Years of wear and tear on the roads will require the township of Lower Mount Bethel to do some repaving this year. During Monday night's Board of Supervisors meeting, discussion of a repaving project for a mile of road in the township was begun.
The supervisors approved township representatives Lori A. Stauffer, Township Secretary and Treasurer, and Fred Heitzman, Director of Public Works Road Foreman, to meet with PennDOT to prepare bid specifications and discuss the beginning phases of the project.
Plans to repave approximately a mile of Little Creek Road, a strip between Bangor Road and Falcone Road, in Lower Mt. Bethel Township are in place. The road foreman stated the road was last paved in 1981, is worn out, has potholes and the surface is falling apart.
The solution is to lay one inch of pavement over top of the road in one complete pass. Stauffer estimated the repaving to cost between $100,000 - $125,000, which will be funded out of the liquid fuel fund, though the monies will not continue to fund township road repairs for much longer.
"Common practice of this board has always been to use liquid fuel money for paving," said Stauffer, "We are coming to a point where we can no longer just rely on liquid fuel money." The liquid fuel allocation from the state is decreasing by a couple thousand dollars every year.
Lower Mt. Bethel Township has about 35 miles of road they have to take care of. "Even if we have the ability to pave 3/4 to a mile of road each year, you're looking at a paving schedule of about 35 years - that's not feasible."
The treasurer suggests the board begin to put money for paving into the capital reserve fund.
Currently, the township has $90,000 in the liquid fuels fund and will be getting an allocation in the amount of $113,000. $61,000 of the total amount will be paid to the state for the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank (PIB) loan payment.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting is to be held 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Township Welcome Center.