HCA to mon­i­tor ef­fect pro­posed as­phalt plant could have on wells

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - LOCAL - By SAM GALSKI Staff Writer

Ha­zle­ton City Au­thor­ity will keep tabs on devel­op­ments re­gard­ing an as­phalt plant pro­posed for property off Tomhicken Road in Su­gar­loaf Town­ship.

Au­thor­ity board So­lic­i­tor Peter O’Don­nell said he was re­cently ap­proached by a mem­ber of Su­gar­loaf Cit­i­zens Club and given a bul­let­point list of con­cer ns the cit­i­zens group has for the pro­posed as­phalt plant.

Glenn O. Haw­baker Inc. wants to build the plant on a nearly 17-acre tract along Tomhicken Road. The fa­cil­ity will be the sub­ject of a zon­ing hear­ing that is sched­uled for Jan. 23 at Su­gar­loaf Town­ship Fire Com­pany.

O’Don­nell did not iden­tify the mem­ber of the cit­i­zens group who he spoke with, but said the per­son wanted to bring the pro­posed plant to the at­ten­tion of the au­thor­ity and ask HCA to en­sure its wa­ter re­sources will be pre­served.

“They felt we should look at it and make sure our wa­ter re­sources are OK,” O’Don­nell said when ref­er­enc­ing an in­for ma­tional sheet that he re­ceived from the cit­i­zens group. “I think we have some obli­ga­tion to look into it.”

Au­thor­ity board mem­bers took no of­fi­cial po­si­tion on the is­sue Thurs­day.

Di­rec­tor Dave Sosar, how­ever, asked HCA man­age­ment to in­ves­ti­gate the prox­im­ity of the pro­posed plant to a well the au­thor­ity has in Tomhicken and an es­ti­mated 300 acres to 400 acres the au­thor­ity owns in Hum­boldt In­dus­trial Park North.

Sosar also asked O’Don­nell to look into “le­gal ram­i­fi­ca­tions” and re­quested man­age­ment eval­u­ate po­ten­tial im­pacts on the wa­ter sup­ply and land.

The cit­i­zens group said the plant is planned for property about 1.5 miles from Exit 145 (West Ha­zle­ton) of In­ter­state 81.

“You do have chem­i­cals that are in­volved in this,” Sosar said.

“Cer­tainly there are dif­fer­ent sides to this en­tire thing … some are in fa­vor, some against. I think it’s in­her­ent in us as a board and as the au­thor­ity to know what ef­fects this has.”

O’Don­nell said he was told that the Jan. 23 zon­ing hear­ing will “prob­a­bly get con­tin­ued” be­cause the owner of the pro­posed as­phalt plant likely won’t be avail­able to at­tend.

Truck traf­fic, health haz­ards and de­clin­ing property val­ues are among con­cer ns that the cit­i­zens group listed on a doc­u­ment that was pre­sented to O’Don­nell.

Fundraiser

Sosar re­ported 4,063 con­tri­bu­tions have been made as of Thurs­day to a fundraiser the city of Ha­zle­ton launched in con­junc­tion with HCA for the ben­e­fit of Ha­zle­ton’s po­lice de­part­ment. Do­na­tions have so far net­ted $31,766.46.

The bulk of the pay­ments ac­count for sin­gle, or one-time, do­na­tions, but Sosar said that more than 100 peo­ple have made mul­ti­ple pay­ments.

Garbage con­tain­ers

County Waste, the con­tracted garbage hauler that ser­vices Ha­zle­ton, will be­gin track­ing con­tain­ers that have been aban­doned along cer­tain side­walks and streets, Deputy Di­rec­tor Richard Am­mon said.

The fir m will in­struct its driv­ers to col­lect bins that have been sit­ting empty since they were dis­trib­uted, Am­mon said.

Au­thor­ity board Chair man Phil An­dras and board mem­ber John Nilles said they’ve ob­served bins that have been left along side­walks on parts of North Church Street, First Street and along part of Di­a­mond Av­enue be­tween Church and Bound­ary streets.

Cus­tomers can con­tact County Waste if the bins they are us­ing are mis­tak­enly iden­ti­fied as ne­glected and re­moved by haulers, An­dras said.

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