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Damascus roadwork: ‘Good job, but you’re not finished’

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DAMASCUS, PA — The Damascus Township meeting last month included back and forth about needed work on roads in the area.
Before getting to the roads, a representative from the Parks and Recreation Department offered a report, and Stanley Rolston inquired about a grant that was received in April. He asked if any of the grant money was going toward bathroom facilities at the Damascus Forest Park on McCubbins Road, where he and his wife go hiking.


Supervisor Dan Rutledge explained that the grant money was for the park near the township building. When Rolston questioned as to whether or not both parks were owned by the township, Rutledge said yes. Rutledge acknowledged that the park on McCubbins Road is in need of a bathroom, but pointed out the park outside the township building could use one as well. Rutledge then said, “We are working on it, one step at a time.”


During public comment Rolston spoke again. He reminded the board that in April residents were told that Shady Lane was supposed to be one of the roads on the agenda to be repaired, after
“the torrential downpour that messed up everything.”


“Since then, two months have passed,” he said. “The township employees cold patched Steep Hill until they ran out [of material] and then left. Another day they were patching with modified. They did a good job, but what I’m saying [is], you’re not finished. Since then all other roads are being worked on and ours is not. There are 38 houses on one side of one mile of road and 62 houses on the other side with two miles of road. I don’t know of another road in Damascus township that has that many houses per mile—none. I can’t believe cold patch is that expensive.”


Steven Adams, the operational supervisor said, “We did run out, but I got some the next day.” Rolston noted that it was never brought back to Shady Lane. “I understand that,” Adams responded. “I don’t know what to tell you. We’re doing the best we can. Other things happen. We try to get to the bad spots as fast as we can, and then you have situations where it rains. I’ve got Holgate, Steiner, Boyds Mills. Boyds Mills was supposed to get ultra bond on it last fall, and we couldn’t do it because of the weather. Now Boyds Mills Road has to be reprofiled again before we can actually put the ultra bond on it.” Rolston interrupted, “That’s a lot of road with less houses on it... I understand you can’t lose what you’ve gained. I just want the roads repaired whenever you can.”


Tony and D Ricci shared their frustration with Adams regarding the brush-hog work done on Shady Lane Road. D Ricci said, “It was approximately seven feet up where all the branches were ripped off. There were no branches hanging over in that area. We’re flooded already and with all the branches and debris they left behind on the side of the road, they made it worse. It looks like a war zone. They also chopped a sign on the road leaving clip marks from the blade. I don’t care what you are supposed to be doing, you don’t destroy signs. They just attacked everything. It’s horrible.”


In response, Adams said, “I’ll take a ride up there tomorrow to take a look at things.” Similar to the April meeting the general consensus from the board to residents regarding the needed road repairs was, “We are doing the best we can.”

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