Peters Accused of Illegal Use of Township Equipment

Barry Montgomery supplied photo of East Franklin Township trucks delivering logs to the property of Supervisor Barry Peters.

Supervisor Barry Peters came under attack when resident Barry Montgomery accused him of having township crews haul logs to his home.

“I’d like to ask for the resignation of Supervisor Barry Peters for illegal use of the dump truck in hauling logs off the Furnace Run Road to your house,” Montgomery said at last week’s public meeting. “You got more than six loads hauled to your house with the township equipment.”

Peters confirmed that crews indeed did bring logs to his home.

“They needed somewhere to dump it,” Peters responded. “They took it out there (by the garage) and dumped it.”

Montgomery stated that he had turned paperwork over to the State Attorney General’s office.

Supervisor Dave Stewart said the township has had a difficult time disposing of large trees that have fallen this year.

“We had two huge trees uprooted at the pump station.  There was one at Ponderosa and couple in back of the Adrian-Tarrtown Run Road. When they are 12-inches in diameter, we can’t run them through the chipper. They are too big. So they cut all the limbs off of them, and there were probably four logs. So they came out around and dropped them off at Barry’s (Peters) garage. He uses firewood. What else are we going to do with them?  It wasn’t like we went out and cut firewood for Barry Peters. We just needed to get the logs off the trailer.”

Stewart said it is the policy of the township to give trees to anyone who wants them when they fall.

“Any time that we have trees down and someone wants them, we will gladly give it to them, because we don’t have anywhere to put it.  We don’t want to dump it over the hill. We’ve been trying to clean up our back roads and we don’t want brush dumped everywhere. We don’t have a dump site and we have a strict burning ordinance and can’t even burn it. I don’t personally see anything wrong with it.”

East Franklin, like Manor and other townships, have been hit hard with trees being uprooted due to the ground being saturated with rain this summer.

“The last two summers, we have had so much rain and trees falling down that i feel sometimes that’s all we get done doing – doing tree-trimming service more than we are doing roadwork. We are constantly going out cleaning up trees,” Stewart said.  “With trees 50 feet high and all the branches on it, it takes three guys a better part of a day to clean it up.”

Stewart said the Township has also hired out tree services for some trees that are too near power lines to be safely removed by township road crews.

Supervisors maintain there was no preferential treatment. Peters said he had no intention of resigning as per Montgomery’s demand.