SUNBURY – Point Township Supervisor Justin Dunkelberger, who serves as chief executive officer for Penn Wind LLC, was appointed Tuesday to the Northumberland County Planning Commission to fill the unexpired term of fellow Point Township Supervisor Montie Peters, who was removed from the commission last month by county commissioners Vinny Clausi and Stephen Bridy.
Dunkelberger, who has been a township supervisor for four years, was appointed to the nine-member commission by Clausi and Bridy. Commissioner Rick Shoch abstained on the vote. Shoch also abstained last month when his fellow commissioners voted to remove Peters from the commission over a controversy surrounding a $381,000 grant issued to Point Township by the state Department of Community and Economic Development. The township has been ordered to pay back the grant because municipal officials have failed to adequately track how a developer spent the grant money to be used to build low-income housing eight years ago.
Peters previously resigned as chairman of the planning commission before being removed from the board entirely. He was on the commission for 14 years and served as chairman the past six years.
Dunkelberger, who formerly served on the planning commission, will fill Peters’ term, which expires Dec. 31, 2013.
Clausi, who pointed out that Dunkelberger was not a Point Township supervisor when the DCED grant was issued, said he felt obligated to appoint another official from Point Township to the board to show he had no animosity toward the township despite his ongoing differences with Peters and Shoch, who also serves as Point Township solicitor.
Clausi said he believes Dunkelberger will serve the board well.
Bridy said Dunkelberger’s experience as a businessman will benefit the planning commission. “It’s good to have a businessman and municipal official on the board to handle land issues,” he said.
Shoch said he is familiar with Dunkelberger from being on the board of supervisors, but abstained on the vote because the issue dealt with Point Township.
Dunkelberger previously proposed constructing six wind turbines in Northumberland County, but was unable to finance the project and sold it March 30 to Everpower. In April, the county commissioners turned down an offer from Everpower to enter a year-to-year lease agreement with the county for a wind energy project that called for the county to receive $2,000 per year for 400 acres of property, 75 of which would be utilized for wind turbines.
In other business, the board presented certificates of recognition to county 911 telecommunicators Tim Bixler and Brian Pufnak, 911 supervisor Dustin Weirick and Sunbury Police Officer Corey Zerbe for their unselfish and heroic actions in providing aid to telecommunicator David P. Moyer, who collapsed at work July 4 from a medical condition.
The 911 communications center personnel and Zerbe, who was off duty at the time, were commended for displaying strength and endurance while remaining calm in helping save Moyer’s life.
At the end of the meeting, Bridy read a letter from Michael G. Gould, brigadier general and deputy adjutant general of state veterans affairs, who commended Belinda Albright and her staff at the county’s office of veterans affairs for providing first-class service to veterans and their beneficiaries during the past year.