Lastly, Tucker enumerated the improvements to the Grove community center including replacement windows and a free-standing 40 by 60-foot open-air pavilion. Tucker received his colleagues’ approval to submit an application amounting to $162,298 which be drafted as approved by grant consultants Susquehanna Strategies, LLC.
Dorrance planning and zoning issues drew attention throughout the year with major expansion plans revealed for the Blue Ridge Trail Travel Plaza at the Interstate 81 exchange. The expansion provided for additional development to the truck stop consisting of a women’s restroom and a men’s restroom, three shower units, a deli food prep area and a laundry facility. The Button-owned enterprise is conveniently located directly off the interstate and is easily accessible location for amenities catering to trucks.
Other projects featured in 2015 included a build up to a major expansion of the Transco pipe-line, projected to have major vehicular impact on the township. Snelson reported at the time, “This is a 4.2-mile project. It’s going to be a 42-inch pipe. The construction traffic will move in from the interstate and they will only move construction vehicles on Blue Ridge Trail and then up St. Mary’s Road. That’s where the construction traffic will move.” The loop will be utilized for natural gas storage.
The concerns were raised due to the fact that in 2014 Dorrance had invested grant funds into a rehabilitation of St. Mary’s Road.
Grant funds were also instrumental in a mile-long restoration of the heavily traveled Prospect Road. This
In January 2015, ambitious project was completed with $225,000 in Local Share gaming grant funds. Supervisor Royce Engler noted at the time, “We are very appreciative of those funds. This is the first year Dorrance ever got that money.”
Improvements were also made to a gravel road in the township in consultation with the Luzerne County Conservation District which offers Dirt and Gravel Road maintenance training. Taney Road was upgraded utilizing a new aggregate called DSA, it was reported. Under the program terms, the Driving Surface Aggregate material has to be acquired from a certified quarry. The specialty material contains components that form a pave-like consistency under the proper compaction techniques.
The fall found zoning and legal advisors Snelson and Solicitor Donald Karpowich reviewing standards on the controversial Small Mountain Quarry. After months of hearings in 2013, the approved expansion of quarry activities mandated annual inspections of the facilities and environment.
In October, Atty. Karpowich noted that the township had conducted the required annual inspection of the quarry. This yearly review was a mandate based on the Conditional Use approval. He said that several deficiencies were noted during the inspection and a written report was supplied to the company.
The following month the board drafted the proposed 2016 budget calling for a slight increase in taxes. Chairman Zane explained that a per capita tax was being dropped and this small real estate tax would offset the loss of those revenues. Zane stated at the time that the township is making a “minor” increase in taxes. “On a $100,000 house we were getting $64 a year before, and now with this increase we’ll be getting $75 a year.”
The fiscal plan was adopted in December without comment, however that meeting did include many comments regarding a proposed, newly redrawn residential development -“The Preserve At Blue Ridge Trail.”
Under development by Blue Ridge Trail Golf Course owner Robert Tambora, the Planned Residential Development was presented by planning consultant Jack Varaly who provided an in-depth description of the housing types proposed, the protection of environmental features, the access areas and the facilities the development will contain. Once the comments of the Dorrance officials and residents were noted, the developer will incorporate them into a plan sufficient for submission for review.