When it comes to Jackson Township’s roadways, no one is complaining about their quality, especially after recent upgrades to several of them over the summer.
But involving spending, one trustee is looking to pump the brakes, at least in the short term.
“Don’t we think we've spent enough money on roads this year?" Trustee Mark Eshelman asked at the Sept. 1 meeting, citing for example, upcoming unknown costs for winter salt applied to area roadways.
“We need to do some updating on a few things,” he said, referring to other township matters. “I think we’ve spent enough money on roads. I think we need to move on.”
Trustee Chairman Greg Vogt said: “I am looking at our budget, and we have money.”
Eshelman responded: “That is beside the point. If Rover pipeline wants their money back, we’ve got to give them their money back.”
He was referring to an appeal involving a proposed assessment reduction with the Rover pipeline.
Trustee Mark Wright said he did not think the township had spent “any portion” of the Rover money yet.
Overall, Eshelman said the township had spent close to $190,000 on roads this year.
“I think that’s enough,” he said.
Vogt questioned where the numbers cited by Eshelman were coming from.
According to numbers obtained by the Daily Globe, the township’s road spending this year includes:
* $147,986.78 for chip seal improvements to Laser Road, Holtz Road, Springmill North Road and Taylortown Road.
* up to $15,000 for the asphalt repairs on several township roads: Taylortown, Boyce, Holtz, Laser and Miller.
* About $6,248 in extra stone that needed to be purchased by the contractor for the recent chip seal road improvement project.
As far as road spending, Eshelman said: “I think we ought to sit tight.”
“We have a pickup here that’s got (nearly) 100,000 miles on it,” he said. “It needs to be replaced. We have a backhoe that needs to be replaced eventually.”
When it comes to money the township has invested in its roads, Vogt said “that is what people want. They want the roads fixed.”
Eshelman said: “I understand that. We’ve got good roads.”
As for potential roadway centerline striping work in the township, such as Taylortown Road, for example, Eshelman requested more documentation, “a contract or a piece of paper” stating the specifics of costs.
“I don’t want ‘real to close it,’” he said of potential pricing. “I want actual costs.”
He emphasized the need "to do things here by the book, or we’re going to get (ourselves) in trouble.”
Vogt later expressed frustration at the discussion involving future road striping.
“I just brought this up tonight to talk about,” Vogt said. “We can do all of the roads. We can do no roads. I really don’t give a darn. I don’t care.”
Eshelman said: “I’m just saying, we need to do this legal.”
Vogt said: “I try to get everything pretty much in order as far as the roadwork goes. I know the stipulations. I know what I have to do.”
Vogt stated that he was providing prices at the meeting. “I don’t care if we do anything. I don’t care if the roads go to hell.”
Trustee Wright offered a solution, striping one road, Taylortown, with a contractor. “Tell them to send us a (price) quote,” Wright said.
Vogt later described potential centerline roadway striping as a safety issue.
“Especially on a road that is 22 feet like Taylortown, you know where you are at,” he said of motorists and the importance of striping. “You are not crossing a line. I’ve had people tell me it needs restriping. They come down the road, and there are people on their side of the road.”