Less driving during COVID means less money for road repairs in Mountain Top

Pat Rushton
Mountain Top Peeks

Municipalities throughout Mountain Top will have less money to spend on road maintenance and snow and ice removal next year, thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PennDOT recently released its estimated Liquid Fuel reimbursements for 2021 and six Mountain Top municipalities will receive a total of $65,987.94 less than this year.

The reimbursement comes from taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel and since people drove considerably less during the shutdown earlier this year, the state received less revenue from fuel sales. The money can be used for road paving and repairs, purchase of rock salt and anti-skid material.

Rice Twp., which will see a $13,288.61 reduction in Liquid Fuels money in 2021, pays $77.19 per ton for rock salt through the state’s COSTARS cooperative purchasing agreement program. The township would be able to purchase 172 tons of rock salt with that money.

Estimated reimbursement by municipalities are: Wright Twp., $180,032.63 ($19,736.37 reduction); Fairview Twp., $155,843.50 ($16,454.58 less); Dorrance Twp., $122,825.70 ($13,464.96 less); Rice Twp., $121,217.10 ($13,288.61 less); Nuangola Borough, $30,928.93 ($3,390.61 less); Slocum Twp., $27,761.97 ($3,043.42 less).

Wright Twp. annual cleanup update

Wright Twp. officials found that sometimes saying “no” pays off.

At their Sept. 14 meeting, township secretary treasurer Pamela Heard reported the municipality received just one written quote in response to its request for proposals (RFP) to provide containers for its annual cleanup.

That bid, from J.P. Mascaro and Sons, was $900 per container, more than double the amount the township paid last year. Supervisor Matt Howton, the township’s road foreman, said he felt that price was way too much and recommended the township seek additional quotes. After a couple of days of emails and telephone calls, the effort paid off. Howton said Waste Management has agreed to provide containers at a price of $399 each.

The cleanup will be held Oct. 5-10. Drop off days will be to Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Oct. 8-10. Arrangements can be made for pickup by visiting the township office during normal business hours.

Wright park improvements

Wright Twp. supervisors took several steps at their September meeting aimed at improving the township park. They named River Valley Recreation, Wrightsville, as vendor for park equipment. Heard said the company was one of three to submit proposals to furnish equipment, which will be a funded by a state Department of Community and Natural Resources grant. She said the company’s proposal best met the township needs. She said the company indicated it may be able to complete installation by November. The township’s public works department will assist with site preparation.

Supervisors approved submission of an application to Luzerne County Office of Community Development for a $113,000 grant to be used for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements to the parking lot at the municipal park. They also voted to ask for a $699,545 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The money would be used for improvements of the Park Road, specifically to take steps to mitigate reckless driving and better protect pedestrian and bicyclists safety.

News around the mountain

Wright Twp. supervisors accepted the resignation of Chris Madden from the Environmental Advisory Council and appointed Anthony D’Angio and Gary Bella to the (EAC). Rick Ercolani was named alternate zoning hearing board member.

Fairview Twp. supervisors terminated the township’s contract with Code Inspections, the township’s third-party inspection firm, effective Oct. 1 and entered a contract for code inspections with BHW Inspections, Plains Twp.

After more than two decades, it looks like the Mary Street bridge demolition project in Fairview Twp. will come to an end. Supervisors will hold a public hearing prior to their Oct. 6 meeting on an ordinance to vacate Mary Street from Route 309 to Lehigh Street. The action follows the final completion of the Mary Street bridge demolition. The bridge has been closed for more than 20 years, but demolition was delayed repeatedly due to entanglements with the Public Utility Commission, utilities, and other state agencies.

Rice Supervisors recently adopted a resolution to permanently close Willoweby Street to vehicular traffic from Nuangola Road to Front Street.

They also ratified a decision to hire Chemung Supply to strengthen previously installed guide rail on the south side of Weyhenmeyer Road bridge, extend the existing guide rail, and install a new guide rail on the north side of the bridge at a cost of $5,495.

Fairview Twp. has received a $94,626 low volume road grant from the Luzerne Conservation District for phase 2 of the Lake Road project. The township has until August 2021 to use the grant. Supervisors also voted to apply for a $350,505 gaming grant for Spruce Street drainage work and paving.

Source: https://www.citizensvoice.com/lifestyles/community/columns/less-driving-during-covid-means-less-money-for-road-repairs-in-mountain-top/article_c3eee90c-d502-5ccc-a779-db3abccc2f95.html