Improvements to the accident-laden intersection of Geryville Pike and Route 663 in Upper Hanover will wait until spring, township officials decided Tuesday night.
Tim Hendricks, co-owner of developer T.H. Properties, told Upper Hanover’s board of supervisors that the PennDOT permitting delay has been resolved with the project but added that beginning the work at this time could result in some weather-related delays and costs.
While H&K Group is prepared to begin the project immediately and provided a timeline to the effect, Supervisors’ Chairman Richard Fain explained that the timeline is a best-case scenario and poor weather could halt the project over the winter months.
Fain added that PennDOT will not allow paving if there is any moisture or if the temperature is not 40 degrees and rising, which could leave unsafe conditions for drivers. Additionally, any repairs that would need to be done as a result of weather related setbacks would fall on the township.
“I don’t think it is prudent for us to risk safety as well as a financial burden on the township,” Fain explained.
After a discussion, supervisors agreed to develop a new agreement that will allow for an April 2, 2012 start date with a ten-week timeframe for completion, weather permitting. Hendricks added that PennDOT is on board with an April start date.
Hendricks also requested the township’s approval to resume construction in two phases of Northgate and to postpone improvements to 15 acres of open space within the subdivision, adding that he believes permission for those items was included in previous agreements.
“We’re looking for the nod to move along, but we are also thinking that is what we have already,” Hendricks said.
Fain asked that THP wait to proceed until the township’s solicitor and engineer review any changes but added that the board would otherwise not want to hinder THP’s efforts to continue construction.
“We want to keep you moving out there,” Fain added.
Hendricks also disputed recent news reports that THP’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case will be converted to Chapter 7. Hendricks added that the company will submit a reorganization plan next week and expects THP to be out of bankruptcy in January 2012.
“Unfortunately, we suffer a lot of bad press and in the process it does not help anyone in the community,” Hendricks said.
Recent newspaper articles have reported that U.S. Bankruptcy trustee Roberta A. DeAngelis filed a motion last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court requesting the conversion from Chapter 11 bankruptcy to Chapter 7 liquidation, arguing that T.H. Properties has continually failed to file a reorganization plan under its Chapter 11 bankruptcy status and is unable to pay its administrative expenses. T.H. Properties filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2009.
A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3 at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia.
In other business, Supervisor Mary Gibbs Kershner reported that the township’s recycling ordinance will more than likely not be ready for advertisement until sometime in early 2012. Kershner explained that, due to the number of residences per the 2010 census, Pennsylvania Act 101 requires the township to set minimum regulations for recycling.