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Curwensville Boro, engineer address projects
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
By Wendy Lynn Brion Staff Writer
CURWENSVILLE - Engineer Wilson Fisher spoke to Curwensville Borough Council last night concerning the Arnoldtown and Schofield Street projects and answered questions from council concerning the pace of the projects.
He apologized for the delay, noting that he got caught up in working with CNB Bank on its renovation project. He said he met with the sewage plant operator and they discussed where the connection from Arnoldtown would be made. There are some changes the municipal authority wants on the plans, especially a more expensive pump station. He said he would be meeting with them tomorrow to discuss that.
Council Member Mary Ellen Read asked him why the connection discussion wasn't made earlier and questioned Fisher about the bids on the project and where they are and why they haven't been opened yet. Fisher said there was a breakdown in communication with the municipal authority. He has spoken with the five contractors who expressed interest in the project and asked them to hold off on their bids until the matter was straightened out, especially since it appears there will be changes to the bid specifications from the authority.
Fisher also said that all bids for Arnoldtown and the Schofield Street project will come to council and be opened by council.
In regard to Schofield Street, he said he is working on specifications for bids. There are two components - the first is to solve the undermining problem and the second is to establish permanent repair to keep the guide rail upright and change drainage on the street.
Superintendent Dr. Norman Hatten of Curwensville Area School District also spoke last night concerning the crossing guard. Hatten said the issue about the crossing guard has come up in the past, but until recently the district did not have the power to hire someone. Now the law has changed and Hatten said he will approach the board with a proposal to hire the crossing guard and continue to split the salary with the borough. He will also look into the possibility of hiring someone as an independent contractor due to workers' compensation insurance.
"Safety of our children comes first," council President Don Hoover remarked, adding that they need a crossing guard regardless of how the person is hired.
Council discussed some matters concerning the streets and learned that a water run-off problem on Schofield Street will cost about $650 to repair and will include 40 feet of pipe and one or two catch basins.
Council Member Marc Curulla also brought up the condition of a work truck, which has a manufacturing year of 2000. He said they need to look into a new truck and suggested an International. Other council members said the borough needs to wait for the costs of the Arnoldtown and Schofield Street projects before making a decision on such a large purchase.
Council discussed some matters regarding the Curwensville Revitalization Team. Rick "Whitey" Swatsworth said the team would like to have a forester from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources come and look at the trees in Irvin Park. Some of the trees are dead and there are many limbs that need removed. Another concern at the park is to get a new sign erected. The borough Shade Tree Commission will need to be consulted as well.
David Rose also spoke about placing large planters, 36 inches wide by 33 inches high, throughout the downtown. He said they are looking to have people sponsor the planters, which could hold flowers, bushes or small trees. He also said they would like to place a Dumpster by the borough garage for the community cleanup days in April.
Read also spoke about the CRT and the grants the team has received. She said a grant from the Susquehanna Riverways will be used for new picnic tables, but to get ones that will last they will need to reduce the number of tables they intended to purchase due to cost. The team is also looking to get benches that will be made out of a lasting plastic material. The CRT is planning to combine part of the Riverways grant with a Rotary grant.
Another grant from Visit Clearfield County, the county tourism promotion agency, will be used for a sign welcoming people to Curwensville. CRT originally wanted three signs, but due to cost is looking at only one sign. The grant is for $2,200 and a match of $2,200 is needed from the borough. Curulla then said if they are going to hold off on other purchasing decisions, the borough should hold off on this as well for the same reason.
Rose spoke up and said that this is the first time CRT has asked for monetary support from council and the amount isn't the same as the cost of a new vehicle. Hoover then suggested that the team look into other prices for the signs and then come back to council.
In other business:
• Rose and Curulla became involved in a tense discussion concerning payment of an invoice from the planning commission. Curulla said the invoice from the planning commission needs to be paid this week and Rose should pay with cash or money order, not a check. Rose stated he would like council to review the invoice first. He said he is being charged for things he does not think he should pay for, including phone calls with Fisher and referred to discussions last year concerning setbacks on his property. He said Fisher had not questioned the setbacks but that incorrect information was being provided to the planning commission and council, which required a letter from Fisher to straighten out. After a heated discussion, council agreed to table the matter to give the other council members time to review the invoice.
• council heard from Scott Brubaker about a Geocaching project in the area, where about 300 new caches will be set up. He said he would like to organize a "Cache and Trash" day April 6 to introduce Geocaching enthusiasts to the new trails and help clean up Irvin Park. Council approved the event.
• Deb Harzinski spoke to council about a 5K walk/run race to be held March 30. The intent is to help raise money for the Curwensville baseball team and 20 percent of profits will go to the community food bank. They are working with the local fire police and borough police to put together a safe route that will start and end at the ball fields.
• Officer Mark Kelly answered questions about police reports in the newspapers. He said other police forces have secretaries that can put those reports together, but Curwensville does not so they release reports when they have time. He also noted there are certain investigations they prefer not to release information about.
Council members Don O'Dell and Julie Girardi were absent
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