Lock Haven looks forward to long-awaited bus service

LOCK HAVEN — The city’s journey is generally in a forward direction, and City Council heard about a few coming improvements during its meeting Monday night.

The long-awaited bus service should begin this fall, Councilman Ted Forbes reported. River Valley Transit is stepping out on a limb and scheduling runs without waiting for the state Department of Transportation to officially provide a grant.

The first runs will be from Williamsport to Lock Haven and back through Jersey Shore, starting Sept. 25. They will consist of three runs early in the morning and afternoon, Forbes said.

A local bus route in town should begin Oct. 30, he said.

PennDOT has said it will not sign off on the grant until there is a state budget for this year.

Currently, the Legislature seems to be leaning toward tapping surplus “or reserve” dollars in special funding, and vouncil Vice President Stephen L. Stevenson said this could impact both the bus service program and 911 funding, including planned updates of emergency communications in Clinton County. He suggested council protest this plan.

PPL has provided a start date for replacing the 49-year-old, green metal, now-rusting light poles in the city. The replacement project should take place from Oct. 16 to Dec. 22, reported Assistant City Manager Gregory J. Wilson. The new poles were to be aluminum, but the base of a standard PPL aluminum pole is 13×13 inches, making it too large for the right-of-way PennDOT grants for the poles. This has held up the project a bit, Wilson said.

The other options were wood or grey fiberglass poles, and PPL has settled on fiberglass, he said. These poles should last 35 years. They can’t be nailed or stapled, and they will hold brackets for streetlight banners, if needed.

PPL also is looking at providing an electric outlet in each pole, in case the city needs it for future holiday lighting.

The new poles will not change what the city pays PPL for street lighting, Wilson said.