Titusville City Council approved a change of the Trick or Treat date and discussed numerous projects at a lengthy meeting Tuesday night.
Several topics that have been hot topics in town were talked about, including what to do with the S. Perry Street bridge.
During the manager’s report, City Manager Neil Fratus gave updates on progress with CDBG projects, including work to be done at the Ed Myer complex.
The City is waiting on an environmental study to be submitted before they can go forward with any work at the park. The environmental study was a touchy subject at the meeting, as delays have slowed the amount of work that the City hopes to get done before winter sets in. Improvements to the park would include new dugouts for fields that need them, a dog park, playground set and storage.
That environmental study would come up again later in the meeting, while talking about progress on the Diamond Street Park Project.
Fratus proposed to council that they might approve spending $10,000 to bring in top soil and grass seed to cover the area. This would allow grass to grow before winter.
Council felt this might show citizens that progress is indeed being made at the site. However, it was mentioned that without the environmental study or an engineer on the project, that work may be for nothing.
The City is not sure how much top soil might ultimately be needed for the project. They also will need to tear up whatever might be put down to install things like cables and wires.
“Don’t do something twice,” said Councilman CJ Kirvan.
During talks about the top soil, the sidewalk issue was brought into the spotlight. The sidewalk on Diamond Street that attaches to the park is hollow.
The sidewalk cannot be fixed by in-house workers for the City and repairs could be expensive. Council wasn’t sure if fixing the sidewalk would be considered a separate project from the park, and may need its own engineer.
Council asked Fratus to talk to the county to help determine if it would be a separate project, and come back with more information.
It has been months since both the Diamond Street Park Project and the Ed Myer improvements were brought up by the City, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the slow nature of government.
The South Perry Street Bridge is another project that has had its delays. The bridge was supposed to be taken down in June, but Fratus said a new demolition date has been set for November. There has been attention lately to potentially saving the bridge, and Fratus inquired to the County if that was possible. Currently there is a contract in place for a company to take out and scrap the bridge.
The County said that there has not yet been a buyer for the bridge, and that the City could buy it. The bridge would have to be stored at the City’s expense.
The old steel bridge in place was deemed not structurally sound, and would have to be refurbished. There is a chance that the City could store the bridge, only to find out it would not be usable, and have to pay for its removal.
Council was in agreement that it would be better to not buy the bridge, as that could lead down a slippery — and expensive — slope.
“It’s not popular, but that just is not reasonable,” said Councilman Dave Shambaugh about saving the bridge.
Council moving forward is together on the stance that there should be a new pedestrian bridge at that spot.
“We want a structure there that is sound,” said Mayor Jon Crouch.
In other business, trick- or-treating will now take place on Halloween night this year. Council amended a resolution and the City will now hold the event on Oct. 31, whatever day of the week that falls on each year.
Previously, Trick or Treat has been held on the last Thursday of the month. Kirvan was adamant about changing the City’s event to the actual day of the holiday.
The vote was 4-1 in favor of the change, with Deputy Mayor Bill McCrillis as the one vote against.
— The City is accepting bids for a new recycling facility. The City received a grant to fund the work. Bids close on Sept. 17.
— The City is looking at buying speed signs for Main Street. The City and the school district would buy the signs together, in an effort to make school crossings safer for children.
— Only half of the funds allocated for Church Run flood damage have been distributed. The City would like to see all that money go to those who need it. The City wants to go ahead and open up funding to those who have already received $500, possibly giving them up to another $500. Applications are still available for those who have yet to apply.
— The City is looking to purchase a mobile sound system to use for events. The system would allow for high-quality audio to be broadcasted live. The hope is that this system could be used to livestream council meetings.
— The Titusville Council on the Arts is rescheduling its Chalk Walk. The City approved a special event application for the event to be held in Scheide Park on Saturday, Sept. 23.
Dvorkin can be reached by email at Gdvorkin@titusvilleherald.com.