Reading Eagle article

Ron Devlin | Reporter/columnist
610-371-5030
Ron Devlin covers Kutztown and Brandywine Heights School Districts for the Reading Eagle.

Greenwich supervisor says township spent tens of thousands on warehouse proposal

The board also voted to pay a fire suppression consultant $3,100 to review the Crossroads X plans.

Greenwich Township, PA —

In the general scheme of things, spending a few thousand dollars isn’t that big a deal these days for local governments.

But on Monday, the Greenwich Township supervisors agonized over the prospect of paying a fire suppression consultant $3,100 to review plans for the proposed Crossroads X warehouse in Krumsville.

Victor M. Berger, chairman, threw his hands up in the air at the prospect of spending still more money as a result of the proposed warehouse.

“This is a snowball effect,” he said. “With two litigations ahead of us, we keep spending money, money, money.”

Berger’s statement reflected a growing concern over the amount of money the township is spending in the ongoing legal battle over the proposed 505,000-square-foot warehouse distribution facility on Route 737, north of the Krumsville interchange on Interstate 78.

Without being specific, Berger suggested the township has spent “tens of thousands” on legal and other expenses surrounding the warehouse proposed by PSIP JVI Krumsville Road LLC of Wind Gap, Northampton County.

In December, citing safety concerns, the supervisors rejected the developer’s initial plan. That decision and another by the township zoning hearing board are under appeal by the developer in Berks County Court.

Meanwhile, JVI Krumsville submitted a revised plan in March.

In June, the township planning commission approved the developer’s request for a 90-day extension to address concerns raised by the township engineer, LTL Consultants of Oley. The extension expires on Sept. 30.

The plan is expected to come before the commission when it meets Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the township building.

The commission’s role is to make a recommendation on the plan to the supervisors, who meet on Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the township building.

At Monday’s meeting, Solicitor Dan Becker cautioned the supervisors that it would be their last chance to hire a fire safety consultant before the extension expires.

A frustrated Berger asked the audience for a show of hands on whether the township should spend the money on a consultant. Most of the people at the meeting were opponents of the warehouse. All raised their hands in approval.

The proposed warehouse, which could generate traffic of 800 trucks a day on Route 737, has drawn intense opposition from Krumsville residents.

Marc and Dodie Sable, outspoken opponents of the warehouse, live directly on the route the trucks would take to the warehouse.

The Sables said that their attorney advised them that the township hire a fire safety consultant to review the developer’s plan.

“This is a half-million-square-foot facility. Let’s make sure it doesn’t burn and take half the township with it,” Marc Sable said. “Hiring a consultant is money well spent.”

Supervisors Victor Berger, Alice Flyte and Dean Spohn relented and hired a consultant to review the developer’s plan.

(NOTE!  What Ron didn’t put in his article is that the approved salt shed plans – over $140k – did not include rain gutters, spouts and ice guards … which when Bobby brought it up at this meeting that we needed them, Victor immediately approved the $3000 costs without any hesitation.  Our thoughts were, why didn’t the plans include that important option???)

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