A major overhaul of the dirt roads in Damascus Township is underway, said Supervisor Chuck Grady, at their June meeting. A number of roads were in particular poor condition, being worn down to rock in places.


A major overhaul of the dirt roads in Damascus Township is underway, said Supervisor Chuck Grady, at their June meeting. A number of roads were in particular poor condition, being worn down to rock in places.
The work includes blasting and applying shale. The new backhoe is being put to use.
At the May meeting, Grady presented his analysis of what it would cost to pave just a mile of dirt road, to state specifications.  He said stone would cost $297,760 and asphalt, $180,160. On top of this, would be manpower, delivery and equipment costs.  Costs, he cautioned, will fluctuate.
Chairman Jeffrey Dexter told The Wayne Independent that they are doing the best they can to improve their 100 miles of roads, with only a small crew and limited funds. The backhoe, he said, will help them a lot. Over the years they allocated some money to begin to replace some of their worn equipment; an operational backhoe was a big need.
Last year, they emphasized placing pipes to improve drainage on dirt roads. This is allowing them to build up the road beds. More drainage work is being done this year as well.
A $50,000 Community Development Block Grant was achieved, to allow re-paving of a section of Spruce Swamp  Road this year. They also will seek some funds from the state Dirt & Gravel Road Program, which will allow improvement to another small portion of River Road. This program, Dexter said, is very good for municipalities but is highly competitive and the dollars don’t stretch as far as before.
Marty Kunstmann, in the audience, expressed appreciation for the work. “It’s good you’re getting after the roads,” he stated. “It takes intensive money and manpower to do it... I assume you’ll keep on it.”
• Chairman Dexter said that they hope the County will be able to fill two job openings in the road department, as well as a data entry position needed to convert zoning files into a  spreadsheet. The County Job Training Program will pay the wages for the persons hired, ages 14- 24.
• In January the Supervisors deferred setting raises, due to the tight budget, but said they would revisit the issue. Dexter stated that tax revenue is less than the 2008 level, but the Supervisors have been diligent to watch expenses. They agreed to a four percent raise for Township employees.
• A Technical Assistance Grant from the Upper Delaware Council is being sought, to fund a computer hardware/software project. Dexter stated that the Planning Commission would benefit being able to work on complex projects at home.
• Minor subdivisions were approved for:
- Theodore and Thomas Williams, at Eighmy and Noble roads
- Mike and Yvonne Stone on Fallsdale Road
- Cecilia Camp, Dury and Dury, on Whitmore Road
- Adele M. Wolfe on River Road across from McCubbins Road.
• The County Food Pantry operates at the Damascus Community Center on the third Thursday, from 1 to 3 p.m. In May there were 35 families served. The old refrigerator will cost $5,000 to repair, so instead, a stand-up freezer will be obtained.
• After a lengthy delay, a state permit for a dry hydrant was obtained and will be installed at Beaver Lake Property Owners Association north of Galilee, this summer.
• A rabies clinic is scheduled at the Damascus Community Center, Wednesday, July 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.
• Damascus Woodland Weavers will have a “yarn sale” at the Community Center, 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 20.
The Damascus Supervisors meet on the third Monday at 7 p.m.