Laughlintown residents will soon be able to share their experiences on Ligonier Township’s website regarding flooding on their property.

The Ligonier Township Supervisors on Tuesday passed a motion to implement online data collection of information regarding residents’ properties and any flooding incidents they have experienced following significant flooding damage that impacted Laughlintown in 2019.

Township engineer Ben Faas of The EADS Group estimated the cost to implement the online tool will be roughly $1,000.

Supervisor Stephanie Verna likened the online tool to an interactive map. Residents will be able to share photos and data through geographic information system (GIS) mapping software. This will allow township officials to review where flooding damage has occurred in their stormwater mitigation efforts.

“It’s a good way to efficiently and cost-effectively collect a significant amount of information,” Faas said.

Supervisors voted to have administrative assistant Bethany Caldwell and township staff work with The EADS Group to promote the online tool through the township’s Facebook page and website at a cost up to $1,000. Faas added that the tool will be presented as an extension of the township’s website.

Solicitor Michael Korns suggested adding a disclaimer stating the data collection is for informational purposes only.

In other business, township manager Terry Carcella cited operation and maintenance costs as factors for the township to consider after survey results came back from the Ligonier Beach Park Development Committee regarding cost estimates to operate the pool.

Aside from costs to renovate the pool, operation and maintenance costs are expected to be around $150,000 per year, Carcella said. He added that 200 families would have to buy season passes priced at $750 in order to cover these costs.

“We can’t compete with other entities in Derry and Latrobe, which charge $180 a season pass. So, these are some of the things we need to pay attention to,” Carcella said. “It’s not so much to rebuild the pool, it’s what’s it going to cost you to operate (the pool).”

He added that unless there is a long-term commitment from a vendor to operate the pool, the township cannot take it over.

In his engineer’s report, Faas said there will be several more Ligonier Beach Park Development Committee meetings next month. He added that the exhibits of potential proposed facilities are being prepared for the meetings.

In personnel business, supervisors approved a two-year contract agreement with Carcella. Two years is the maximum length contract permitted under township code, according to Korns. The agreement includes an increase in Carcella’s base salary to $71,000 in 2020, and to $72,500 in 2021.

The personnel committee also recommended a $1,500 increase in public works director Russ Morgan’s salary — making his base salary $53,500.

The committee also voted to offer a laborer/driver position to Mike Shadron and Cord Kelley as a public works appointment. Supervisor Stephanie Verna said the committee met with several candidates, recommending extending offers to Shadron and Kelley.

In other business, supervisors passed a memorandum of understanding (MOW) allowing Ligonier Borough to takeover a street sweeper previously shared between the two municipalities. Vice chairperson Paul Knupp stated that the township does not have money in the budget to continue maintaining the shared sweeper.

The township has its own Pelican sweeper it purchased two years ago for roughly $4,700. Supervisors noted that the previously shared sweeper with Ligonier Borough was “made for smooth roads, not rough township roads.”

Supervisors agreed on another MOU with Ligonier Borough regarding volunteer fire companies billing for services. The MOU establishes that the borough may bill the township when it responds to car wrecks, house fires and alarm systems in Ligonier Township.

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