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Portage Boro hoping for ruling on blight newspapers

Vol. 113 No. 2

USPS 439-000

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

The Portage Borough council meeting on Jan. 3 began with the rescinding of Resolution 92016, previously passed in December, to sell the old police cruiser to the county prison for $3,900. There was some miscommunication between the borough and the prison, with the prison not ready move forward with the purchase, so the resolution was rescinded. A new resolution will be created by the borough solicitor to sell the vehicle to Sankertown Borough, if the purchase price is approved by Sankertown. Council moved on to property issues, the first being 532 Dulancey Drive. The borough had filed a lawsuit against the owners, Anthony and Valerie

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Gaunt, for breach of contract for failing to fulfill the signed agreement concerning the demolition and removal of the structure that was destroyed by fire on Aug. 9, 2015. The Gaunts had signed an agreement to have the upper floors of the property torn down by Dec. 31, 2015, and have the property completely removed and the foundation filled in by April 2016. Although the building is demolished and removed, the building’s foundation is not filled in. A lawsuit was filed at District Magistrate John Prebish’s office in October 2016. No hearing has been scheduled. Council was informed that a citation is pending on the Nicholson property on Main SEE BLIGHT, PAGE 4A

Let’s dance

Seth Georg (left), Kara Dividock, Abbi Riskus, and Gabe Forst are all smiles during the Portage Area High School Snowball Dance on Jan. 7 at the Royal Ballroom. Photo by Ron Portash.

Rte. 160 bridge replacements to begin By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

Magic trick

Portage Elementary student Nicholas Pisarski assists Mike McDade of Creative Safety Products with a magic trick during the Officer Phil program on Wednesday, Jan 4. Held annually by the elementary school, this year’s Officer Phil program presented a theme of making good choices. Photo by Ron Portash.

Croyle Twp. to purchase new garbage truck

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

The Jan. 4 meeting of the Croyle Township supervisors began with public comment concerning rain runoff problems on Humbert Road. According to township supervisor Lynn Bourdess, the problem with stormwater originates as areas get more buildup and the paving of dirt roads and drive-

ways takes away from the drainage capability of the area. Humbert and Mindish roads are part of a grant application for Pennsylvania’s Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road Maintenance Program that Croyle Township has approved to submit for consideration. Croyle Township is seeking $21,000 in funding to improve the quality of roadways and water runoff capabilities in those areas. With a 2-1 vote, the Croyle Township supervisors approved to purchase a new garbage truck. Bourdess and Denis Long voted for the purchase; supervisor Richard Potter voted against the purchase. SEE TRUCK, PAGE 4A

A public meeting was held on Jan. 5 at the Croyle Township building concerning the replacement of two bridges on State Route 160 that span Laurel Run outside of Sidman. The original plan was to replace these bridges as part of the 2016 project year, but to due to permitting issues the project was pushed back to this coming summer. The work on the bridges on Route 160 (Mill Road) will not involve a road closure, but a temporary roadway is planned to be constructed at the bridge replacement site to allow traffic in both directions to travel around the sites, controlled by a temporary traffic light. The work on the bridges will begin

Braving the cold

approximately the week of June 25. Both bridges will be constructed nearly simultaneously. The first bridge to be constructed is the Route 160 bridge near the Humbert Road intersection. The second bridge is near the intersection of Route 160 close to Miller Road on the Sidman side and is scheduled to begin shortly after the other bridge work has started. The work on these sites will involve approximately 11 weeks of actual construction work. Engineer studies, conducted earlier in 2014 and 2015, showed that there was heavier traffic than first thought — about 3,000 vehicles a day, so the engineering decision was made that a temporary roadway was the most cost and time effi-

cient. The bridges on Route 160 in Croyle Township were scheduled to begin construction in the spring/summer of 2016, but additional studies for the temporary road sites with the associated Department of Environmental Protection stream permitting was needed. These bridges are only two of the 4,500 structurally deficient bridges in the state. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) had to find an innovative way to finance, engineer, and build replacements for some of the worst bridges. The state legislature developed Act 88 of 2012, which authorized public-private transportation projects in Pennsylvania. Known as P3 (public-private


Students from Portage Area High School braved the cold on Saturday, Jan. 7, to enjoy the school’s Snowball Dance held at the Royal Ballroom in Portage. Kiley Popcun (left), Josie Nemitz, Jamie Kostan , Erika Thrower, and Kylee McCarthy pose for some photographs before the start of the dance. Photo by Ron Portash.

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