Borough to trim trees in Barclay Square

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Borough Council Public Safety Committee discussed tree trimming in Barclay Square at Tuesday's meeting.

"Council suggested that numerous trees in the park require some maintenance," said Ben White, Punxsutawney Borough manager.

White said it has been suggested that the borough bring in Scott Sjolander from Penn State Cooperative Extension to evaluate the trees in the park and which ones need to trimmed.

Sjolander walked through the park with White, Larry Chenoga, council president, and Joe Defelice, Public Works foreman, he said.

"After evaluating the trees, Sjolander suggested that numerous trees should be trimmed, which he described as routine maintenance which could be handled by Public Works crews," White said.

At the Public Works meeting:
• White said that Jim Roberts from the Punxsutawney Area Community Center (PACC) board, stopped by to give an update on the roof project, which is nearing completion.

Roberts said PACC has submitted an application for a DCNR grant for an upgrade of internal electric.

White said using the borough's CDBG money helps PACC with its match for the grant.

• The Flood Control Certification requested by FEMA is moving along with the core testing samples of the dike, White said, adding that Brian Sekula, borough engineer, said the soil compaction test was satisfactory.

"Hopefully, our flood control will meet the federal standards," he said.

White said the deadline to submit the report is Dec. 31.

"This all came about due to the levee failure in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina," White said. "If we don't submit our report on time, or if the dike fails, then the whole town will become a flood plain and will not be eligible for flood insurance," he said.

• The CDBG 2012 project, the paving of Cherry Street from Carlton Avenue to North Findley Street and the replacement of the old hand rail with a guard rail, has been approved, White said, adding that the borough has been granted permission to begin the engineering on the project.

White said he is still waiting to hear about the CDBG 2013 grant money and the amount the borough will receive.

"Once we know the amount, then we can begin to discuss what projects need to be done," he said.

• White said, the Punxsutawney Sewage Treatment Plant is up for renewal of its operating permit.

"The process of renewal will begin in the next few months," he said.

At the Legal and Finance meeting, White said the 2013 budget has received preliminary approval by council and has been put on display for the public to review.

He said that once again, there's no tax increase for borough residents, and it is a balanced budget.