Willow Lane residents hopes to stop Scranton Beltway Project

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal
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SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — At the Sept. 10 meeting of the South Abington Twp. supervisors, Willow Lane resident Ann Tompkins, who was accompanied by her husband Walter, mentioned she attended a meeting with the Lackawanna County Commissioners in Scranton in hopes of stopping the Scranton Beltway Project. She said the office person of Commissioner Marie Cummings told her the commissioner will have the county engineer ask the turnpike commission to see what information he can obtain.

“We need to try to get a meeting together,” said Tompkins, referring to one in the South Abington Twp. building.

Tompkins said the turnpike commission is still doing surveys behind her house.

Supervisor Giles Stanton asked, “In all your research, have you ever presented a study that says we expect “x” number of trucks to leave 81 (I-81) and go to the turnpike now?”

Robert Keating, also a Willow Lane resident, replied, “They (turnpike commission) plan on a 20% increase on the toll road. My personal opinion on that, that’s what’s driving the whole project is the turnpike commission’s belief that they’re going to get 20% additional tolls in their pocket.”

Stanton asked how the turnpike commission come up with 20%. Keating replied there is no legitimate study to verify the 20% increase in volume of traffic. Township manager David O’Neill told Stanton he can give him a copy of the study.

Tompkins said she spoke with Thom Welby, Rep. Marty Flynn’s chief of staff, who spoke with a trucking company. She said Welby told her trucks won’t use the toll road because they can’t afford it.

O’Neill explained the trucks are going through Willowbrook Road where the turnpike make a loop and that the loop is expected to be straightened.

The supervisors said they will plan another supervisors meeting for this matter.

In other business …

• Clarks Green mayor Patty Lawler, who attended the meeting independent of her council, alerted the supervisors that, in the new development, which was formerly Clarks Summit University, an uptick of water is pouring into the yards and cellars of the 300-400 block of Evans Street. She said the water is currently small but might get worse during hurricane season, snowstorms, or spring thaws. The supervisors told her the new development isn’t finished.

“If you look at the plans, there are places where swales will be put in, detention modules put in. We can almost guarantee that there will be no more and probably less water going in the properties when the project becomes finished than there was before,” said Stanton.

Stanton also said when the project is finished, it will meet all the requirements.

Lawler asked the supervisors for their opinion on why the engineers make allowances of where the water goes during the developmental stage or have a temporary swale.

O’Neill said that, according to the drawing, there’s supposed to be a swale on the side of Evans Street.

“There’s actually a street that will block off at least two thirds of that development from any of the water that used to go to Evans (Street),” he said. “It will be hitting a street so it can’t go to Evans (Street), and then there are swales along the back of the properties. I believe they’re there, but if not, I can ask him (engineer) to put them in immediately.”

“That’s all I’m asking,” said Lawler.

Lawler reassured the supervisors she was at the meeting independent of the Clarks Green Borough Council and praised the supervisors for their accomplishments in the area.

• The board voted to approve Resolution 18-6, which authorizes South Abington Twp. to request a local share account grant for an emergency vehicle in the amount of $40,000.

• The board voted to approve Resolution 18-7, which authorizes South Abington Twp. to request a local share account grant for a maintenance vehicle in the amount of $65,000.

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By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.