MEHOOPANY – The operators of overweight vehicles that use Fire Tower Road up Forkston Mountain will have to pay a bond to pay for road maintenance.
The township supervisors enacted the bond requirement Wednesday directed specifically at a local quarry operator. However, they noted that in the future it could also be applied to the operators of a wind turbine facility if and when that project gets under way.
According to Supervisor Frank Scholz, currently the only large trucks running on the mountain road are the stone-hauling vehicles of George Kuback. Scholz said the township will ask Kuback to put up a bond guaranteeing maintenance or repair of the road if he uses trucks weighing 10 tons or more. Kuback will also be restricted to operating between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The regulation doesn’t address any other operators, Scholz said. But he said similar restrictions could be put in place on BP Alternative Energy, which is planning to erect a series of windmills on South Mountain. That is the ridge in Monroe and Forkston townships, just to the south of Forkston Mountain.
The power transmission lines running from the windmills to the Procter & Gamble paper products plant in Washington Township would run through Mehoopany Township, Scholz said. That means BP trucks and equipment would be going up and down the mountain during construction.
In a related matter, the supervisors are looking at instituting a new category of building permit for windmills.
Supervisor Art Henning said he’s heard that two of the windmills could be erected within the township’s borders.
Scholz said the township currently has one permit category for homes and businesses, and another for sheds and farm structures. He said a third category to include the windmills and similar structures.
Scholz said he believes it’s important for the township to have some control over the windmill operation within the township.
“My problem with this whole BP thing is it’s not going to bring a lot of money into this township,” Scholz said. “The people that are profiting aren’t from this area.”
By Michael J. Rudolf, Wyoming County Press Examiner
21 May 2008
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