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Weissport discusses streets; plans to hire part time police officer

Published October 02. 2012 05:01PM

Weissport Council discussed two important issues that will impact the residents of the borough. Both involve their safety and welfare.

Council president Gene Kershner said he met with David L. Horst, Benesch engineering firm, Pottsville, and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to discuss roads within the borough.

Kershner said that he and the borough engineer looked at borough streets.

"We drove through town and White Street is the worst," he said. Kershner noted that the back alley is also in poor shape.

"We've patched it a few times," he said. "But it is coming apart again."

Kershner also noted that a PennDOT representative also spoke with him about Bridge Street in regard to the rehabilitation of the Route 209 Thomas McCall Memorial Bridge and how it will affect Weissport.

The rehabilitation is expected to take place in 2014 and will involve a detour through Weissport.

PennDOT has proposed a short-term traffic control plan that will impact Weissport.

The plans call for a $10-million to $11-million rehabilitation instead of a more expensive replacement and enlargement of the bridge. The bridge project is expected to be put out for bid in 2013 and by the end of 2013, the bid should be accepted and work should begin in early 2014.

Temporary traffic patterns would last about three to four months.

During the three to four months that the new traffic patterns will be in effect, Weissport traffic on Bridge Street will be one way for the entire two lanes. Traffic will be detoured on Canal Street, through Weissport on Bridge Street and onto Bankway Street.

To assure that the Bridge Street can withstand the expected high volume of traffic, PennDOT has plans to resurface Bridge Street.

Kershner said that PennDOT engineers are also looking at the railroad crossing.

In the second major issue, Weissport Council approved posting the opening of the part time police officer position. Council will be accepting applications for a police officer to work 15 hours a week.

Attorney Michael Greek, borough solicitor, suggested that council provide copies of all ordinances for the Carbon County Law Library.

Greek said that the county is trying to make documents available to the public.

Dana Brubaker, secretary, also noted that the solicitor has sent out collection notices to residents who have not paid garbage bills.

Council then discussed a third issue - the borough workers who were hired to work in the borough have never showed up to work.

Brubaker said the filled out paperwork, but they never reported for work.

Greek said that the borough must assume that the workers are not interested in the position.

"We need to have someone on board," said Tim Rehrig. "We need to know someone will be available to plow or will we have to sub it out."

Rehrig said that there is a lot of maintenance work that needs to be done in the borough and that the borough cannot expect residents to clean up their property if the borough is not doing its own maintenance.

"We have weeds three feet high," he said. "The levee and the area around the pump station has not had attention. These things must be done on a regular basis, not just when we want it nice for inspection."

Council members also approved having the Beltzville Lions Club have use of the park on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 to host the Old Fashioned Hay Ride and Fall Fest in the borough. The borough gave permission to have the tractors pick up and discharge people at the borough park, have vendors and a tractor display. They also approved closing Park Street during the festival to allow for a tractor show and children's tractor pedal pull. The board also allowed the Beltzville Lions to add a petting zoo featuring miniature animals.

The event will be held both Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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