Proposed Firearms Ordinance Dies for Failure of a Second

MARIENVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – There will be no firearm ordinance in Jenks Township, Forest County.

Jenks Township Supervisors had floated the idea of an ordinance to prohibit shooting at night in mid-April, but the ordinance didn’t receive a second when it was brought to the table at Monday night’s supervisors’ meeting by Supervisor Chairman Kevin Carter.

“There is no motion to bring it to the table, so consider it dismissed,” Carter said.

That action – or inaction, if you would – drew a round of applause from the crowd that was estimated to be between 75 and 100 people at the meeting with many leaving right after the non-action was taken without comment from the supervisors.

After the meeting, Supervisor Christy Snyder said she did wish that as many people who showed up at Monday’s meeting against the Firearms Ordinance took an active interest in other issues facing the township – the township would be a much better place.

That echoed the sentiments of Carter later in the meeting during public comments.

“I love how people are interested in this issue,” Carter said. “And, I would love to have them involved in other things in this community. We are sitting on a gold mine here in Marienville, but it’s tough to get the community involved.”

The decision to not act on the ordinance happened prior to any public comments, even from those who were pre-ordained to talk on the subject on the agenda.

Most of the scheduled speakers decided not to speak, although Matt Dicorpo did speak his piece.

“When laws are used correctly, they work in favor of firearms owners,” stated Dicorpo, who said he is a living example of how those laws work.

Dicorpo cited an example of him being fined for discharging a jammed shotgun at night after a neighbor called the police, thinking he had done so on purpose.

“I explained to the state police what happened, but they said they still needed to fine me for discharging a firearm for no reason,” Dicorpo said.

Dicorpo did cite reasons why a citizen might need to discharge a firearm at night including to protect livestock and for protection, using the example of his wife being stalked by a coyote at night.

“We had an instance where we had chickens and stuff and there was a predator after them,” Dicorpo also said.

During the public comment period, after most of the audience had left, township resident Ron Cussins did express to the supervisors his concern that the proposed ordinance wasn’t even read.

“The only info I had on it was what was in the paper,” Cussins said. “I wish during the meeting you would have read the proposed ordinance. I am willing to bet nine of 10 people here had no clue what was in it. All they saw was what was in the paper. That doesn’t serve you well nor does it serve Jenks Township well. It’s the process. Maybe you have a very valid reason, but I, for one, didn’t have a clue.”

Carter said he understood Cussins’ concerns and where he was coming from and said that if Cussins had wanted to see a copy of the ordinance he could have come to the township building.

The decision by the supervisors pleased Joshua Prince, an attorney with the Firearms Industry Consulting Group, who had sent to Jenks Township prior to Monday’s meeting against any proposed ordinance citing that it was his group’s belief that any ordinance would be illegal under the Pennsylvania Constitution.

“I’m extremely pleased to hear that the Board elected to follow the Consitution and statutory law without the taxpayers having to incur the cost of litigation,” Prince said in an e-mail to ExploreClarion Monday night. “It appears the Board was unaware of the preclusion of local regulation on firearms and ammunition, but upon becoming aware, took appropriate action.”

MAIN PANEL BOARD TO RUN SEWAGE SYSTEM TO BE REPLACED

After a presentation from Don Gawelski, Wastewater Operator, the supervisors agreed to replace the main panel board that is used to run the township’s sewage system.

Gawelski estimated the cost of replacing the system at around $49,000.00, which does not include a new computer to run the system.

The three supervisors, who also include Greg Geyer, all seemed to be in agreement that the project needed to be done.

SONGER SUGGESTS ORDINANCE FOR DOG POOP

Township resident Shannon Songer suggested the township consider an ordinance that would require people to clean up their dog poop when they are out walking their pets.

“I own four properties that border the walking trail,” Songer said. “There are always big piles of dog feces in the yards. There should be an ordinance where dog owners have to take care of it.”

Carter said there has been talk about putting signs up reminding people to do so, but Songer said without an ordinance to back the signs up the signs are pretty much meaningless.

ISSUES CONTINUE WITH BVK STORM WATER

In what has been an ongoing issue that affects the township and Songer, the BVK stormwater runoff is still causing problems.

“It is a major problem,” Carter said. “But, BVK says they have no money to repair the problem.”

According to the supervisors, BVK is being fined by the county, but that doesn’t seem to be moving the issue forward.

“BVK tells us they have $890,000.00 in loans and liens against the property,” Carter said. “It’s a terrible situation, a big corporation is screwing us up.”

Songer said he has dug his own ditch to take care of some of the problems, but that isn’t a permanent solution.

“The solution is to run a pipe through to Route 66,” Geyer said. “But, it is lacking funding.”

Songer asked if there was any grant money that could be made available, but the supervisors said that seemed unlikely.

SPRING CLEANUP DAY JUNE 2

The township will hold a Spring Cleanup Day from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on June 2.

Batteries will be accepted but please keep them separate. Refrigerators with the freon removed will also be accepted.

Also accepted will be electronics including laptops, PC monitors, TVs, printers, all-in-ones, scanners, hubs, copiers, switches, routers, and data sanitization/destruction.

Electronics should be kept separate as well.

Items not being accepted are tires, propane tanks, or other hazardous materials. No burnable material (ie: wood, etc.) will be accepted, either.

While the service is free, donations will be accepted to offset the cost of disposal.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business the supervisors:

  • Heard a report from the EADS Group concerning a few different projects in the township. The roughly $162,000.00 sidewalk project at the southern end of town is moving along pretty well. The project will make the sidewalks handicap accessible. Also, the Hemlock Street sewer project should be done sometime in May, while the Maple Street sewer project will start in June. Also, the trail project is completed and the train station design work is done and is now waiting for a funding packing. The train station project will revitalize the old train station with ADA bathrooms and a warming area for use as a community center.

Hired Austin Smith as a road worker; Cody Lewis as half-time road worker/half-time Wastewater worker; and Anthony Smith as summer help. Also hired Ed Stoner as code enforcement officer replacing Keith Ponegalek, who has retired.


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