West Cocalico

West Cocalico township building.

When: West Cocalico Township supervisors meeting, Nov. 17.

What happened: Supervisors discussed what to do with trees that may be liable to fall in the roadway.

Background: The township’s current policy is to get falling trees off of the road. If there’s too steep a grade on one side of the street, road crews may move a downed tree or limb to the other side. Township Manager Carolyn Hildebrand said the township had a recent complaint from a property owner across from a downed tree who didn’t want the fallen wood on their property. “It would be helpful if we came up with a policy,” Hildebrand said.

Board input: Supervisor Jeff Sauder said every individual case is different — sometimes it's easy to stow the wood, and sometimes, because of land grading and other factors, it becomes more difficult. Supervisor Leon Eby asked if the township could use existing rights of way for fallen tree material.

Roadwork: Roadmaster Tom Showalter explained that sometimes wood has to lie 40 feet from roadway, and suggested that homeowners have different philosophies about their responsibility in terms of branches or trees that may come down on power lines or other infrastructure, or pose a danger to motorists. “There are a lot of issues to look at here,” Showalter said, also noting that ash borer problems have led to quite a few rotten limbs on local trees.

Next steps: Ultimately, the board decided to do more research and bring the topic back for discussion at a future meeting.

Water meters: Earlier in the meeting, Hildebrand informed the board about a plan by the sewer and water authority to replace water meters for township residents. Hildebrand said seven years ago, the meters were replaced, but something was wrong with them. A defect led these models to run out of battery power quickly. Now, she said, the new meters will last longer in the field.