The owner of Sullivan Trail Business Park has yet to complete a street pavement project and has decided to take action to get the work completed.
On Thursday, the township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of drawing funds from a bank account established for MSG Associates, the owner of Sullivan Trail Business Park, after months of delay in a pavement project for Ian Street and the eastern portion of Braden Boulevard.
The township has been attempting to get the developer to complete the work for at least three years now.
“We have been trying to get the developer to make most of the improvements for years and years and years. It's been like pulling teeth," said township solicitor Karl Kline.
The work was set to be completed by late June before the on Sullivan Trail and Uhler Road had opened. But that never happened.
“Ian Street is critical to access for Weis market customers and the eastern end of Braden Blvd,” said Kline.
Last month, developer Michael Goffredo, along with an attorney representing MSG Associates, appeared before the board requesting more time to complete the job.
At that time, the board voted 4-1 in favor of allowing the developer more time to complete the project. Supervisor C. David Howell cast the lone "no" vote.
Supervisor Erik Chuss called the situation disturbing.
“There’s nothing different than what is required of any other developer," he said.
Resident and former supervisor Bonnie Nicholas said this matter has been going on since she was supervisor.
“I think we ought to just take it over and do it ourselves,” said Nicholas. “Every single time it has come down to the last minute.”
According to Kline, the developer did submit an $11,935.18 check along with an additional $5,000. At that time, the developer said the work would be done by Aug. 22.
Township Finance Manager Jim Farley said this issue has occurred more than once. He suggested that the township collect the entire estimated $123,000 for the project up front rather than accept a down payment.
“So we can make sure the taxpayers of Forks Township are not footing the bill for a developer’s project,” said Farley.
As of Wednesday, one coat of pavement had been completed. But manholes were still raised and not level to the ground. A topcoat remains to be put on. The township had given the developer until Aug. 31 to complete the project.
“He didn’t meet the Wednesday [Aug. 31] deadline, and letter of credit should be drawn on to be sent to the township immediately,” said Kline.
Once the funds are drawn, they will be put into an escrow account for the township to complete the project. The township will have to solicit bids and award a contract before the work can be done.