White Haven awards borough building renovation contracts | News

White Haven council awarded its borough building addition project to two local companies at its meeting last week.

The lowest bidder for electric work was Larry McCullion and Son of Summit Hill at $24,420, while the lowest bid for plumbing came from Richard Angelo of Hazle Twp. at $17,000, according to Donald Totino, engineer hired by the borough.

Richard Angelo was also the lowest bidder for general contractor work at $179,720. The total cost from the lowest bidders comes just under the $234,000 the borough has to spend. Some of that money was already used to pay for an architect to design the project. The project, which includes a complete renovation of the first floor, will be paid for in part by a $184,000 Local Share Account grant and a $50,000 match from the borough.

The general contract involved alternatives to the base plan because at the time the project was advertised for bids, the borough was unsure what money it would have to spend on the project. Three alternative segments of the project were removed when the bid was awarded last week. One of those involved an elevator that will be moved onto the next phase of the project and paid for through a separate funding source.

Borough Manager Linda Szoke said it will likely take three months to do the work, which means the borough offices will need to find another place during construction time to do their work. That said, she offered council the first draft of the 2021 budget so that work can begin now ahead of the borough packing up its offices. Council meetings will be held at the library during construction and police will temporarily be set up in a borough garage.

In other news:

■ Bob O’Hearn of Church Street pleaded with council for action with a problem neighbor in the 100 block of Church Street, citing violations he’s seen of the borough’s ordinances. He cited smoldering fires involving cardboard day and night, at least 10 vehicles stored on site and “loud, pounding” music.

”It’s unbelievable. It’s crazy,” O’Hearn said.

Attorney Sean Logsdon said the borough is in the process of reviewing problem properties and O’Hearn’s neighbor is on the list. Logsdon said the borough is studying the list of about 12 properties and prioritizing which should be handled first and how. The problem with citing violators is complex, according to Logsdon, one being that citations can go ignored by the violator. Szoke said if a fire is burning illegally, the police can be called to handle the problem while the fire is burning.

■ Councilman Robert Lamson expressed his appreciation to borough firefighters on behalf of council and residents for their work during the pandemic. He said though he wasn’t sure exactly how the pandemic affected them, he wanted to make sure they all knew how much they are appreciated. ”I’m always in awe of somebody that will run into a burning building without pay,” he said. Lamson expressed his accolades to the borough ambulance and police too, for their work during the pandemic.

■ Council decided it will sell a 1992 Mazda Miata found at 507 Berwick St., a property set for demolition, for parts as the car, which was found in a garage on the property the borough took ownership of, does not have a title. Once the building is torn down, the borough will sell it, likely through a bidding process with provisions that ensures the borough gets fair market value.

■ Council approved preliminary plans for the library’s park which will include lighting, landscaping, two circular patios and a walkway. The park will be on a vacant lot that a set of railroad tracks runs past.

■ The borough is considering a proposal to Foster Twp. to provide police services to the community. White Haven currently has arrangements with Dennison Twp. and Penn Lake Park borough. Both of those communities pay for police hours.

■ Council meetings are reverting back to a 7 p.m. start time.

■ Totino informed the borough that a traffic study on Routes 437 and 940 showed a higher count than in 2016 when it was last checked. He said he will request a traffic stop analysis as the next step and then request a signal permit for the location.

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