Rt. 19 speed limit could drop

Google Street ViewResidents’ concerns have led the Springfield Township supervisors to have PennDOT investigate whether the speed limit is too high on a stretch of Route 19.

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP – The speed limit along a section of U.S. Route 19 in Springfield Township could be lowered in the near future.

That depends on the results of a speed study that PennDOT will be conducting in the Leesburg area, where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour, Supervisor Dave Swartz said at Tuesday night’s township meeting.

Township officials have been hearing complaints from residents about motorists who drive too fast on that stretch of Route 19, which is a PennDOT road.

Hidden driveways and limited site distance create more safety issues, Swartz said.

He recently met with residents, PennDOT officials and police to come up with a game plan that includes input from the Mercer County Regional Planning Commission and the Shenango Valley Area Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization.

PennDOT will sample 80 percent of the speeds that people drive on that road to come up with an average.

PennDOT could suggest that the number be reduced based on the average speed. If the average is higher than 55, there won’t be an adjustment, Swartz said.

The agency was painting some “caution” markings on 19 earlier Tuesday.

“They were showing good faith,” he said.

Speed trailers that show motorists’ speeds will be used in the meantime.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, supervisors:

• Hired Shawn Swartz as the township’s new office manager at $15 per hour, 40 hours a week. Eight people applied, and that was narrowed down to four. Those candidates were all interviewed and completed a skills assessment exercise, said Rick Dillaman, chair of the supervisors.

Dave Swartz abstained from the vote and was excluded from the interviews because Shawn Swartz is his daughter-in-law.

Mrs. Swartz will be replacing Rhonda McClelland, who has been working as the interim office manager. She took over in April 2018 after supervisors fired Patricia McQuaid for reasons that were never disclosed; she was the township’s secretary/treasurer and building code official.

• Approved the developer’s agreement from Compadres Mexican Restaurant, which is preparing to build an outdoor patio.

• Agreed to hold a public hearing at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 16 at the township building to consider a liquor license transfer request for Sheetz. The gas station and convenience store is remodeling its township store near the outlet mall, and the company wants to sell wine and beer. The liquor license would be transferred from from a licensee in Otter Creek Township.

• Agreed to hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. Sept. 16 at the township building for ordinance 2-2019, which is an amendment to the township’s zoning ordinance. It proposes that non-residential structures in the “village residential” district measure no more than 5,000 square feet.

• Heard from McClelland that three new businesses hope to open in the Springfield Commons Plaza – an AT&T store and pizza and taco restaurants.

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