Derry Borough Council on Monday approved two items related to the long-discussed road project along East Owens Avenue.

Council approved a $68,973.98 pay estimate to project contractor Folino Construction Inc. and a change order of $5,559 for the contractor to install a 4-foot chain link fence along the flood control channel near where the North Ligonier Street bridge sat.

Borough public works crew leader Adam Hebenthal said there is no timetable for when the fencing will be installed. He added that new road signs tied to the project were installed last week.

Council president Chad Fabian, along with council members Jim Ritenour and Daniel Chaney, were absent from Monday’s regular meeting.

Plans have been in place for several years to reconstruct East Owens Avenue from Route 217 to the intersection with North Ligonier Street to bypass the aging bridge. In the fall of 2016, it was announced that the borough was awarded a $210,000 grant for the project, which includes the teardown of the bridge.

The grant, funded through the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund, included the teardown of the structurally deficient, decades-old bridge. The bridge long provided access to North Ligonier Street and East Owens Avenue, and was the lone thoroughfare to Coles Cemetery.

The project also included water and sewer line replacements, including 375 feet of new sewer line. Council vice president Al Checca said previously that engineers from Gibson-Thomas Engineering Co. Inc. told borough officials that the work will result in a wider space for emergency vehicles and an improved line of sight for motorists coming from Blairsville.

Council had previously estimated the project could be completed by this past winter, but borough officials chose to re-bid the project in hopes of getting a lower price. In March, council approved a $211,000 bid for the project.

Council also discussed:

  • Derry Railroad Days will begin with the Hobo Picnic on Thursday, Sept. 19. On Friday, Sept. 20, a bonfire is scheduled. The 5K run/2-mile walk is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 (registration at 7 a.m.), with the annual parade to follow at 10 a.m. Events on Railroad Days weekend will include all-day stage entertainment; food, craft and information vendors; Juvenile Junction children’s area with a trackless train and hay rides; caboose museum tours and gift shop; firemen’s museum; a miniature railroad display and more. Additional details are available on the Derry Railroad Days Facebook page;
  • Also tied to Derry Railroad Days, a Railroaders Breakfast will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Derry First United Methodist Church, 311 N. Ligonier St., Derry. Cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children. The breakfast will include scrambled eggs, sausage links, biscuits, sausage gravy, orange juice and coffee;
  • Mayor Alana DeRito-Gaudiello’s report for August included 36 total complaint calls and five traffic citations;
  • Hebenthal said the public works department plans to soon fill potholes along 3rd Street and added that work is continuing on the borough’s new salt shed;
  • Checca said officials still haven’t finalized items related to the borough police contract;
  • The Derry Area Revitalization Corporation (DARCee) will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in the Derry Borough Municipal Building, 116 E. 2nd Ave., Derry;
  • The borough is looking to fill these board vacancies: Two vacancies and one alternate vacancy on the zoning hearing board, one vacancy on the planning commission and one vacancy chairperson;

In other business, council approved:

  • For Officer Dave Margella to attend a Taser convention on Sept. 12 in Leechburg and field training on Sept. 23-25 in Wilkes-Barre, at a cost of $945 for both classes;
  • Resignation of Zachary Lukon as a part-time police officer;
  • Minimum Municipal Obligation (MMO) calculation for 2020 non-uniform pension in the amount of $12,550, along with the uniform pension plan;
  • A new 12-month term for electricity rates with Keytex Energy through December 2020 at a rate of $0.04694 per kilowatt-hour. The borough’s current rate is $0.05279 per kilowatt-hour;
  • Times for Trick-or-treating, which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in coordination with Derry Township.

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