Process to repair bridge, culvert proceeds - Titusville Herald: News

Process to repair bridge, culvert proceeds

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2019 5:00 am

Oil Creek Township leadership are seeking the go ahead from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to repair a bridge and culvert that were damaged in severe thunderstorms last month, as announced at Wednesday’s meeting of the Crawford County Commissioners.

During a notifications section of the meeting, the commissioners informed those present that the township had applied to the DEP for removal and replacement of the Foote Road Bridge No. 1 and the Pastorius Road Culvert No. 1. According to Oil Creek Township Secretary April Averill, the bridge suffered severe damage in storms that hit the area on July 19, while the culverts were carried off resulting flood waters.

“Foote Road Bridge was totally swept away, so the road is totally closed,” Averill said.

Even should the DEP give its approval, Averill said it may still be a while before the bridge and culverts can be reopened. She said the Oil Creek Township Supervisors are expecting to hear from their engineer today during their meeting at 7 p.m., at the township office.

Redevelopment Authority grant application

Another local notification was discussed at Wednesday’s meeting. A notice was given by the Titusville Redevelopment Authority regarding an application for a state multi-modal grant worth $1.5 million to increase access to the Opportunity Park for industrial vehicles.

The grant, which was also discussed during the July meetings of Titusville City Council, would be used to widen the drive way and entrance of the Opportunity Park to allow larger vehicles to enter. Other parts of the fund would be used to improve drainage in and around the Opportunity Park, something Titusville City Manager Larry Manross said would be a major benefit to surrounding properties.

Crawford County Commissioner Christopher Soff said the commissioners may submit a letter of support for the application. Commissioner Chairman Francis Weiderspahn, however, said the county may have some difficulty doing that, as they had already backed a different multi-modal grant application earlier in the year for French Creek. He said he was unsure whether the county could support two applications, though he said the commissioners would be glad to help TRA if they’re permitted.

“I wouldn’t have a problem doing that if we could back two,” Weiderspahn said.

The grant comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. TRA has applied for the grant in previous years, according to Manross, but was unable to get it.

Data sharing

The commissioners are mulling a data sharing agreement sent from state government that is designed to normalize such documents across the commonwealth.

According to Phil Baranyai, the manager of the county’s Geographic Information Services, the agreement is relatively similar to the one the county already has. However, this agreement has been sent to all counties in Pennsylvania, the approval of which would normalize cross-county data sharing and make such a process easier, according to Baranyai, as it would mean the counties involved wouldn’t have to perform an extensive review of each other’s agreements.

“Someone wouldn’t have to go through all the different data sharing agreements across all the counties and municipalities,” he said.

There are also safeguards in the agreement to ensure that data couldn’t be shared for “nefarious purposes,” according to Baranyai. However, he said the agreement doesn’t really change much on how the county already operates in terms of data sharing.

Such data usually includes things such as municipal borders, roads and the locations of body of waters. While the county does give out parcel numbers, it does not freely give out addresses, only providing those for a fee.

The unified data sharing agreement could also be utilized in the future for databases for public safety organizations at higher levels of government, such as with a federal agency. Crawford County is already part of a 10-county computer aided dispatch system used by emergency response personnel, but Baranyai said addition, expanded systems could be made in the future with greater ease through the uniform agreement.

The commissioners will vote on whether to accept the agreement at their next meeting.

Other meeting news

The commissioners are considering the purchase of two new repeaters, one of which will be used in the Centerville area. Repeaters are devices used by emergency responders. It intercepts radio transmissions from one agency and rebroadcasts on a different frequency that other responders can pick up with their radios. Soff said the new repeaters are going to replace two older ones that have reached the end of their life.

“Each one of those right now is 20 years old,” he said. “They’re just out of their useful life.”

The two repeaters will collectively cost $18,464, and will be bought using state funds through Act 17. The other repeater will be placed in Jamestown. The county is purchasing the devices from Motorola.

An audit presented by the Finance Department came up clean for Crawford County’s finances. Soff said that, outside of a few minor things, the audit had no major issues with the county’s finances.

Next week’s regularly scheduled commissioner meeting has been pushed back a day, as the commissioners will meet with the Crawford County Fair Board next Wednesday, at 10 a.m., at the Crawford County Fairground.

The next meeting of the Crawford County Commissioners will take place on Aug. 15, at 9:30 a.m., at the Crawford County Courthouse.

Ray can be reached, by email, at sray@titusvilleherald.com.

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