On and Off The Mountain/Stephanie Grubert

The Mountaintop Eagle went to print Friday June 30. We always have different print schedules around holidays. A lot could happen between then and our official publication date of July 5. Hopefully there was no rain on the Mountaintop July 4 Parade and everybody got to see the fireworks on July 3. Many of us were planning holiday picnics. I always look forward to that first corn of the season and those sizzling burgers and salads. The backyard fire pit is our marshmallow roasting spot. We are making memories with our families and friends.

Nuangola Road Upgrade?

PennDot resurfaced Nuangola Road from near the intersection with South Main Road in Wright Township to the intersection at Church Rd in Rice Township with an Oil and Chip upgrade last week. Last year the state road was repaired by paving strips on the right sides of both lanes and other patching toward the center. Now the patchwork road has a new base. A similar road surface was installed in Dorrance on Prospect Road some years ago and it was rough going until the chips settled in. Nuangola Road has a speed limit of 30 mph, which is actually a bit fast for the new road condition. The Eagle will try to find out more about this “upgrade” for a future edition.

Crestwood Budget

The Crestwood School Board closed out their fiscal year approving

the 2017-2018 $37,546,651 budget with no tax increase. Revenues are $36,780,349, a shortfall of $766,302. Tax millage will remain at 9.8481. Enrollments continue to decline year over year with a net loss of 37 students to 2811 reported in May. Crestwood has lost students for years and years. When the $56 million plant expansion including a new high school went on the ballot in 2009, enrollments were expected grow to 3600 students, about 800 more than Crestwood currently has. The Mountaintop electorate turned that program to dust with an 84% disapproval vote from 5500 voters.

There is always complaining when management, the administration, works with the board to spend tax dollars wisely. Crestwood has had conservative fiscal culture since 1985. For more than 30 years Crestwood has one of the lowest costs per student in Pennsylvania and the academic achievements are always at the top. Mountaintop taxpayers appear to be paying for public education wisely.

The Crestwood teachers union president set forth objections at the June 22 schoolboard meeting noting that 10 teachers were retiring and would not be replaced. The union leader asserted, “Class sizes are increasing next year. Most teachers will have to teach an additional course next year. Many teachers across the district have been reassigned to different classes or buildings, and some will teach subjects they haven’t taught before.”

The last time I analyzed the Crestwood teacher payroll senior employees were paid in the $80,000 per year range and enjoyed another 35%, or $28,000 in benefits. Family healthcare alone is $20,000 or more. Yes, Crestwood’s professional staff can certainly teach an extra class and accept new assignments as part of their employment packages. And with declining enrollment their jobs will get easier every year.

The average property with a $200,000 assessment pays about $2,000 in school taxes. Another $1,000 goes to the county and the municipalities. The taxpayers want their money spent wisely. We can thank our school board and administrators for staying on top of public education.

The Preserve at Blue Ridge

The Preserve at Blue Ridge, a planned residential development in Dorrance will have its final hearing for a Conditional Use application Monday July 10. A total of 193 residential units, 108 twin and 85 single-family homes on 546.56 acres zoned conservation is proposed. The acreage includes 9 holes of golf already in use and 113 acres of open space Bob Tambur and Robert Tamburro of TFP Limited are proposing the development. Hearings have been ongoing since December 1, 2016 on the current proposal.

The property went through an extensive application and hearing review for a different residential plan more than 10 years ago, which proposed 350 residential units and some commercial units. That plan was abandoned with the downturn in the economy in 2008. The Dorrance Township Supervisors will review the current proposal and the Conditional Use application decision will be rendered within 45 days under state regulations.

I covered the original Blue Ridge proposal and vividly remember all 19 hours of hearings, which were held at that time at the Dorrance Firehall. There is always a lot of interest in building proposals in every township. The Tambur family has been working on their project for many years.

Summer Fun Activities

There is still time to enjoy the Wright Township Summer Park program for children ages 6 to 12 through July 28. All of our grandchildren attended the camp. There are games, arts and crafts, nature walks, water games and teamed competitions.

Mountaintop Family Church Summer Adventure Clubs will be held July 10th to July 13th from 6:00 to 8:00 p. m. for children through 6th grade. Bible lessons, games, dramas, snacks and much more will be enjoyed.

And this weekend July 7, 8 and 9th Slocum Volunteer Fire Company will hold their annual bazaar on Slocum Road. There is live music every night and the bazaar is great family fun and lots of homemade food.

Be sure to check out our Mountain Calendar each week for ideas of

See Mountain page 9