Council discusses trail survey

Welham requests approval for bid on blighted property

LEWISTOWN–Bill Gomes, director of Mifflin County Planning and Development, presented a request to the Lewistown Borough Council, Monday night, to consider moving forward with a survey that would extend the Juniata River Trail across the Lewistown cement plant and Fire Academy properties.

According to Gomes, the borough had approximately $5,000 in state funding left over from the completion of the original trail last year. If approved by the council, the funding would go toward the approximate $7,000 needed for the survey costs. Following the completion of the survey, Gomes also noted that the trail extension would cost over $500,000, with the costs being covered by state grants, if awarded after the application process. During the construction phase, Gomes stated that the borough would be primarily responsible for engineering costs.

He also noted that the leftover funding must go toward the river trail project and must be sent back to the state if it is unused within the next few months.

Following discussion, the council chose not to move forward with the survey.

Later in the meeting, Borough Solicitor Mark Remy gave a presentation in regards to how the council can address blighted properties within the borough, now that the borough has had several complaints regarding such properties from local residents. The presentation outlined the borough’s authority in regards to a variety of solutions to the problem, including code enforcement and demolition.

Borough Manager Scott Welham also requested the borough’s approval to place a bid on a blighted property, located at 672 and 674 Valley St., that was originally addressed during the council’s December meeting. Welham also noted that the county is interested in partnering with the borough on demolition costs, so the council approved the bid request and agreed to have Remy draft a partnership agreement with the county, with council member Mark Sievers dissenting. Once the county agreement is set in place, the borough will look to demolish the existing structure on the property.

In other business, the council:

¯Approved the consent agenda.

¯Authorized the submission of a new salt contract participation agreement with Costars.

¯Approved an amendment to the sign ordinance.

¯Approved the awardment of a cleaning contract for the borough hall.

¯Approved the submission of an application for traffic signal approval to PennDot for eleven intersections throughout the borough, including

¯Approved the appointment of James Carter Jr. and Randy Hughes to the Police Advisory Board.

¯Approved the removal and addition of various handicap parking spaces.

Following the meeting, the council adjourned to executive session in order to dicuss personnel issues.

The Lewistown Borough Council meets at 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Lewistown Borough Municipal Building.