Category: Manor Township

Supervisors Vote against Possible Traffic Study

Tough driving conditions concerned residents to ask Manor Township residents to ask for a possible traffic signal at the intersection of Route 66 and Fairground Road, but the cost, lack of accidents and concern caused supervisors to vote against asking PennDOT to study the intersection.

By Jonathan Weaver

A nearly quarter-of-a-million dollar cost and lack of community concern caused Manor Township supervisors to unanimously vote against a request for a new traffic signal.

Last month, three residents requested supervisors consider a traffic signal at the Fairground Road intersection with Route 66.

According to Township Secretary Jill Davis, PennDOT District 10 Traffic Engineer Dave Tomaswick estimated the light installation would cost about $250,000, and wasn’t sure if a traffic study would even warrant a traffic signal at that location.

If a traffic study was warranted, Manor Township residents would be responsible for installation and charges of the traffic signal.

Supervisor Paul Rearick motioned supervisors do not approve the study, to which Pat Fabian agreed.

“There haven’t been a lot of accidents there – I can’t think of a fatal accident there at all – and for many years, that intersection has been that way,” Rearick said.

“I don’t see a great need or want there at this time,” Fabian added.

The women presented a petition signed by more than 100 people – including an active state police trooper – but addresses to the residents were not provided to ensure their local ties.

Terrace Avenue Resident Larry Cecchi opposed the request and suggested there would be more rear-end accidents due to the grade of the roadway.

The petitioning residents knew Kittanning resident Georgia Cornman – who died at a fatal car accident at the Riverside Intersection – which is about a half-mile from the Fairground Road intersection – while trying to make a left-hand turn onto Route 128 to drive into downtown Ford City.

A 2012 traffic study at the Riverside Intersection traffic signal – which Manor Township helps pay for with Ford City Borough – after the fatal traffic accident determined that the existing traffic signal timing meets the required design criteria, providing a four-second yellow and a three-second all-red time for a total of seven seconds clearance time for motorists.

A new traffic signal in Manor Township will be added near the Buffington Road intersection to ease traffic toward the new Armstrong Junior-Senior High School.

Manor Township Budget Calls for No Tax Increase

Manor Township supervisors and Township Engineer Ben Bothell listen to Grant Scott of KSBA Architects about the proposed medical office building. Supervisors conditionally approved storm water plans last night.

by Jonathan Weaver

Manor Township supervisors will look to increase police funding in the 2015 budget without causing a tax increase.

Supervisor Paul Rearick said the operating budget will be similar to 2014’s, but with additional funding allocated for part-time police protection and up to six months of part-time code enforcement.

Supervisor Chair James McGinnis said the last tax increase – to the current rate of six mills – was 11 years ago.

“We’re very frugal with our money – we don’t go blow it on other things,” McGinnis said. “We do a lot of our own mechanical work in-house. We don’t overspend.”

Supervisor Pat Fabian indicated several coming jobs and sources of tax revenue – such as from the new Armstrong Junior-Senior High School and Sheetz gas station along Pleasantview Drive.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen firsthand that any undeveloped piece of property on the market, although we are not seeing tax dollars from it, it’s being developed,” Fabian said. “We’re gradually moving that direction.”

Before the December 29th special meeting to vote on the final budget, township supervisors will accept applications for four appointed positions that are made each January: representation on the Water Authority, Vacancy Board, UCC Group and TCC Group.

For example, there are five representatives from Manor Township on the Manor Township Joint Water Authority, with Mark Quartz’s seat up for appointment in 2015.

That meeting begins at 8AM the final Monday of 2014. A copy of the budget will be available at the township building until then.

Also included in that developing business base is a new medical office building across from the current township municipal offices – what will become 1703 17th St. (at the site of the vacant lot of the former-Stitt Auto Sales).

Dr. Matthew Sabo – who founded The Foot and Ankle Wellness Center of Western Pennsylvania in 2007 – currently rents office space from Klingensmith’s Healthcare along Ford Street in Ford City.

“We bought the property two years ago in February and we started planning this about a year ago,” Sabo said. “We finally have an idea – somewhat – of what’s going on, and hopefully with this approval, we can actually start doing work instead of sitting and looking at paper.

“The rent we’re paying could be going toward the building.”

Grant Scott of KSBA Architects, based in Pittsburgh, said the one-story, 2,800 square foot building should be open in Summer 2015.

“The objective if we can get the final approvals that we need – which we expect to – is to have (Sabo) in there in mid-July,” Scott said. “The issue will be the weather, but the building should go up pretty quickly.”

The architectural firm has also designed multiple projects with Klingensmith Drugstores President Dave Cippel.

Township Engineer Ben Bothell of Senate Engineering recommended approving the plan contingent on a few revisions that are yet to be submitted.

“I’ve looked at the plan a couple different times, and I don’t see any issue with it. I also don’t see any issue with infiltrating the water in its entirety from this portion of the site – as long as its maintained properly and it does percolate they way we anticipate that it will,” Bothell said.

There will not be any discharge – all water is anticipated to drain and saturate into the ground.

The motion was made by Rearick and passed unanimously.

“If our engineer’s satisfied with it, I’m satisfied with it,” McGinnis said.

Sabo, of Chicora, has worked in the area since 2002 and eventually hopes to build apartment complexes next to the medical building due to a need for senior housing as well as coordinate events along the Rails to Trails in Ford City – across the street.