Ross commissioners have approved plans for an addition to McIntyre Elementary School, but they want to make sure that the North Hills School District fixes water runoff problems that neighbors have had.
Commissioners approved the two-story, eight-room addition by an 8-0 vote Monday with Rick Avon absent. The project also includes a new hard-surface play area and enlarging the current playground.
Dominic Rickert, zoning administrator, said the project “is the opportune time to fix an existing issue that residents are having down from the site” with water runoff.
Lauren Parker, a civil engineer working on the project, said the runoff is mostly due to an undersized pipe from a manhole near the softball field. The project includes increasing the size of the pipe and installing an underground filtration bed beneath the hard-surface play area.
The commissioners’ approval is contingent upon school district engineers working with township engineers to determine if that will be adequate or if underground storage tanks are needed.
“My radar does go up when someone says they will adhere to our ordinances,” Commissioner Jack Betkowski said. “I just want to leave this meeting knowing that we’ve all done the right thing, even if that means going beyond the minimum requirements of the ordinances.”
In other action, commissioners approved a program honoring U.S. military personnel and veterans.
The Ross Military Veterans Program will place banners honoring individual veterans or active military personnel on poles along Babcock Boulevard between Three Degree and Rochester roads each year from Memorial Day through Veterans Day. Each banner will display a photo and specifics about the veteran.
Commissioner Steve Korbel, who proposed the program, said veterans or their families can purchase the banners for $90. They will receive a large banner and two smaller ones, in addition to the large banner that will be displayed along Babcock.
As an example, Mr. Korbel showed a banner for Nelson Erb, a nonagenarian member of the planning commission who is an Army veteran of World War II and participated in the Battle of the Bulge.
Commissioners tabled an ordinance regulating where medical marijuana facilities can be located in the township. The ordinance would allow the facilities as conditional uses in the C-1 commercial and I-1 industrial zones.
The ordinance bans facilities within 1,000 feet of a school or day care center, but Commissioner David Mikec said they should also not be within 1,000 feet of a park or church. The ordinance will be amended to include those conditions.
Some commissioners said the facilities should not be within 1,000 feet of a residence, but Mr. Rickert said that could eliminate much of McKnight Road, the main corridor where officials want the facilities to be located, and such a restriction might not survive a court challenge.
Commissioners also approved moving some streets from the 2018 paving list to this year’s list because the bid from Shields Paving came in under budget.
“We all know we have a backlog of needs in paving,” commission president Jeremy Shaffer said. “We have a large number of roads rated in poor condition.”
The township is holding a contest to name the new park off Cemetery Lane. The winner will receive a gift basket valued at $100. Details are on the township’s website.
Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.