Glessner looks back on council’s 2010 accomplishments

PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney Borough Council President Susan Glessner said that despite the many distractions faced by the borough’s governing body, there were still many accomplishments throughout the borough in 2010.

“I feel the members of council handled themselves very graciously through adversity,” Glessner said. “We did have some trying times, and hopefully we’ve moved past them, and we can look forward to a new year.”

Glessner added that council did complete a lot of projects — some of which took several years to complete.

“That’s what I think a lot of people don’t realize: Many projects take several years before they come to fruition,” Glessner said, adding that she’s proud that council completed many of its goals planned for this past year.

Some of the accomplishments council was able to achieve throughout 2010 were:

• Route 119 Bridge re-construction project — The $5,307,119 project from PennDOT replaced the old structure that carried Indiana Street over Mahoning Creek with a three-lane, two-span composite steel multi-girder bridge and other miscellaneous construction. The project was completed on schedule in October.

• New sewer billing process — The borough upgraded its billing forms from the self-contained billing mailer to a traditional envelope type of bill.

The borough also made automatic check payment available, where money is transferred out of an individual’s account into the borough’s account on the due date.

• Torrence Street widening project — Grant money was received this year through PennDOT with construction to begin on the street in the spring of 2011.

Glessner added that even without the ATA Terminal building project, the widening project would’ve taken place.

“I think it will be a good bypass to keep some of the traffic off Mahoning Street,” she said.

• CDBG Pine Street Reconstruction Project — Mitchell Avenue to North Findley Street was completed for $84,209 that was paid for with CDBG grant funding.

• New Ford Crown Victoria police car purchased — The new patrol car arrived this past week and now awaits decals to be placed into service.

The borough also purchased the department’s first four-wheel drive patrol vehicle, a 2010 Ford Explorer, to be used primarily in the winter months.

Glessner added that council began a capital improvement plan for borough equipment and vehicles.

“(We did it) so we wouldn’t have to purchase equipment in each department at the same time,” she said.

• The hockey rink at the skate park — Area hockey players had requested improvements to be made at the hockey rink located at the Thomas J. Barletta Skate Park on Elk Street.

Public Works employees installed the boards that surround the goal areas and sides of the rink.

The funding was provided through the Barletta Foundation.

The total cost — including Public Works labor and the cost of the materials — was approximately $5,000.

Glessner said that the project came about due to the requests of area hockey enthusiasts.

“It helps to have input because council and the staff can’t be everywhere,” Glessner said, adding that council wasn’t aware of the situation until citizens came to council with suggestions.

“If the council can do it, we try and do it, and in the case of the hockey rink, it turned out really well,” Glessner said.

• The borough received the Peak Performance Award from PennPrime.

• Traffic signal upgrades were begun by PennDOT.

• The 2011 budget approved with no tax increase — Glessner said it was a tribute to the department heads and its workers on being able to have yet another budget approved with no tax increase.

“Anyone who keeps up with the news knows that there are many municipalities where there have been increases every year,” Glessner said. “I think the citizens of Punxsy are very fortunate we haven’t had to increase taxes.

“Council sets the policies, and the department heads implement them,” Glessner added.