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Mahoning discusses funding for bridge project

In order to fund the Rex Road Bridge project, Mahoning Township’s board of supervisors will look into reallocating some grant money to cover the costs.

Township engineer Peter Eisenbrown presented the only bid for the project at Wednesday’s meeting, which showed an estimate of $192,000 for the replacement bridge.

“That’s a whole new bridge. They’re going to get rid of the steel beams, and they’re going to put in a poured concrete beam, prefab,” chairman Franklin Ruch said.

The board previously put the project out for bid twice, but costs were too high in the first round, and no bids came in during the second.

The new bridge would not have any weight restrictions, and would be wider, allowing easier access for emergency vehicles and plows.

“This would allow you to ultimately put your large plow truck on that route. That was the theory,” Eisenbrown said, pointing out that using smaller plows in the area was deemed inefficient.

Eisenbrown said the project could realistically begin in spring, though supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt estimated that summer was a more likely starting point.

Eisenbrown said that some elements of the bid, including estimates for detours and tree removal, could likely be reduced, setting the actual project cost around $176,000.

Steigerwalt said that there is about $138,000 worth of funding available at the county level to cover the bridge, which is a county project, leaving the township responsible for around $40,000.

The board opted to wait on a final decision until they can find a way to cover the costs. Ruch said that if possible, the board would like to use Community Development Block Grant funds from previous years to fill the gap.

Steigerwalt mentioned that a similar strategy was used on previous projects, though he is not certain that it would work in this scenario.

“We’re going to try and set up a meeting with the county,” Ruch said. “We want to see if we can use money that we already got approval for from another year’s project, to add it to this project.”

Other business

• The board opted to allow Secretary-Treasurer Natalie Haggerty to make a final decision on project bids from Larry McCullion in regard to replacement lighting in the township building.

The board originally considered a bid for 11 T8 light fixtures to be replaced at a cost of $1,199, but Supervisor Robert Slaw was able to contact McCullion during the meeting. McCullion offered to replace nine of the building lights with longer-lasting LED bulbs at around the same cost, though he will contact Haggerty with a more official estimate in the near future.

• The board approved the purchase of a new air conditioner for the police department from Koch’s TV and Appliances.

• Trick or treating in Mahoning Township is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 25.