A supervisor assured residents that the gate will be replaced.
BY MARY GRZEBIENIAK
HILLSVILLE, Pa. -- Residents of one of Mahoning Township's newest neighborhoods want a road leading to quarries to be blocked for protection of their children.
The privately owned quarries have long been a site for late-night partying by trespassers. Laws are difficult to enforce because the township has no police force and must depend on state police.
Joseph Corcoran of Eric Drive in the Butch Estates development off U.S. Route 224 asked supervisors to replace a gate that previously barred access to the quarries from the back of the development.
He said that since a road was bulldozed and a gate taken down for construction, a steady stream of youths are illegally entering the quarries on four-wheelers and dirt bikes, as well as in cars and other vehicles.
The road runs along the side of his home and he said he fears for the safety of his own and other children in the neighborhood.
Another neighbor, Mike Mangino, said vehicles even tow boats and canoes down the path.
"They aren't going 30 miles per hour; they're going 80 miles per hour," he added.
Will replace gate
Supervisor Poncho Exposito said that the gate will be put back in place as soon as township heavy equipment is freed from other jobs. The gate will also have a "No Trespassing" sign, which Supervisor Garry Pezzuolo said will allow state police to arrest violators. He said he has been in touch with the local barracks about the problem and they have been patrolling there.
Exposito, Pezzuolo and Supervisor Vito Yeropoli visited the site after Tuesday's meeting and pointed out that the owner of the former strip mine property, Carmen Shick, has just this week barricaded the road with a mound of dirt.
The supervisors also looked at another complaint by Corcoran, who said that Butch and McCree Paving Co. removed an old tree line on his property in January while installing a waterline. He said that the trees and bushes there formerly barricaded the back of his property from the access lane to the quarries, but their removal makes it possible for his child to fall down the hill onto the road.
He said he has spent $6,000 to try to build the area back up. The supervisors inspected the area and said that they would discuss the matter with the contractor.
Contacted after the meeting, Eugene Butch of Butch and McCree said his company moved "only trees on our property" with the exception of one that he said Corcoran had asked them to remove.
He said that the trees were "ugly" old thorn and locust trees and said he believes the appearance of the property was improved by their removal.
In other business, supervisors approved a 36.17-acre subdivision that the Mahoning Sportsmen's Club is conveying to BFI. It's in the township off Route 224 near the state line. Dennis Bensinger, vice chairman of the township planning commission, said BFI wants the property because it has test wells to monitor its landfill there, and wants to avoid access problems.
The planning commission gave the subdivision a favorable review. Pezzuolo stressed that no portion of that subdivision is approved for landfilling either by the township or the state.