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Municipal News

By J.R. Brower

In an effort to provide a community safety zone, Police Chief Harry Fruecht asked Peters Township Council on June 8 if they would accept an offer from a Finleyville security company to install a free high-tech surveillance camera in the parking lot at the Peters Township municipal complex.

He said that the idea is to create a safe zone so that residents can use the area as a meeting spot for conducting online transactions on websites such as Craigslist. In turn, the Finleyville company, David Davis Communications, would be recognized on a sign for providing the free camera that would scan the parking lot.

Fruecht told Council that the camera would enable the police department to regularly monitor activity "so we know people are behaving appropriately."

When the plan is put into place, Peters Township will join a national trend of communities that provide safe areas for conducting person-to-person online sales and business.

In other business, Council:
• Approved a request by Eddy Land Co., Inc., of Bridgeville, to construct 54 patio homes on Maid Marion Lane in the Crossing Six plan. The approval was based on the developer's agreement to abide by 17 conditions imposed by the Planning Commission. Many of the conditions were related to the treatment of groundwater runoff. Several residents of the neighborhood expressed their concerns to Council about the construction of the proposed development, which they claimed could worsen runoff problems when trees are clear-cut.
• Heard a complaint from resident Gary Jordan, 291 Sugar Camp Road, regarding construction tools and debris in a neighbor's yard, which he claimed devalued his property. Council Chairman David Ball told Jordan that he did not know if the township could do anything about it, but the matter would be investigated further.
• Scheduled a public hearing for June 22 to amend the township administrative code to establish a Public Library Department and redefine the role of the Library Board. In April, the library board directors asked the township to formally take over the administrative operation of the library. The reorganization will coincide with the retirement of longtime Library Director Pier Lee in July. She will be replaced by Myra Oleynik on July 13. Oleynik was employed previously by the Peters Township School District as librarian at Bower Hill Elementary School.
• Approved a grant agreement with the Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency to help fund the new Peterswood Park amphitheater project.
• Revealed the findings of a consultant hired by the township who concluded that less than 4 percent of the land in Peters would be suitable for natural gas drilling. Following discussion of the report, Council made the decision not to fund a costly survey to get more public input on drilling. Peters currently has no Marcellus Shale drilling activity, but there are several producing wells in the bordering townships of Union and Nottingham.

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