white township sign

Members of a White Township family came to Tuesday’s township planning commission meeting to express concern over what may happen in the future to 4.73 acres sitting behind their property.

A four-bedroom home on that acreage as well as four separate tracts will be offered up for sale Thursday, as Hostetter Auctioneers entertain bids at a 5 p.m. auction at Kuzneski and Lockard Inc., 101 Heritage Run Road.

Tim and Colleen McGinnis and their daughter, Heather Empfield, said there could be an environmental impact, because of the steepness of that neighboring property, as well as a gas well recently drilled there.

There also are two gas lines — one high pressure, one low pressure — and a stream, on the acreage between Philadelphia Street and Long Avenue west of Indiana Borough.

Empfield pointed to a shallow well on that acreage that encapsulates remnants of fracking activity, while Tim McGinnis said his family needs a 100-foot radius around a water well it uses.

“We have drunk from it,” McGinnis told the planning commission.

There was discussion on a series of issues Tuesday night, with the only board action being the appointment of Amy Burton as recording secretary. She recently was promoted by the township from part-time records management clerk to succeed Estelle Onyett as payroll and human resources clerk as well as planning secretary.

Assistant Township Manager Chris Anderson provided an update on the Tree Monkeys site along College Lodge Road, which was approved for development in December, and other projects ongoing in the township.

For instance, Anderson said, concrete is being poured into slabs for a new state police barracks. And there was discussion of a stormwater management concern along North Avenue. He also reported that four members of Gov. Tom Wolf’s cabinet are scheduled to hold a public hearing Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

Looking ahead, Anderson said the township is required at 10-year intervals to update its comprehensive plan.

The last time the township updated its comprehensive community development policy guide was in 2008. Anderson said the next round could include data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which has started gathering details for its 2020 census.

The assistant manager also reported that two Indiana University of Pennsylvania environmental engineering students will be used as interns by the township.

NOTE: This article edited at 12:45 p.m. June 13 to correct the spelling of Estelle Onyett's name.

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