Engineer testifies regarding proposed asphalt plant in Brown Township

REEDSVILLE – Brown Township residents gathered at the Dutch Country Inn, Reedsville, for day two of the Brown Township Zoning Board hearing to hear testimony for the proposed asphalt plant on Three Cent Lane.

Bruce Kirkpatrick, a Civil Engineer and vice president of Glenn Hawbaker Engineering, was the first to provide testimony on the layout of the proposed plant on the property. Kirkpatrick answered questions on where the access road of the property would be held, which is a point where residents are concerned.

“The access point would occur behind where a trucking facility is,” he said. “This also happens to run along the property line in residential zoning.”

However, Kirkpatrick said all of the buildings for the plant would be on the property which is zoned for industrial use. The road, which would have to be built, would intersect behind the trucking company with Three Cent Road. This differs from plans originally submitted by Glenn O. Hawbaker, where the access road would connect with Carriage House Lane. The original proposal was rejected by the township. The new proposal was applied for by Center Lime and Stone, a holding company of Glenn O. Hawbaker.

A variance would be needed for the road to be built on the residential zoned area, or the truck traffic will be on Carriage House Lane.

“It is my understanding of the first proposal, that it was suggested we change the access point from Carriage House Lane to Three Cent Lane due to the amount of traffic,” he said.

Kirkpatrick also said the road would be a typical access road for use by the adjacent properties and for other purposes. Township Solicitor Jeff Snook, asked if the company would have Three Cent Lane evaluated to see if it could handle all of the truck traffic. Kirkpatrick explained while they have not yet evaluated the property, if the township required it to be done, the company would do it.

“Also, if the road would need to be updated, and if this were approved, what typically happens is that the company doing the construction handles the update,” Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick also answered concerns on the way the lighting of the plant would effect the residents living around the plant. He said the lighting fixtures they would use will have shoe box fixtures. This means there will be a 90 degree cover over the light to prevent the radius of the light from spreading into residential zoning. However, at the time of the meeting he could not identify how many lights there will be.

William Rupp, a Brown Township resident representing himself, asked if Kirkpatrick was aware of the Kish Water Ordinance and how the paving for the proposed plant would effect the ordinance. Kirkpatrick said only about 38 percent of the proposed plant area would be impervious area, which includes the paving and other structures needed for plant operations.

“The runoff post-construction cannot differ from the runoff pre-construction,” Kirkpatrick said. “This is regulations from the township and the Department of Environmental Protection.”

The next to testify was Charlyn Reihman, a senior manager of safety and hygiene for IES Engineers, who was testifying as a noise expert. Reihman showed a noise study done at an asphalt plant owned by Glenn O. Hawbaker in Pleasant Gap, to help the Zoning Board identify noise levels on a typical operating day at an asphalt plant, similar to the one that is proposed.

“We took measurements at the Pleasant Gap plant where the property lines would be at the proposed plant,” Reihman said.

When measuring for noise, Reihman explained that it is measured at different levels and then the township ordinance is looked at to see the breakdowns of the noise decibels, to see of the noise exceeds the levels of that ordinance.

“We picked spots at the existing plant that we felt would be representative to this proposed plant,” she said.

The Brown Township noise ordinance does not specify an overall noise ordinance, but it does specify the different decibel range levels that are acceptable.

“We do not currently have the data with us, but we can provide it,” Reihman said. “There were some areas around the perimeter that would exceed the noise ordinance of the township.”

She continued, saying the plant where the levels were taken had other factors needed to be taken into consideration. This included an onsite quarry and a road with normal traffic. Reihman also said the proposed plant would have newer equipment which would run quieter, and the plant has proposed berms which could help absorb some of the sound.

More testimony is needed to be heard before the Zoning Board makes a final decision. The next hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Dutch Country Inn. After this hearing, more hearings may be scheduled if needed.