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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Wall construction finally completed

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  • - After years of trying, the construction of the failing Shadigee Creek Wall has been completed.
    At the February meeting of the Starrucca Borough council, it was announced that the repair to the wall was fully completed.
    President Paul Everett said the construction began "on Jan. 2 and ended on Jan. 25" with a two-day shut down due to high water. The company awarded the bid was Rutledge Excavating, based out of Tyler Hill.
    The project was funded by grant money from both NRCS and DEP. DEP will be contributing $26,925, approximately 25 percent of the cost, and NRCS will contribute $80,775, approximately 75 percent, bringing the total amount of grant money received to $107,700.
    Everett said during the construction of the wall, there were many organizations on hand doing inspections. "It was a heavily inspected project," he said. Council members noticed that there were officials conducting "outside inspections" at least every other day during the entirety of the construction.
    "For anyone to say this project wasn't constructed to the letter would be a false statement," Everett said.
    He also said council is "very happy" with with the work of Rutledge Excavating, nothing that they "pushed through" some really inclement weather.
    "All the agencies are very happy and so am I," he said, adding that they "couldn't have asked for an easier, more prepared contractor."
    The only remaining work left on the wall is some "incidental landscaping" which is slated to be done in the spring.
    Council motioned that, upon the receipt of the money from NRCS and DEP, Rutledge Excavating will be paid as soon as the funds come in.
    The construction of the Shadigee Creek Wall has been a struggle to complete. Since 2006, the Shadigee Creek Wall has been in need of repair after is sustained back to back storm damage.
    The minutes from 2006 reflect that work for the wall was put out to bid. They also reflect that there was money from FEMA allocated for the wall. Those funds were returned to FEMA.
    Liquid Fuels
    The situation surrounding discrepancies found in the liquid fuels account was also discussed. Secretary Pat Schneyer presented the Auditor General's report on the PennDOT liquid fuels audit for Jan. 1, 2009-Dec. 31, 2010 during the December 2012 meeting.
    During the December meeting, Schneyer said "there was a discrepancy found in the 2009 account," which was compounded by there being "no documentation for certain transfers to and from liquid fuels."
    PennDOT's review of the audit report stated that the audit was in fact reviewed. It was determined by PennDOT that "the borough should reimburse $7,679.91" to PennDOT. That letter also said that the borough's chance of receiving future liquid fuels money is "contingent on reimbursement."
    Page 2 of 2 - Schneyer had gone back and investigated the funds to attempt to ascertain what had happened.
    There are "issues," she said, also stating she had drafted a letter to PennDOT to address the review of the audit.
    The first issue is that there "was no invoice for check number 149" to be paid to Miller Bros. There is another check, for which an invoice was found, showing payment of $706.16 to PennDOT "in payment of a permit for (the) Buck Road entrance."
    She also said there was a transfer of $6,173.75 from the liquid fuels account to the general fund "with no explanation."
    Schneyer has determined that there were three checks written to Como Construction "for winter maintenance," and then prior council "transfered the money back to liquid fuels."
    Vice president Jack Downton said what was found in the account shows how the "2008-2009 council misused liquid fuels" money.
    Council will submit a letter outlining the circumstances surrounding the findings of the audit to PennDOT.
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