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Bowmanstown council

Published July 08. 2019 01:41PM

Roads aren’t the only thing that the Bowmanstown Borough Council discussed at its meeting Tuesday night.

• Council received $650 from the Horsehead Community Development Fund Challenge Grant. The funds will be used to purchase new swings for the playground. No date was given as to when those swings would be purchased and installed.

• Council member Darren Thomas, chair of the Water Authority, said the authority met and approved installing a new fire hydrant at the intersection of Green and Lime streets.

“It’s not going where the ADA ramp is going?” Jessica Rehrig, the borough’s engineer, asked.

Thomas reassured her that it’s in the vicinity but not in the area of the ramp, which has to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

• Solicitor Lisa Pereira updated council on what they can and cannot do regarding speed limits. The council would like to have a lower than usual speed limit on the Lime Street extension slated to have construction begin this fall.

Pereira said she found that the only way a municipality can lower a speed limit below the statutory speed limit is if they would do a traffic study.

“You can’t just unilaterally reduce a speed limit,” she told them. “You have to demonstrate that there is a need.”

The council would like to have the speed limit set at 20 mph instead of the higher speed limits throughout the borough.

• The sewer treatment plant needs to expand the reed bed. Rehrig said the updated cost for the engineering and construction of the reed bed expansion project is estimated to be about $360,400.

Council member Darren Thomas said this is about $130,000 over a prior estimate. The project will come out of the general fund budget, which he admits will nearly drain the fund.

• Looking ahead to the spring of 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will be doing preventive maintenance repairs on the Route 895 bridge over the Lehigh River. Council President William Ravert said the work will include repairs to the concrete deck and replacing expansion joints. There will be short-term lane closures during the work, but all lanes will be open at the end of the work day. The construction is expected to last three to four months.

• The Bowmanstown Fire Company wants to apply for a Local Share Account Grant to take care of some repairs and needed council to authorize its application. The grant would be for $136,000 if awarded.

• Fire Chief Michael Spairana said that the fire department needs to replace and repave the parking lot; replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system; and upgrade the security system.

“Everything we’re fixing is ancient,” he said. “It’s time to replace.”

Both the HVAC and security system are 25 years old.

• Council approved the purchase of a landscape utility trailer for $2,700.

“Realistically, I didn’t think we needed one, but it is a pain to get the equipment on and off a truck,” Ravert said.

Thomas said he thinks the trailer is a good idea, because the tools can be loaded onto the trailer and stored there overnight.

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