New bus shelter to be installed Downtown

Embassy Theater to donate land for project

LEWISTOWN — The Lewistown Borough Council voted to place a new bus shelter under their liability policy following a meeting on Monday night.

Rhonda Moore, a representative from the Juniata Valley Chamber of Commerce, spoke to the council in order to outline the need for the bus stop, as well as the costs and construction plans.

“I moved into a house in the borough about four years ago now,” Moore said. “We live right next to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, so I have a great view of all the buses coming through everyday. I started to observe people standing around with all of their gear, all their suitcases, with no where to sit.”

Moore explained that she was somewhat embarrassed for the borough due to the lack of a suitable bus shelter in the area. As a result, she began searching for ways to remedy the situation and the community responded with an outpouring of support.

“The outpouring of our community, I have to say, was amazing,” Moore stated. “I talked to a contractor who was willing to give of his employees’ time to come and set up the entire bus shelter, free of charge. I have another contractor, a cement contractor who is willing to have the area grated and cement slab poured. It’s humbling, yet encouraging to see such an outpouring of generosity from our community and our business people.”

The Embassy Theater on South Main Street in Lewistown has agreed to donate a corner of their property for the shelter. The shelter itself will also contain a map of the surrounding area in order to show individuals their current location and direct them to local businesses such as restaurants, stores and emergency services.

According to Moore, the base cost to build the shelter will be approximately $4,875, with the total cost rising to $6,000 with the inclusion of other add-ins such as tempered safety glass and grillwork. The cost of the structure will be entirely covered by donations from the community and it is expected to have a 30 year life expectancy.

“The Embassy is willing to donate that portion of land, but we need to alleviate them from the liability,” Moore concluded. “We would be asking the borough to take [the bus shelter] under their liability policy.”

Several community members were present at the meeting in order to voice and display their support for the implementation of the bus shelter to the council. One community member stated, “I think that the community effort here is actually a gem. The community outreach has been outstanding, and I’m sure the community would step up to handle anything.”

It will not cost the borough any extra money to place the shelter under their policy, and the shelter itself will essentially belong to the borough. Following discussion, the council voted unanimously to accept the shelter under their current policy.

“I want to see community involvement,” Moore said. “The more community players that are a part of [the shelter], the more there are protecting it, they’re taking care of it. We’ve seen streetscape improvements, the murals, the planters this summer–it’s like we’re headed in the right direction and I just want to see that perpetuate. Because if we’re not moving forward, we’re falling behind.”