HONESDALE - PennDOT says the mid-block crosswalk in front of the post office on Main Street can remain as long as the borough accepts liability for it, Councilman Robert Jennings said.
"That's the bottom line," said the chairman of the safety and streets committees
Council President James Brennan agreed, saying, "It's the busiest crosswalk on Main Street" and the borough does not want it eliminated.
Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. is seeking a permit from PennDOT to do water line work on Main Street between 4th and 12th Streets.
Aqua doesn't believe the project will be completed this year, said Steve Clark, Aqua area manager.
Clark told council the crosswalk does not belong in the middle of the block. But as long as council gives Aqua a waiver from PennDOT the crosswalk can remain, he said.
"We don't want the liability tied to Aqua," Clark told council.
If Aqua doesn't get the waiver from council it will likely hold up the water project, Clark said.
PennDOT spokesman Michael Taluto confirmed Friday that the crosswalk is illegal but it can stay if council takes legal responsibility for it.
He also noted the crosswalk has been there for 60 years.
Jennings made a motion Tuesday night to rescind a vote from June 9 to remove the crosswalk. The motion passed 6-0.
Another issue is that the crosswalk must be compliant to standards set by the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
Clark told council that Aqua doesn't want to be saddled with financing the installation of the ADA ramps, which would cost $15,000 plus design costs.
Councilman Scott Smith, chairman of the finance committee, said the borough does not have that money budgeted.
Council voted to send a letter to Aqua requesting additional information on costs.
Brennan said the borough will not raise taxes to pay for the water work and the streets should remain as they are after the work is completed.
Mayor Jack Bishop said Aqua has a good plan for the work on Main Street.
The mayor said he is not in favor of losing the crosswalk but he's in favor of having the water work completed expeditiously.