Fran­co­nia Town­ship farm­land pre­served

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Bob Keeler

More than 70 acres on three farms will re­main farm­land for­ever if three agree­ments given by the Fran­co­nia Town­ship Board of Su­per­vi­sors Aug. 20 are com­pleted.

The one is al­ready a done deal, with the board au­tho­riz­ing that $44,998.66 be paid to help buy the de­vel­op­ment rights on about 19 acres at the Leon and Ruth Detwiler farm on Cream­ery Road.

The town­ship is pay­ing 15 per­cent of the to­tal costs, with the state and the county fund­ing the rest, Kevin Baver, town­ship man­ager, said.

The board also said it was will­ing to put in $130,429 as its share for sim­i­lar con­ser­va­tion ease­ments on the Robert Lan­dis and Chad Yoder farms on Mor­wood Road. At the Lan­dis farm, 35 acres would be pre­served, while the Yoder one has about 25 acres, but only 18.5 acres are in Fran­co­nia, with the rest in Lower Sal­ford, Baver said.

Those are not yet done deals, though.

“There’s no guar­an­tee these will hap­pen. This is just the first step based on ap­praisals the farm board has taken ac­tion on,” Baver said.

In a sep­a­rate mat­ter, dur­ing the work ses­sion pre­ced­ing the reg­u­lar busi­ness meet­ing, Barry Wert, Fran­co­nia’s en­gi­neer, re­viewed the planned re­sponse to fed­eral and state re­quire­ments that towns re­duce the amount of sed­i­ment go­ing into wa­ter­ways. The re­quire­ments are meant to re­duce pol­lu­tion.

In the past, lo­cal towns have protested that the re­quire­ments will be costly

and im­prac­ti­cal. Fran­co­nia and Lower Sal­ford are part of a group of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that have to­gether hired Dn DWWRrnHy WR fiJKW WKH rHTuLrHPHnWs for the In­dian Creek. Fran­co­nia must also have plans for por­tions of the town­ship that drain into the Neshaminy and Skip­pack creeks, but is not be­ing asked to make changes for the Neshaminy, Wert said.

A notice of in­tent on the meth­ods be­ing used to keep sed­i­ment from reach­ing the wa­ter­ways has to be fiOHG Ln 6HSWHPbHr, WHrW sDLG.

“We don’t have to have a de­tailed de­sign at this point. What we need to say is how we in­tend to meet our al­lo­ca­tions,” Wert said. “A year from now we have to give specifics.”

He said he is rec­om­mend­ing that the town­ship use re­for­esta­tion projects, stream bank restora­tion and buf­fer ar­eas at streams to meet the re­quire­ments.

“It cer­tainly looks like you’re on the right track,” board mem­ber Keith Freed said.

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