Center Street project questionable
-Discussion continued about a project that is supposed to take place in the borough during Tuesday night's meeting of the Waymart Borough Council. The project, which is water main restoration and replacing pipes on Center, Marion and Florence Streets, has been in discussion for several months due to concerns from the council as to what Aqua Water Company will do after the project is complete. Roswell McMullen, who represents Aqua Water Company, has been present at meetings several times to discuss the issues and trying to move the project forward. Project approval was delayed when borough council said the application wasn't complete. During the June meeting, McMullen provided a “rough draft sketch” to show where the pipes would be replaced and addressed the construction involved. This construction includes digging up the streets where needed to replace the pipes and replacing black top when finished with the project. “The streets are to be restored to the same condition as they were when the work is completed,” McMullen stated at that meeting. Council member Jane Varcoe read part of the borough ordinance regarding street opening. Solicitor Chris Farrell said the “rough draft” presented “did not meet the requirements.” McMullen told him he “was aware of that” and the drawings “will be presented” from the contractor before the work is done. He added that he was at the June meeting “to inform council of the upcoming project.” McMullen also stated the paperwork will be provided “prior to the start of the project.” Varcoe asked if he would speak to the contractor about the drainage problems in that area beforehand. In September, a letter from Entech was received, but borough council president Chip Norella said it “did not totally address all issues, including a starting date.” “The pavement will only be restored in the area where the trenches are dug and the street will not be repaved,” McMullen stated at that meeting. The scope of work and agreement were given to the solicitor for review. Further discussion during the September meeting ended with Varcoe making a motion to wait and not enter into the agreement “until the ordinances can be reviewed relative to street opening, the scope of work and repaving the entire street after it is dug up.” It was seconded by council member Lilian Rollison. This was a unanimous decision by all present. During Tuesday night's meeting Norella said it was also due to the incomplete application. During the October meeting, McMullen was there to “clear up complications that existed within the agreement.” Farrell then stated that the new agreement “contained false information.” “The contract has no yet been awarded and it states that Leeward is awarded the contract,” he said. He added that at the beginning of the meeting McMullen said that Leeward Construction “was awarded the contract.” McMullen then said Leeward Construction wasn't awarded it yet. After further discussion the council went into an executive session to discuss the agreement and possible litigation. Upon returning to the regular meeting in October, Farrell asked McMullen if the trenches were five feet wide at the maximum and asked how many would be on Center Street. McMullen counted and said there would be 14. “For the record, will only the trench areas be paved?” Farrell asked. McMullen said that was correct. When concerns rose over the “tendency for trenches to sink” arose, McMullen said the work would be “maintained for one year.” Rollison made a motion to deny the permit because “they would like the whole street overlaid.” Council member AJ Gaudenzi seconded the motion. The decision was unanimously agreed upon. McMullen asked them to put it in writing to Entech as to why the agreement was rejected. At Tuesday's meeting, McMullen was there with a letter, where the company “disagrees with your decision to deny the permit.” The letter provided one last attempt to get approval for the project. “We will fully repair the trenches including the cutbacks at Aqua's expense,” said Norella, reading from the letter. The letter also stated that if a decision wasn't made that night, the project “would be abandoned.” “This isn't something we normally do,” stated McMullen. The biggest concern for Aqua was paving Center, Florence and Marion Streets. “We have no way of knowing the cost to pave them,” said McMullen. He added that if the project is approved, Leeward would be the contractor. “What if we see if Leeward would do some of the paving?” asked council member Doug Bayly. “We're already looking at $18,000 for the project. I don't want to see the project abandoned. I would like to see it move forward. If Aqua is willing to help us, I think we should help ourselves.” McMullen stated that they “still have a year” to worry about paving. “The paving probably won't get done this year,” he said. “The trenches probably can be though.” He said there is a temporary pave they could do, but that you “can't do the final lay in the cold.” Council asked if they would come back after the cold weather and do it, to which McMullen said they would. After some discussion council said they wanted to get some figures and see what could be done about the paving. McMullen voided his statement from the letter about making a decision that night. “If you want to talk about it, ok,” he said. “But it won't get done until next year.” Council decided to get figures and then get back to Aqua about it. “We're just looking for approval,” said McMullen. Council said they would have a decision during the December meeting. McMullen agreed that was fine. Other business • Norella welcomed back Mayor Jack Millard, who had open heart surgery and was gone for recovery. He also congratulated Gaudenzi on getting a seat on the Western Wayne School Board. Norella also said that Charlene Schermerhorn will be the newest member of council, for a two year term, come January. • Starting Nov. 15 there will be no overnight parking in the borough. Millard said that police will carry a ledger. The first time will be a warning and the second time there will be a ticket. No overnight parking goes until March. • USP Canaan contacted the borough and said they “wanted to work with them.” Inmates from USP Canaan were going to help do projects around the borough such as shoveling sidewalks, etc., but council was told that they had to pick up the inmates. Council had no way of doing so, so the idea was abandoned. “They want to meet with us to talk about the top three things we would want the inmates to do,” said Rollison. A few members of council said they would meet with USP Canaan. • Rollison stated that the Halloween party was a success. She said it was “well-attended” even with the rain. “We didn't have a bonfire though, because we don't have a place for one,” she said. However, she added that a resident told Rollison that her boyfriend's family said they wanted to make a stone fire pit to put in the park. “We just have to give them permission and find an appropriate place for it,” she said. “And we can have it covered.” She said she didn't want anyone to use it but the borough for that kind of purpose. • Rollison also mentioned wanting to start a Take a Book, Leave a Book in front of borough hall. Instead of throwing books out, people can leave a book and someone else can take it to read. Council agreed it was a good idea and decided to see how it would work.