Marjorie Lane issue resurfaces at Logan meeting

Logan Township resident Ed Kreuz came to his second consecutive supervisors meeting Thursday to complain about what he considers to be the township’s shortchanging of maintenance for Marjorie Lane, the no-outlet road where he lives.

Workers recently applied tar and chips there, but the lane should have been repaved, like Castle Farms Road, which is also about 800 feet long and also no-outlet, Kreuz argued — asking, “Why are they more important than we are?”

Supervisors’ Chairman Jim Patterson promised to encourage township highway foreman Lamar Dively to consider Marjorie for paving within the next five years.

According to Kreuz, the township’s property tax revenue for Marjorie and Castle Farms Road are similar, which should lead to similar treatment.

His argument is invalid, according to supervisors.

The tax revenue for Marjorie is actually only 27 percent of the tax revenue for Castle Farms, said Supervisor Dave Rhoa, relying on numbers compiled by staff.

Moreover, while Marjorie serves only six homes, Castle Farms serves as a conduit for traffic heading to many more homes, the supervisors said.

Most importantly, the tax revenue generated by properties on a road doesn’t enter into road maintenance decisions, which are based solely on road condition and traffic volume, according to Rhoa and others.

It would be a mistake to “politicize” road maintenance decisions, Rhoa said.

Better to rely on staff for those judgments, he said.

“We don’t want to usurp the authority of the highway foreman,” Rhoa said.

If the board were to have promised to pave Marjorie next week based on Kreuz’s complaint, others would follow next month with similar requests for their roads, he said.

Still, each of the supervisors have roadmaster responsibilities for segments of the township, and “as part of our visitation” in the fall, in keeping with Patterson’s promise, the supervisors can ask the foreman to re-evaluate Marjorie, said Supervisor Joe Metzgar.

Most residents don’t like tar-and-chipping, because the stones bounce up and nick the paint on vehicles, Patterson conceded.

But tar-and-chipping costs only about a fourth as much as paving, and it enables the township to extend the intervals between repavings, thus saving money, he said.

The practice is also less problematic than it used to be, because workers sweep the loose stones away shortly after applying the tar and chips, he said.

Workers will be sweeping Marjorie and the other township roads that were tar-and-chipped recently early next week, officials said Thursday.