Council to wait on parking decision for Grace Way, Water Street

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney Borough Council decided to hold off on any formal action regarding parking on Grace Way and Water Street as the area prepares for the opening of a brine water treatment facility adjacent to the Punxsutawney Sewage Treatment facility.

Borough Manager Ben White said at Monday he learned what was needed after meeting with all the parties involved, but said it’s difficult to assess as far accommodating the many trucks that will be traveling the two streets in order to get to the brine water treatment facility.

Previously, council had approved advertising an ordinance that would prohibit parking on both Grace Way and Water Street.

Council member Roger Steele said the owner of the trucking company pointed out the location of a two-car garage to Mahoning Street on Grace Way could be a choke point, causing truck traffic to become congested.
Steele said the plant is looking to treat 400,000 gallons of water from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., or 3,500 to 4,000 gallons per truck — or about 100 trucks loaded and returning on those streets.

There would be 200 trucks within a 15-hour period coming and going on Grace Way and Water Street, Steele said, which would amount to one truck every eight minutes at the Mahoning Street and Grace Way intersection.
There would be one truck attempting to make a right turn onto Mahoning from Grace Way, while another truck would travel west on Mahoning and attempt to make a left turn onto Grace Way.

“Those trucks will need the entire radius of Grace Way to pull in or out,” he said.

At that meeting, it was suggested to unload trucks after hours, and not staff the facility 24/7, Steele said.

The brine treatment facility is exploring the possibility of placing a line outside the fence, which could possibly be a 10-inch main with four manifolds, he said.

Steele said there would be a minimum of two trucks hooking up and disconnecting from the outside line.

There are two vehicles that currently park on Water Street and six that park on Grace Way, he said, adding that there are four spaces between the garages and Mahoning, and two vehicles between the garages and Community Action Inc., Steele said.

“This isn’t targeted at anyone in particular. The trucking company is serious about it being a safety hazard,” he said.

Mike Porada, chairman of Public Safety, said Community Action Inc. was granted permission for its employees to park in the Comet Market parking lot, so there shouldn’t be a problem.

The traffic problem might occur when the trucks are pulling out onto Mahoning Street, especially when school is dismissing in the afternoon, Porada said, adding that the truck would never get out of there without some type of traffic control.

Council voted to rescind its vote that approved an ordinance prohibiting parking on Grace Way and Water Street.

Porada said council should just wait and see if any problems occur once the trucks begin hauling to the facility.

In other business:
• Police Chief Tom Fedigan, was given verbal permission to proceed with the purchase of a third night vision surveillance camera and lighting to help prevent and identify anyone who might cause vandalism to the picnic pavilion.

Also Monday, council:
• Approved a request from Hands-on-Faith an initiative led by the Children’s Ministry of the First Church of God, in partnership with the Salvation Army and potentially other local churches, to plant a daffodil garden at Harmon Field and hold a special Bible lesson at the park Oct. 2.

• Approved the resignation of Carol Lazorchak from the Punxsutawney Memorial Library Board of Directors.

• Approved the appointment of Mary Steele to the Library Board of Directors. Roger Steele abstained.

• Approved the resignation of Richard Thames, D.O., from the Punxsutawney Airport Authority.

• Approved the appointment of Guy Battestilli to the Punxsutawney Airport Authority.

• Approved the acceptance of the H2O grant that will be used towards sewer projects on West Mahoning Street, Horatio Street and a small project on South Main Street on the southside.