Honesdale borough talks infrastructure

By LYLE T. GALLOWAY
Posted 6/16/21

HONESDALE, PA — Grants and the betterment of the borough dominated the Honesdale Borough Council meeting on June 9.

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Honesdale borough talks infrastructure

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HONESDALE, PA — Grants and the betterment of the borough dominated the Honesdale Borough Council meeting on June 9.

As part of a Community Development Block Grant, the council is developing a three-year plan for various infrastructure-related projects. The plan is set to kick off in September.

The first year of the plan will include the paving of Watts Hill Road, Park Lane and stormwater management for Park Lane. Handicap access to Apple Grove Park will also be implemented. Flashing crosswalk beacons are also going to be added to Main and 14th, Main and 9th, Main and 7th, 10th and 6th street, as well as 7th and 11th on Church Street.

In 2022, the second half of Watts Hill Road will be paved along with Ridge Street, Cherry Street and Forest Street. There will also be plans for handicapped river access.

There are also plans to install new safety measures at the pedestrian bridge on 5th Street. Three poles will be installed at the bridge.

“They were never there before and we’ve been very fortunate not to have a car go across the walking bridge, but we decided moving forward as the project is starting to wrap up to add them for safety’s sake,” said Dan Brown, director of public works.

Brown assured council members and the public that there will still be plenty of walking room, space for bicycles and wheelchairs going over the bridge.

Spending wisely

The borough is set to receive more than $448,000 as part of a COVID-19 Local Fiscal Fund Grant. The funding comes from the U.S. Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which will provide $19.53 billion nationwide to support non-entitlement units of local government (NEUs). NEUs are local governments typically serving a population under 50,000. The U.S. Treasury has made payments to states and territories, which will distribute amounts to eligible NEUs in their jurisdiction in accordance with established guidelines.

In order to fully utilize the benefits of the grant, the money must be spent in ways that support public health expenditures, address negative economic impact caused by the public health emergency, replace lost public sector revenue and provide premium pay for essential workers. The grant money can also be put towards water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.

Hiring additional police officers

In order to cover the cost of onboarding an additional three officers in the future, the council is working toward securing a grant from the 2021 COPS Hiring Program. Two hundred of these awards are given out nationally every year.

All four motions on the subject matter passed with a 5-1 vote.

The borough council will be notified by October 2021 that they’ve received the program’s grant money.

In other business, the council reported that:

  • $2,000 of fire tax revenue will be donated to each fire department in Honesdale.
  • After a brief struggle with finding pool personnel at the YMCA, five new lifeguards will soon be hired. The land surrounding the area pool has been authorized for the YMCA to use. The borough council will know by Monday, June 21 if the YMCA has full permission to use the pool itself.
  • James Jennings was appointed to the newly created Stormwater Task Force, “which will meet with local legislators and regulatory agencies in evaluating stormwater issues affecting the Honesdale Borough and other surrounding municipalities,” according to borough council member James Brennan.
  • A non-working traffic signal by Dave’s Super Duper that caused a lot of strife for area drivers is now fully operational.

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