Council accepts river trail extension

LEWISTOWN — Revisiting a discussion from a January council meeting, the Lewistown Borough Council voted to claim maintenance responsibility for a Juniata River Trail extension on Monday night at the Lewistown Municipal Building.

Last month, Bill Gomes, director of Mifflin County Planning and Development, asked the council to move forward with a survey that would extend the 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 have gone toward the approximately $7,000 needed for the survey costs. Following discussion, the council chose not to move forward with the survey.

However, Gomes told the council on Monday night that the county agreed to cover the survey expenses contingent on the council agreeing to take on maintenance responsibility for the half mile trail extension after construction is completed. After discussing liability and expense concerns, the council reached a tie vote, with council members Jim Felmlee, Larry Searer and Bill Wilson dissenting. Council member Frank Berrier was absent from the meeting, so Mayor Deborah Bargo broke the tie by voting in favor of the extension responsibility.

The board also agreed to contribute $250 to a feasibility study that would seek to connect Kish Park, Rec Park and Victory Park in Lewistown, contingent upon Downtown Lewistown Inc. matching their donation in order to give a total of $500 toward the project. Council members Felmlee, Searer and Wilson dissented, so Mayor Bargo again broke the tie vote.

In other business, the council:

¯Rejected all bids for a borough wheel loader and authorized rebidding, pending research of industry standards for appropriate work hours and mileage for wheel loaders.

¯Approved Community Development Block Grant Funding.

¯Approved bid-outs for borough vehicles including two Chevrolet trucks, a salt spreader and a garbage truck.

¯Approved leasing a police SUV for a three-year period, with council members Larry Searer and Bill Wilson dissenting.

¯Authorized the Recreation Board to advertise for lifeguards, ticket takers and a pool manager for the borough pool at Rec Park.

¯Voted against changing the name of the Lewistown Community Center to the Lewistown Events Center, with council members Larry Searer, Jim Felmlee, Mark Sievers and Bill Wilson voting to defeat the measure.

¯Approved spending $5,061.81 to complete a lighting upgrade at the Public Works warehouse.

¯Approved the purchase of two sets of cutter blades for the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

¯Authorized Gannett Fleming to begin engineering work on the installation of nine manholes on Market Street and Valley Street in preparation for roadway reconstruction slated to begin in 2021.

¯Accepted Bruce Buffington’s resignation from the borough’s civil service commission.

¯Accepted Colby Guyer’s resignation from the borough’s planning commission.

¯Accepted Jason Cunningham’s resignation from the Recreation Board.

¯Accepted Matthew Webb’s resignation from the Recreation Board.

¯Appointed Colby Guyer to the Recreation Board, with council member Larry Searer dissenting.

¯Reappointed Barry Bargo to the Recreation Board for a three-year term.

¯Reappointed Nelson Reiffannacht to the Zoning Hearing Board for a three-year term.

¯Appointed Michael C. Spahr to the civil service commission.

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

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