TEXAS TWP. - Concrete barriers will be placed on both sides of the two-laned Old Willow Avenue bridge to protect the parapets and make the span one-way, Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Doney said at the bi-monthly meeting Monday night.

Signs will be put in place to notify motorists.

The bridge, off Route 6 near the Halfway House Restaurant, is almost 100 years old.

"It's a busy little bridge," said Supervisor Al Wickle.

Doney said bridge inspectors recommended the township install the concrete barriers. By doing so it will "give us more time and will satisfy bridge inspections," Doney said, noting the barriers should be good for about 18 months.

When asked by a resident if the bridge would still be able to accommodate emergency vehicles like fire trucks, the supervisors said yes.

The township also will continued to seek funding for work on bridge. The supervisors had sought up to $200,000 in a gaming grant to help cover the cost of the project, but were denied the funds.

The supervisors plan to resubmit the grant in July and should know by the end of the year if they will receive it.

The gaming grant is available through a Local Share Account (LSA) whose funds go toward economic development, community development and public interest projects.

Although LSA officials denied the township's initial submission, they think the bridge project is very worthwhile, Doney has said.

Supervisor Paul Sprague added, "If we can get a grant that would be a substantial savings."


Possible building expansion


The township also is in a "discussion phase" with Honesdale and Hawley to possibly enter into a package deal for grant money for a project at the township building.

"It has to be two or three municipalities (in order to be eligible)," Doney said, noting that they are in the very early stages.

The supervisors would use the money, about $80,000, to make an addition to the municipal building for storage of records and township vehicles.

Doney said he didn't know offhand how many square feet the addition would be.

The supervisors had planned the project about three years ago, but then the Old Willow Avenue bridge issue arose. The bridge is a priority, Doney said.

In other news, the supervisors voted to switch from AT&T to Blue Ridge Communications for fax, phone and Internet services.

The switch will save the township between $40 and $50 per month, said secretary Joann Hancock.

The township has been paying AT&T just over $200 per month, where Blue Ridge will cost between $140 and $150 per month for the same services.

Other business

• The supervisors received a letter from the Pocono Lake Region Chamber of Commerce. The organization submitted to PennDOT requests for road closures for a half-marathon on Sunday, Sept. 28.

The roads to be closed in Texas are Lakeside Drive and Terrace Street. The roads will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon but will reopen as soon as the runners advance.

Signs will be posted and emergency personnel and police will assist with information about alternate routes during the race, said the letter from chamber executive director Debbie Gillette.

The 13.1-mile race begins at Lakeside Elementary School and ends at Wallenpaupack Area High School.

The chamber also is requesting to use the township's fire police.

The supervisors said it shouldn't be them making the decision but the fire companies in Seelyville and White Mills.

"We really can't speak for them," Hancock said.

The supervisors will send a letter to the chamber in regards to the matter.

• The township also received a letter from The Arc of Wayne County, which is hosting its annual Bike-Hike in the Honesdale area on Saturday, April 26, from about 9 to 11 a.m.

The participants will be utilizing Lakeside Drive around Lake Cajaw and the Owego Turnpike in front of Tick Tocks Restaurant and returning to the Honesdale High School track.

Ginny Motsko, Arc president and Bike-Hike co-chair, provided proof of liability with the letter.