Wellsboro council designates Act 13 spending

WELLSBORO – Borough council made decisions about how it will spend the $155,000 of its natural gas Act 13 money this year.

According to borough manager Dan Strausser, the money was added to $112,000 council has left over from last year, bringing the total to $267,000.

Strausser said a lot of work will be done at the borough shop, including painting and sealing the outside block walls, replacing 12 overhead doors and replacing a section of roof for $73,000.

They also will buy new stop signs, no parking signs and posts for $13,000 and purchase a drug sample kit for for $256 so the police can show people what the drugs look like.

In addition, new trees will be planted at the Charleston Street ball fields for $6,000; some borough office computers and police office computers will be upgraded for $3,500; the police department office will get a new digital color copier for $2,700; and the street program, which is currently resurfacing Sticklin Street and part of Nichols Street, will get $112,000.

About $58,400 will go into the capital reserve fund for bridge replacement next year, Strausser said.

“We are looking at taking three bridges out at Sears, Wetmore and Wingate streets and putting pipes in instead,” he said

Council also tabled for further review a request for money from Grand Canyon Airport manager Craig Musser to help repaint fuel tanks.

“He asked for one quarter of $6,800, or $1,700, to repaint fuel tanks at the airport. He also will ask Delmar, Charleston and Shippen, townships,” Strausser said.

The airport is located in Delmar and Shippen townships.

In unrelated business, following a review of the new traffic signals two sensors were found to be not functioning properly so they will be replaced at no cost because they are still under warranty, Strausser said. One is at the Charleston Street intersection and the other is at the Central Avenue intersection with Main Street.

Councilman John Sticklin brought up a concern about the walk light on the signal at Main Street and East Avenue.

“When that walk signal is lit, the traffic going the same direction can also go, which Councilman Sticklin said he thinks is dangerous for pedestrians who may not look before walking out into the intersection thinking there would be no vehicles there,” Strausser said.

However, the signals are set by PennDOT and so far there have been no incidents there, he added.

The borough offices have been moved to the new building at 25 Crafton Street into a building that formerly housed retail businesses.

The building, which had to be renovated inside and out, plus renovation of the old borough offices and police department offices, totaled about $240,000, Strausser said.

“There is a new carved sign made by Jim Cooper (of) the Sign Shop, along with a new repaved parking lot out front and, in the rear, (a lot to) be repaved shortly,” he added.

Borough employees were assisted during the move by the Wellsboro High School football team and borough resident Dewaine Starkweather who helped carry boxes over from the old office on his own time, Strausser said.

The public is invited to an open house at the new offices on Aug. 25, with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. and the open house to follow until 3 p.m.

Council also:

Adopted an ordinance to reimburse fire police and other pubic safety services for extraordinary expenses, mainly having to do with hazardous material spills, so they can claim the supplies used on the responsible party’s insurance and hire someone to collect that money.

Agreed to lock in a price with UGI for natural gas service for the next 12 months for $5.95 per dekatherm, only two cents higher than the borough is currently paying.