Boro Divided On County Rehab Plans
McConnellsburg Borough Council members met again last Wednesday evening with the county's planner and architect to continue discussion on the county's proposed building project near the courthouse.
Last month, council members met with Commissioner David Hoover, Steve Thomas from the county's planning office and with Christopher Beauregard of CEDG Engineers. Although the entire project by phases was outlined at that meeting, controversy stemmed from the fact that plans call for West Spruce Street, the alley adjacent to the jail, to be designated as one-way traveling west. The plans also call for the other east-west entrance/exit from the parking lot to be closed and curbing to be installed. Beauregard told council members that PennDOT prefers limited access to and from North Second Street/Route 522.
Some council members and the mayor objected to the oneway designation, saying that only council can make such a designation and that they were reluctant to do so. Earlier this year, the county commissioners offered to straighten the West Spruce Street alley from the jail west to First Street and to maintain it along with the parking lot. The county's plans also call for the razing of three homes along North Second Street for parking and paving and lining of the parking lot. A planned underground detention basin will handle stormwater drainage from the lot.
At its July meeting, council informed Hoover, Thomas and Beauregard they would need to resubmit their plans in order for council to consider the one-way designation.
Both Thomas and Beauregard attended council's regular August meeting with the plans, and council members again could not agree. Both council President Rick Buterbaugh and Mayor Jim Stenger expressed the strongest views against the plan. Mayor Stenger said traffic flow should not change in the parking, and cited the need for garbage haulers to be able to enter and exit the lot.
Some other members of council agreed with the plan, and it is not known if the there were enough votes to approve the plan if an actual vote had been taken.
After more than one hour of discussion, council members agreed that the architect should bring new plans to the September meeting to include an additional wider exit from the parking lot on to West Walnut Street. This exit, at about mid-block, would likely be in addition to the existing Walnut Street exit. Council members said they would vote on the new plan at the September meeting.
During other business, council voted to use liquid fuel funds to pay P&W Excavating for paving done in the borough. Council has asked the paving company to correct a six-inch drop-off in the paving of the alley behind Tower Bank. The dropoff interferes with a property owner's parking area just off the alley.
Council also voted to pay Ayr Township for road salt in the amount of $981.12.
The latest round of curb-cuts in the borough was also approved by council members.
The council voted to ask the county's community service department to paint the Fulton House porch likely after the Fall Folk Festival, according to Jack Fields, borough secretary.
During a discussion of legal matters, council instructed its solicitor, Carlton Walker, to send an ordinance-violation citation to an East Maple Street property owner. The owner has been warned on several occasions that he is in violation of the borough's weed/junk ordinance but the violation continues.
Council also agreed to prosecute anyone found to be taking riprap from the stream banks at the corner of North Fifth and Poplar streets and throwing it into the stream.
During regular business, council approved the payment of July bills in the amount of $12,406.04. Receipts for the same period were $12,148.67. Checks were written for $16,583.55, and the August 1 balance was $47,692.41.
Council members present were Buterbaugh, Travis Bard, Mike Chilcote, Lee Rager, Pat Frazier, Mack Shaffer, Jim Smith and Mayor Stenger.
The next regular meeting will be held September 2, 2009.