AEP paying for chip, seal on roads

CALCUTTA — St. Clair Township officials are advising residents that although township roads will be chipped and sealed, the township is not involved in a chip-and-seal program.

During Tuesday’s meeting with township trustees, road supervisor Scott Barrett said township’s roads will be chipped and sealed, but explained it will be not be funded by the township, but rather through AEP Energy as a reclamation for work the energy company did while working in the township.

“What we want to make sure the public knows is that it is not our chip-and-seal program,” Barrett said. “This is all paid for by AEP for the reclamation of the roads that they tore up while they were on them. So we’ll get calls, ‘How come our roads didn’t get chipped and sealed on the program?’ We do not have a program at the present moment.”

Barrett said the road department will continue to handle patchwork and other maintenance on township roadways this summer.

“We just don’t want them to feel that these people are getting something that other people aren’t getting,” Barrett said. “It’s just not part of our program because everyone is saying ‘Am I on your program to get chipped and sealed,’ and we’d have to tell them no, we don’t have a program at this point right now.”

Later in the meeting, the board approved the list of roads that will be chipped and sealed, which will be handled by county road crews and will cover 1.7 miles of township road. Those roads include Hamilton Road (both A and B), Sharon Street, Staunton Avenue, Center and Tague streets, Dillow Lane, Swickard Drive and Florence Street.

Also in his report, Barrett announced the road crew had been pretreating roads throughout the township in anticipation of the winter storm — ironically on the first day of spring — that was predicted to bring 4-6 inches in the county, starting Tuesday night.

Barrett stated while they are pretreating roadways, residents should not anticipate the roads to be plowed due to the current conditions of the roads.

“We’re not going to plow because the roads are not going to take it,” Barrett said.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Trustee Chairman James Hall addressed a “Thanks and Spanks” appearing in the March 16 edition of The Review in which a reader criticized motorists who make left-hand turns from Dunham’s Plaza onto state Route 170 and nearly cause accidents. The reader-generated opinion also criticized township and state officials for not adjusting the traffic pattern in that particular area.

Responding to residents not “knowing which roads are ours and which aren’t,” Hall said the decision on traffic patern situations is not up to the township, but rather between the state and the owner of the property.

“That is not up to us,” Hall said. “That is the owner of the plaza.”

“That and the state,” Trustee James Sabatini said to Hall. “That is an agreement that they would have to come up to, I guess.”

Hall said the entrance to the plaza was “a tirebuster,” and Sabatini stated the argument from plaza owners was the state promised to make a safe ingress and egress due to the state wanting extra room, frontage and easement, and (the owners said) the state did not live up to the agreement.

Sabatini said the entrance got worse and it needed to be fixed, adding he thinks eventually a red light will be placed in the area to slow down traffic.

“I’m still under the impression that eventually there’s going to be a red light there,” Sabatini said. “I know it’s close, but it would slow traffic down on that road because it’s a thruway from there. From Sheetz, down to that red light, people fly through there, and that’s part of the reason for their accents. Not to mention, trying to negotiate out of there because it’s a blindspot. If you’re coming out and somebody’s on the other side of the car, if they’re making a right hand turn, they think it’s clear and they go out, and all of a sudden, there’s a car seen.”

Barrett also said many people don’t realize state Route 170 and East Liverpool Road are the state’s responsibility, not the township.

“Due to our levy, people think we have all these roads and these big businesses that we collect from, and we just have to emphasize that we really don’t,” Barrett said.

Trustees said they have tried to discuss the matter with plaza owners, and said they will continue to do so.