Let’s talk about intersections in the borough of Chambersburg

June 24 – Some changes are on the way for certain intersections in the Chambersburg Borough. 

A new four-way stop should help some issues with traffic at Grant Street and Fifth Avenue. 

Allen Coffman, borough council president, said, “Most people won’t think of that as a four way stop, but the fourth leg of that is actually what goes into the old TB Woods parking lot in their receiving and shipping area.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “That’s a good idea, too, because I’ve seen those 18 wheelers park there for a very long time just trying to get out onto that intersection.”

Is there a timetable on when the sign will show up? 

Coffman said, “It’s going to depend somewhat on, you know there’s a school on the other corner, on the southwest corner, and that’s sort of what triggered this whole thing, because they were looking for a crosswalk, and there’s none there. So that led to the four way stop, the crosswalk, sidewalks to be put in on Fifth Avenue and Grant Street on the corner of the property to set up the crosswalk. So that whole thing is just kind of coming together there. I don’t know exactly what the timetable is.”

The traffic light at Sollenberger Road and Loudon Street is also another discussion. 

Coffman said, “It’s actually out of the borough, but PennDOT did ask us for comments. We gave them comments. It was basically, thanks for your comments. We’re going to do we want to do. It isn’t going to change anything that we that we recommend.”

PennDOT will make their changes, but what that will be is anyone’s guess at this point. 

Another intersection is the one at Kohler Road, just off Interstate 81. 

Coffman explained, “Walker Road is in and out of the borough, but Kohler is definitely in Greene Township. It’s just in Greene Township. A traffic light is going in there. That should be interesting. It’s a tough place. Certain times a day, it’s sort of like Grant and Fifth, you can never get out of there to make a turn to the left to go up toward 81. Other times a day, you could hit it and you could pull right out of there, stop and pull out. It’s an unusual place.”

The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs brought out a few new resolutions recently. 

Coffman explained, “Every year, at their annual meeting that they hold in Hershey, they have a list of resolutions that they go through. It’s all boroughs that belong to it. They don’t all necessarily belong. There’s 955 boroughs in Pennsylvania. They aren’t all members of the PSAB, but nevertheless, they make resolutions every year, and there were 10 of them that made it this year. I noticed that the tone of these seem to be, maybe I’m not using the right word here, to push back on state and federal agencies about mandates that they put on communities and provide no funding, and that seemed to be a hot topic among several of these resolutions that were put forward. They got high grades in passage, like 94%, 98%. They were pretty high. They weren’t 100% but they were close to it.”

The pay scale for council members is one of the hot topics. 

Coffman said, “It’s interesting that that was one of the resolutions that was considered this year, but it was rejected. It was a rejected resolution. I don’t know why, because I don’t sit on that board that does that review. A council person in Chambersburg makes roughly $4,100 a year. The mayor and the president of council makes $5,100 a year in round numbers, so certainly they aren’t overpaid positions. You do it because you love it, not because of the money. But the resolution was rejected. I don’t know why, but the last increase was in 1995. That was the second year I was on council. I remember we had one increase, but I didn’t remember when it was.”

Ryan noted, “If you think about this too, the school board and the school board president, they don’t make a lick of money. I’ve often been against that. There should be a little bit of taste on that.”

“I agree,” Coffman said, “And if I’m not mistaken, I believe that Pennsylvania might be one of the only states that does not pay members of the school board. I believe almost all the other states pay and it’s a tough job. They’re getting beat up all the time.”

Ryan suggested, “Maybe what you do is maybe we stop paying for the health care for the rest of the lives of all of these lawmakers that leave office. Maybe, if you’re looking to reallocate money, maybe you take that money that you’re spending on that and go spend it on the people that are doing some hard work, very hard work, and are thankless.” 

Coffman said, “They are and it is thankless. There’s no question about that.”

Another topic of discussion at a recent Chambersburg Borough Council meeting was a report from the Parking, Traffic and Streetlight committee. 

Coffman said, “There were three handicapped parking spaces that were approved. The procedure is people make a request, there’s a form for it, and if they are financially challenged to pay for this, they can ask for relief. All they have to do is provide their income information and that’s looked at by another group of people, and it’s brought back to Parking, Traffic and Streetlight saying, yes, they qualify to have this put up at no charge to them. That’s only fair. I mean, years ago, when I was on that committee and I chaired it, we actually saw what the W2s were for people, and there was a lady that asked for a handicapped spot that made about $9,500 a year. That’s what she was living on. That was a no brainer. We aren’t going to charge somebody to put in a handicapped. But the other thing with a handicapped spot that’s important to remember, they are not to the house or the person specific. Anybody that has a handicapped hanger on their vehicle can park there. They do not guarantee that you get that spot all the time. It doesn’t belong to you. It is a handicapped space.”

The next Chambersburg Borough Council meeting will be July 8.