South Middleton Township’s newest official said he’s ready to serve the community, even if he’s not yet old enough to vote.
Drew Uhler, 17, was sworn in on Thursday night to serve as South Middleton’s junior supervisor. He will offer input at township supervisors meetings through June 2019, when the 11th-grader is scheduled to graduate from Boiling Springs High School.
Uhler, son of Kurt and Stacey Uhler of South Middleton Township, said he applied for the junior supervisor position because local government “directly affects people of the community, and I want to give back to the community.” Public service is nothing new to the family because Kurt Uhler is the township’s parks and recreation manager.
The township initiated a junior supervisor program in 2014 to involve youths in local government and public affairs. The program is open to high school juniors and seniors in South Middleton Township with the intent of junior supervisors educating peers about the overall process.
“We think that it’s important to ensure that the younger people have an understanding of local government and can contribute to their community,” township manager Cory Adams said.
Uhler, a member of the Bubblers’ varsity football and wrestling teams, said he hopes to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Township supervisor Tom Faley, a 1962 West Point graduate, told Uhler this excited him. “I went to West Point and never regretted it,” Faley said.
In other news, South Middleton Township Supervisors approved a request by Union Quarries Inc. at 101 Bonnybrook Road to extend the closure of a portion of South Spring Garden Street to March 2. The road closure originally was scheduled to end on Feb. 24.
The closure relates to Union Quarries constructing a new stone processing plant and internal access drive that replaces the company’s existing stone crusher. When completed, crushed stone product will be conveyed across the quarry for further processing and stockpiling through a tunnel beneath South Spring Garden Street instead of using public streets.
The 20-foot tunnel is intended to reduce neighborhood traffic delays and airborne dust caused by quarry transport trucks. The new stone crusher will be on the east side of South Spring Garden Street in the same area as the existing crusher.
Project construction fell a few days behind schedule this week when township officials put a temporary hold on all site work. Work stopped on Monday afternoon because developers hadn’t yet submitted a $100,000 letter of credit that was required by the township before construction started, Faley said. He attributed the situation to a “communication breakdown” involving contractors.
Work resumed at the Union Quarries site at midday Wednesday after developers provided necessary documents to township officials, according to Tim Duerr, the township’s chief of planning, zoning and codes enforcement. A letter of credit gives the township the means to return South Spring Street to its original state if Union Quarries should abandon the tunnel project.
Despite the mixup, township supervisors said Union Quarries is a good neighbor to South Middleton.
“This is a minor fluke. Union Quarries has been very good to us and good for us to work with,” supervisor Duff Manweiler said.