Plans for a proposed $5 million office/warehouse complex for BKV Operating LLC in Tunkhannock Township just east of the Geisinger Medical Facility at the top of Mile Hill received preliminary approval with conditions from the Wyoming County Planning Commission last Wednesday.
County Planner Lynelle Farber said that sale of the roughly 5.5 acre parcel that fronts Route 6 next to the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau was actually pending and that the project was granted preliminary approval by the planning body.
The plans have been reviewed by the county’s engineer, LaBella, and is still awaiting a highway occupancy permit from PennDOT.
Milnes engineer Mick Goodwin said the BKV complex was similar in mission to the Williams regional headquarters north of Tunkhannock, but nothing to the scale of Williams.
He added that there would be a low impact driveway accommodating roughly 20 employees for the 12,997-square foot office and warehouse facility.
BKV acquired the Northeast Marcellus holdings of Warren Resources in 2017, and broke ground Jan. 14.
Goodwin said that the company was community friendly and could conceivably open the warehouse portion of the facility for community use, if needed.
The vote to grant preliminary approval was 8-0, with one vacancy on the planning body after Mike Irish’s resignation in March.
Also on the agenda was an offer by Craig Keller of D&C Fuel Sales to let him begin building a convenience store/fuel station shell on the south side of Route 6 opposite Keystone Caps.
The D&C project is also awaiting a highway occupancy permit from PennDOT.
However, as there will be a light installed at the intersection with Billings Mill Road, that project will likely have a high impact on traffic.
Solicitor Paul Litwin said that Keller would like the planners to enter into a waiver release that allowed him to begin construction before PennDOT issued its HOP.
Litwin said that if, for some unlikely reason, PennDOT did not issue the HOP, the county was released from liability for allowing the project to proceed.
Keller, who was at the meeting, said he wished to take advantage of the construction season as he was hoping the project could be in the ground by year’s end.
He said he had been back and forth with PennDOT and Tunkhannock Township, and felt comfortable the concerns had been addressed.
Although Milnes did not come up with the original plans, they are on board with helping to see the project through.
Goodwin said he didn’t know how much more PennDOT needed regarding driveways but agreed the calendar wasn’t on his client’s side.
Litwin said, “We (meaning the county) have no control over what PennDOT might do.”
PC member Ed Coleman asked, “Did PennDOT give you a time frame?”
“Not really,” Keller said.
“I’m thinking the best guess would be 60 days,” Goodwin said.
Farber said she was a little concerned about what precedence might be set, but it was the commission’s decision.
The commission voted the matter down, 4-3, with Jim Davis, Ed Coleman, Sandy Boyle and Stacy Huber, voting in the majority.
Other matters considered were waiver requests for EIO Waste Solutions and Recycling in Monroe Township and preliminary approval for the Zenith Warehouse Project affiliated with Williams office complex north of Tunkhannock.
Both matters received unanimous approval.
Farber announced to the planning body that the County’s Comprehensive Plan that has been in the works for a couple of years will be on the county commissioners agenda April 30 for adoption.