Gas work permits may be withheld if paving not completed

The city may withhold authorizing any new permits to a gas company restoring patch work at excavation sites until the base repairs are done on existing projects before the start of winter.

UGI Inc. has sub-contractors  specializing in paving work to meet the deadline before asphalt plants close around Thanksgiving, David Columbine, public improvement director and excavation inspector with the city, said to the city Public Works Committee Tuesday.

“I recommend no further permits until the work is done,” Columbine said.

The basic base coat needs to be applied before winter so that trucks can plow properly and motorists have a decent enough surface to ride on. Currently, many of these patches are filled in with a cheaper material and it is sinking in places, according to Councilman N. Clifford “Skip” Smith, committee chairman.

Columbine said while they are trying, the sub-contractors are falling behind schedule.

“What I want is a schedule,” Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said.

The discussion, with no votes taken, then moved to considering withholding the issuance of further permits in the spring should the utility not meet is contractual obligation to get the base coat on the patches before they shut down for the year.

Other action taken by the committee included:

• A positive recommendation to have the administration seek a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Interior Land and Water Conservation to be passed through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for renovation project at Brandon Park. The work includes a nature play area, an environmental outcrop near water for learning about aquatic life; tennis court resurfacing, lighting and pathway improvements.

• A positive recommendation for a resolution announcing a memorandum of understanding between the city and McClellandtown Volunteer Fire Co. The fire company is buying the city’s outdated 1993 engine for $7,000 and the city will allow the fire department to put the money into improving its computer software, city Fire Chief Todd Heckman said.