Derry Borough officials spent several weeks preparing for a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) flood project inspection conducted Monday. Now, they must wait until fall to get the results — and see what improvements the state agency mandates.
Council president Chad Fabian said the DEP checked the lower end of the borough’s flood project between Norfolk Southern property and Shrum Field. The inspection is required every two years, he said.
“They were basically looking for missing joints, cracks in the wall, anything that compromises the integrity of the flood project,” he said after Monday’s regular council meeting, adding that the DEP also inspected box culverts at West 5th Avenue and Mentor Street.
Fabian said the borough should receive a full report in October or November.
“They will tell us (what to fix) until they come back two years from now,” he said. “Whatever they say we have to fix, we’ve got to come up with the money to fix it.”
The borough’s public works employees spent about two weeks prepping for the visit, Fabian said.
“Cutting grass, removing trees, filling cracks along the flood project wall, pulling rocks,” he said of the prep work. “When the DEP comes in, they don’t want to see anything in that channel. They want to see a clean (flow) because it gets the water from the lower end of town out as fast as possible.
“The guys busted hump the last two weeks to make it happen.”
Also Monday, council approved the submission of paid expenses from Gibson-Thomas Engineering Co. Inc. for preliminary and final design costs for the East Owens Avenue extension project. The invoices, from Oct. 20, 2015, to June 3, 2019, in the amount of $12,641.68, will be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for reimbursement tied to previously awarded multimodal grant funding. The borough will be reimbursed $8,400.
Fabian said the only project items left are the removal of the small North Ligonier Street bridge and some final paving work. He couldn’t say when the bridge, previously the lone thoroughfare to Coles Cemetery, will be removed.
Council also discussed:
- Derry-area seniors in need of food assistance can apply for the state’s Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and the Westmoreland County Food Bank benefit program from 10 to 11 a.m. Aug. 21 at A.V. Germano Hall, 100 West 2nd St. SFMNP provides eligible seniors with vouchers to purchase state-grown produce. Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the SFMNP provides four $5 checks to be used at participating farmer’s markets from June 1 to Nov. 30. Signups for the county’s food bank benefit program will be held after 10:35 a.m. Eligible seniors for SFMNP must be 60 or older, be a resident of Westmoreland County, and meet these income guidelines: $23,107 for one person in the household and $31,284 for two people in the household. Seniors must bring proof of income, a photo ID and a utility bill for verification purposes. For specific income guidelines and more details, call the Westmoreland County Food Bank at 724-468-8660.
- Council has decided to use a high-intensity foam sign for resident Morgan Sobota’s Eagle Scout project that calls for improvements, including a new sign, at the community park.
- Council vice president Al Checca said the foam material will last significantly longer, roughly 20 years, than originally proposed flat signage. The new material will includ
- e Derry Area School District’s colors, but not the borough crest, he said. The new material will also stay within the borough’s previously-agreed upon $1,700 limit for the project.
- Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Aug. 19 in the borough municipal building to approve a contractor for planned bathroom upgrades at Derry Community Park. Bid openings are slated for earlier in the day, borough officials said;
- Borough secretary/treasurer Lori Latta reminded council that 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications must be submitted by Sept. 30. Borough officials said they may focus their application on items dealing with stormwater management and flood control;
- Public works crew leader Adam Hebenthal won’t attend the Penn Prime Sessions from Sept. 19-20 in State College because it conflicts with Derry Railroad Days;
- Council tabled voting on approving a temporary sponsor banner for Derry Railroad Days at the intersection of Route 217 near the Derry Veterans Memorial Bridge, saying they need more details regarding installation and pole accessibility;
- Mayor Alana DeRito-Gaudiello’s report for July included 25 general complaint calls, 13 traffic citations and one non-traffic citation.
In other business, council approved:
- Hiring Emily Oswald as a part-time administrative office employee;
- Resignation of Clint McChesney as a part-time police officer;
- Parade route for Derry Railroad Days on Sept. 21 and to submit the route to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Borough officials said the the only change to the route is a left turn onto East 3rd Avenue, then to North Ligonier Street and with the route ending up in the parking lot of the former Mastrorocco’s Market;
- Parade route for the Derry Area High School homecoming parade on Sept. 21 and to submit the route to PennDOT;
- Letter of support to the Westmoreland County Housing Authority for Derry Garden Apartments, as requested from Erik Spiegel. Borough said the approval includes a stipulation that ensures no changes are made to criteria for residents to live in the facility;
- Amendment to the borough’s fire escrow ordinance;
- Resolution regarding the mayor’s signature cards.