New hayracks for new poles?

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Monday, the Punxsutawney Garden Club asked Punxsutawney Borough Council for help in replacing the hayracks that were removed from the light standards for the downtown traffic light replacement project.

“We feel the beautification projects the Garden Club manages throughout the year make a great deal of difference in adding to the charm of the community,” Garden Club President Gloria Kerr said.

She said there is a fear that to replace the hayracks on the new light standards might damage the new poles.

Kerr noted that Public Works Foreman Joe Defelice and his crews do a wonderful job in assisting the Garden Club every year in maintaining its hayracks and other planters.

The Garden Club would like council’s permission for the continued use of the light poles to hang the flowers at the intersections where the former light standards were removed.

“We will do whatever it takes to get your permission to keep using the light poles, such as installing some type of insulation around the pole to protect it,” Kerr said, adding that some suggestions include using cut-up inner tubes to protect the new poles.

The club had also sent a letter to council requesting permission to put the hayracks on the new light standards.

“We are perfectly willing to hire someone to install them on the new poles,” she said.

Council President Larry Chenoga first thanked Kerr and the Garden
Club for all it does for the beautification of Punxsy, and said once the posts are put into place, they become property of the borough.

“Once the poles are put into place and begin to rust, it becomes our problem to deal with,” he said, adding that Kerr should check with Defelice and Borough Manager Ben White about the club’s next move.

White said the poles are wider than the former ones, and the club may have to invest in larger hayracks for placement.

Council approved a motion for the Garden Club to work with Defelice and White to come up with the best solution for the issue.

Also at Monday, council:

• Approved a letter supporting the Punxsutawney Area Community Center’s application for a DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Program grant to provide the center with an electrical upgrade and improvements in the Jackson Theater.

Chenoga thanked the center’s board of directors for its hard work in turning around the center’s financial condition.

“The board has done a super job and continues to do a super job,” he said, adding that’s why council is able to lend its support in the grant application.

• Approved a request from the Punxsutawney Fire Department’s Old Home Week Committee to hold its annual parade Saturday, June 30, along Mahoning Street, from the Lindsey Fire Company to the Central Fire Department.

• Approved Ordinance 1119, which amends Chapter 226-42 of the Punxsy code to increase the speed from the bridge over the Mahoning Shadow Trail and Route 119, Indiana Street, south to a point 1,815 feet south of South Gilpin Street just before the bridge that travels over the Mahoning Creek.

• Approved the final proposed street paving list using Punxsutawney’s allocation of liquid fuels funds.

White said the list was completed after a final review for the borough’s streets following the winter season and receiving cost estimates from its PennDOT municipal services representative. He said the number of streets scheduled for paving will depend on final bid costs.

Streets proposed for paving:

• Cliff Street, between a point 135 feet west of South Penn Street and Gaskill Avenue.

• Gaskill Avenue, between Altman Avenue and Cliff Street.

• Blair Street, between Woodland Avenue and Rockland Avenue.

• Cherry Street, between Mitchell Avenue and Carlton Avenue.

• Nancy Lane, from North Main Street to the end.

White said council could possibly look at doing something with Dinsmore Avenue next year.

Council could perform a survey to see how many residents want to pave over Dinsmore’s existing brick roadway and coordinate the replacement of all the utility lines that run under the road, White said.

Council approved a motion to have the borough engineer look at Dinsmore.

Grace Way is the only other remaining brick street in Punxsutawney.

• Approved to put out to bid the oil and chipping of alleys and streets in the borough and include Pennsylvania Avenue and Clark Street on that list.