Kerrick noted that any ATV rider would be trespassing and that, in order to reach the basin, they would need to travel over an empty field, then a runway surface. Kerrick also said that he’s never seen ATV riders on airport property. Ruiz-Smith thought it nevertheless remained a “safety issue, a hazard to the public,” acknowledging the trespassing situation, but observing that “ATV people have their own rules.”

Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Weimer said that, between the line of sight issue and the threat birds pose to air safety, it was a “life and safety issue.” After checking with the solicitor on the board’s power to grant the waiver, Supervisor Lynn Kelly moved to grant the airport board’s request and Weimer seconded. The waiver passed 4-1, with Ruiz-Smith voting against.

Chuck Nicklaus, from Barry Isett & Associates in Stroudsburg, representing Carriage Square, LLC, asked the supervisors for conditional approval of a minor subdivision. Niclaus told the board that they had met all of the requirements laid out by the township engineer for approval, other than the final signatures, which were delayed one day due to delays in mailing. On questioning, Niclaus said the developer intended to sell the separated lot in order to finance further development of the remainder of the property. The request was approved unanimously.

A request from Aldi to release a $662,324.85 performance bond in exchange for a maintenance bond of $99,348.73, and security of $29,823, was also unanimously approved. All that remained on the larger bond was future landscape improvements, which would be adequately covered by the replacement instruments.

In other business, the board appointed new comptroller Darren Dixon as the township’s Monroe County Tax Committee Representative, and township secretary Erin Masker was appointed the township’s alternate to the Council of Government.

Fall Leaf Pick Up Begins October 5

The supervisors also approved the township’s fall leaf pick-up schedule to begin October 5th through the 9th in Tobyhanna Village and surrounding areas not in developments. Leaves must be raked to the road’s edge (no bags or rigid containers) by 7 a.m. on the scheduled pickup dates, and

must be free of twigs, sticks, branches, brush, rock, stones, cans, bottles, trash or other foreign matter. Leaf burning is prohibited in the township. Residents may also dump un-bagged leaves inside the fence in designated areas of the Coolbaugh Township Road Department’s Compost Facility at 549 Laurel Drive, Tobyhanna. Tree branches and brush are also accepted. Brush and tree branches exceeding 10” across and tree stumps are not accepted. The full leaf pick up schedule is reprinted here.

Fire Company Fundraiser Sale Set for September 19 & 20

The fire company reported that the Walmart Distribution Center donated a full tractor-trailer load of merchandise for the company’s use in fundraising. They asked permission to conduct an outside sale, which was unanimously granted (with Bill Weimer abstaining due to his involvement in the fire company). The COVID-compliant outdoor fundraising event is set for Station 1, 652 Laurel Drive, Tobyhanna, PA 18466, from noon to 6 pm on Saturday September 19 and Sunday September 20. Face masks and social distancing will be enforced; cash and major credit cards will be accepted.

The solicitor reported that they were waiting for PP&L to approve the demolition of the blighted property at 3150 Mohawk Trail in the township. The estimated cost for dumpsters is $6,000. A plan will be submitted to the court for approval of the demolition. The board also gave approval for Parks & Recreation to purchase two new player benches for $249 each, including shipping. Laurel Drive, Hemlock, and Green were submitted for the Pick Up the Poconos event on September 26. Route 196 will be added if state roads can be placed on the list. The supervisors authorized three members of the road crew to work the clean-up. Residents can sign up to participate by clicking the link on the township website, https://coolbaughtwp.org/.

A request by Sappho Group LLC to join two lots onto one deed in Arrowhead Lakes was approved unanimously.

The board also approved $336,312.18 in disbursements. The meeting ended at 7:29 with an executive session to discuss personnel and litigation. Time of the meeting, a very tolerable 66 minutes. The board meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month on the second floor of the library, 5500 Municipal Dr, Tobyhanna, PA 18466. Agenda and meeting packets are generally available on the township website at least a day in advance of the meeting. The public is encouraged to attend and participate.

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