PennDOT still looking to close purchase of house for project

PUNXSUTAWNEY — PennDOT District 10 has not closed the purchase of the house located adjacent to the Route 119 (Ridge Avenue) and Route 310 (Elk Run Avenue) intersection.

Ben White, Punxsutawney Borough manager, said at a recent borough council meeting that PennDOT is hoping to close on the property after the holidays.

Mark Rozich, PennDOT District 10 highway design engineer, said at last month’s Route 119 committee meeting that the purchase of the brown house on the corner of the intersection for demolition became a really complicated issue from an appraisal standpoint.

“We thought it was a home that was unoccupied,” Rozich explained, adding that the building is used for storage.

Rozich said that the appraisal had to be redone numerous times because council wanted to pay the owner what the building is worth. Once PennDOT closes on the purchase after Christmas, a demolition contract will be put in place.

Rozich said the plans for the project — which features a left turning lane — are in the development phase. The project includes the replacement of the Elk Run Bridge, which is part of Route 119 and runs over the Elk Run Creek.

In other buisness:

• White reported that the planning process continues with the West Mahoning Street Sewer Project.

“We’ve been working on this project for quite a while, and the borough recently received the PennDOT highway occupancy permit application,” White said. “We are still awaiting a response from the railroad.

“The owners of Punxy Plaza have not responded to our request to draft a right-of-way agreement,” he added.

White noted that the borough has also sent a draft right-of-way request to the land owners for Uni-Mart, and that a bid date for the sewer project is uncertain at this time.

• Council approved a change order for the Pine Street CDBG paving project in the amount of $92,996.

White explained that the increase was due to the installation of a double yellow line in the center of Pine Street.

The price for the line is $0.85 per linear foot, with 1,377 feet of paving on Pine Street. The total price equates to $1,170.

A second change order was approved as the contract price was reduced by $8,787 due to a change in the quantities of materials specified in the contract.

White said that the contract price has been reduced to $84,209 to be paid to contractor Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.

• Approval was given by council to pay the final estimate on the Lindsey Fire Station roof replacement, in the amount of $4,480 to contractor W.W. Gildersleeve.

• The commonwealth financing authority met Nov. 16 regarding the borough’s H2O Pa. grant application.

White reported that no decisions were announced on the application.

• Approval was given to remove Mary Ann Bosak from active status and place her on life membership status at the Central Fire Department.

Mike Porada, public safety chair, pointed out that Bosak was the first female firefighter added to the active list in the Punxsutawney Fire Department.

• Doug Scott was removed from the Central Fire Department’s active roster.

• Council approved the addition of John Joseph to the Elk Run Volunteer Fire Company’s active list.

• Robert Corso Jr. and Mike Varner were added to the Lindsey Fire Company’s active list.

• Council approved Ordinance No. 1108 amending a chapter of the borough code by establishing the speed limit on a portion of Indiana Street to be 25 mph and to be 45 mph at an adjacent portion of the street.

• A request for free parking by the Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce during the 2011 Groundhog Day celebration was granted by council.

Free parking was approved for Jan. 29 through Feb. 2.

• Doug Mankovich, Richard Ellenberger and Ed Boston were reappointed to the airport authority.

• Tom Chelgren and Cindy Depp-Huntichinson were reappointed to the library board.

• Frank Stockdale was reappointed to the zoning hearing board.

• Punxsutawney Borough Council meetings in 2011 will continue to be scheduled for the second Monday of the month with the committee meetings scheduled for the Tuesday prior to the council meetings.

• Tim Morris was reappointed solicitor; Mary Neal was reappointed borough secretary; and Emily Pearce was reappointed borough treasurer.