by Jonathan Weaver
Furnace Run Chapel along Montgomery Road in East Franklin Township has been damaged by cars twice already this winter.
East Franklin Township Police Sergeant William Evans said a 16-year-old female driver lost control of her vehicle on the street curve early November 14 and slid into the front entrance of the chapel, causing church officials to cancel services for two weeks.
Pastor Jimmy Edwards said another car accident happened last month near the same spot.
“This time, they missed the entry way and hit the pavilion,” Pastor Edwards said. “In fact, when I saw it, I thought maybe it was the contractor checking out if it was working and didn’t notice the post was missing – whenever I went to do the bulletins, I was looking and saw something sticking out and said ‘(the posts) should be four feet apart, not eight feet apart.’”
Nobody was injured during either incident.
Thursday, he asked East Franklin Township supervisors if they can help maintain the 100-year-old nondenominational church with up to 130 feet of guardrail along Montgomery Road.
“I was looking to make it safer for people coming in-and-out,” Pastor Edwards said.
The guardrail would cost about $1,500, and could take three to four months until installation, Zoning Officer Tim Lewis said.
Supervisor Dan Goldinger also pointed out other areas in the municipality that he would like guardrails added but said supervisors will “work with” church officials.
“We put them up at our discretion, and most of the time – probably all the time – we put up used cut ones,” Goldinger said. “They don’t look right, but they do the job and they’re a lot cheaper.”
Supervisor Chair Barry Peters said the price also may have risen, since the $1,500 estimate was given in 2014.
He added that supervisors don’t think the church needs more than 100 feet of guardrail – just about 50 feet from a wall – or putting up the guardrail in sections.
“Guardrail isn’t for protection of property – it’s for protection of the motorist,” Peters said.
In Roadmaster Ron Lithgow‘s report, he wrote that township road employees were out nearly every day plowing salt and ashing municipal roadways
“Approximately 94 tons of salt and 377 tons of anti-skid were used,” Supervisor David Stewart read during last night’s public meeting.
Lewis – the Roadmaster just a few months ago – was also hired as a part-time employee at his zoning officer wage of $17.35 on an as-needed basis. Part-time Road Employee Chris Giron was also hired to work at the sewage treatment plants on an as-needed basis at his current rate.
The meeting was adjourned until 11AM Thursday, February 5, when supervisors will make a final resolution in regards to their use of Community Development Block Grant funds.