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Commissioners act on infrastructure, recreation projects

The county commissioners addressed funding for several infrastructure and recreation projects at their meeting Wednesday, May 24.

For the Harrisville stormwater and sidewalk project, the commissioners awarded a $276,021 construction contract and shifted some of the borough’s 2020 Community Development Block Grant money to pay for it.

The contract was awarded to North Rock Construction of Cranberry Township, Venango County, which submitted the lowest of two bids the commissioners opened at their May 11 meeting.

To pay for the project, the commissioners reallocated $87,342 from the Marion Township sewer system project to the stormwater/sidewalk project, increasing the project budget to $279,458.

The commissioners ratified the submission of an grant application for up to $1.25 million to the Appalachian Regional Commission to replace the failing Allegheny-Clarion Valley Business Park water and sewer systems.

The ARC informed the commissioners just before their May 10 meeting that the grant was approved, but the news came too late to be placed on the agenda for the commissioners meeting that day.

A state grant received in 2020, federal American Rescue Plan funding received last year and other grants are being used to pay for the $4.66-million project that is expected to be completed early next year.

The commissioners approved a $145,800 agreement with HRG of Cranberry Township in Butler County to administer the SEBCO Pool project at Jefferson Township Park.

The township received a $555,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural resources for the project, which involves replacing the pool mechanical system, adding a pool heater, installing a pool surface liner, replace the pool deck and installing a new waterslide tower.

HRG will provide survey, design and engineering services for the project. The contract bidding process hasn’t started.

Work at the pool will begin after the pool closes for the year and will hopefully be completed before the 2024 season begins, said, Lance Welliver, director of the parks and recreation department.

In another recreation project, the commissioners agreed to apply for a $250,000 state grant to renovate Diamond Park in Butler. The application will be submitted to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for money from the Greenways, Trials and Recreation program.

Welliver said additional grant money will be needed to pay for the $700,000 project.

In unrelated business, the commissioners approved insurance coverage for all county-owned buildings for $469,382, a 21% increase over the 2022-23 premium of $387,825.

Solicitor Julie Graham said the increase is due to the increase in replacement cost for the buildings and the addition of new buildings.

As an example of rising replacement costs, she said the prison cost $30 million to built, but the latest appraisal valued the building at $63 million.

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