Highland supervisors hear complaints about roads

JAMES CITY -- Heavy truck traffic to a Marcellus Shale natural gas well near Owl's Nest is spawning more complaints in Highland Township.Joe Niklas of Sackett and Ken Painter of Pig's Ear Road both complained Wednesday about the dust stirred up by the truck traffic to the well site.Speaking at a meeting of the Highland Township Board of Supervisors, Niklas said the road leading to his residence is "still dusty" due to the volume of trucks heading to the well site."I can't see out my windows," Niklas said.Painter said the dust created by the trucks causes a visibility issue for motorists on Pig's Ear Road.He said the dust is so thick "you have to stop" from proceeding on the road because of the lack of visibility.Charlie Vaughn, chairman of the Board of Supervisors and working roadmaster for the township, said the roads to the well site have been "dusty all winter" due to the lack of significant snow.The Marcellus Shale well near Owl's Nest has been drilled by Seneca Resources-- the development division of National Fuel Gas of Williamsville near Buffalo.Vaughn said Seneca is aware of the dust problem on the roads. He said the company has been spreading a material on the roads in an effort to control the dust.Vaughn said he has called Seneca "numerous times" to seek remedial action for the township roads used to access the well site."I've been getting hold of them constantly," Vaughn said. "I'll call them again."Niklas and Painter also complained about speeding trucks on the roads to the well."We need more speed limit signs," Niklas said. Painter said the State Police "can't do anything" unless speed limit signs are erected. He claims "18-wheelers" have been traveling at speeds of 60 miles per hour on Pig's Ear Road.Supervisor Jack Vanderneck said the township could erect speed limit signs, but he doesn't believe the State Police would act to stop many speeders on dirt roads.In related business, Vaughn said the township road crew plans to begin work next week to grade roads.In other business at the 40-minute meeting at the township building in James City, the supervisors:*Received a monthly treasurer's report from Misty Edinger, treasurer of the Highland Township Volunteer Fire Department.See full article by purchasing the April 11 edition of The Kane Republican.