Hydetown is set to receive a partial reimbursement for expenses relating to the emergency repairs of a bridge which was damaged in a July 19 thunderstorm.

The Crawford County Commissioners will vote on whether to award the borough $16,102.50 of Act 13 money to payback some of the $53,675 spent repairing the crossing. Act 13 is a Pennsylvania funding source whereby natural gas companies drilling on the Marcellus Shale must pay an impact fee. The money collected through this fee is disbursed to Pennsylvania counties to pay for certain projects.

Commissioner Chairman Francis Weiderspahn said that it is likely the reimbursement will pass, describing the vote as a bit of “formalities.”

“I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t,” he said.

Hydetown Borough Council employed the services of North Rock Construction Company, a St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania business, to repair the bridge at a special meeting in August. The structure was reopened near the end of September.

According to Hydetown Secretary-Treasurer Patricia Myers, the storm damaged the foundation of the bridge, leaving parts of the crossing hanging without proper support.

This reimbursement is one among several which were undertaken in the Titusville area following the storm. Two bridges in Oil Creek Township, located on Pastorius Road and Foote Road, were both heavily impacted by the storm and required repairs, which were reimbursed through Act 13.

Weiderspahn, speaking to The Herald on Oct. 16, said that due to the large number of bridges damaged in the storm, the county was unable to offer a full reimbursement to any of the affected municipalities. He explained that only a certain portion of Act 13 money could be spent on bridges each year, so the county had to offer only partial paybacks.

In the case of Oil Creek Township, the commissioners approved at their Oct. 23 meeting $30,000 or 30% of the costs for the Pastorius Road bridge repairs, and $60,000 or 30% for the Foote Road bridge fixes. The lower of the two amounts in each reimbursement was used.

The Oil Creek Township Supervisors employed Shingledecker’s Welding Inc. at their Sept. 12 meeting to repair both bridges for a lump sum of $216,350.

Pastorius Road’s bridge had its culverts lifted and bent by the surging rain water, while Foote Road’s bridge, similar to the Patterson Road bridge, had parts of its foundation washed away. Both Oil Creek Township bridges have since reopened.

The commissioners will vote on whether to approve the reimbursement at their next meeting, which will take place Nov. 27, at 9:30 a.m., at the Crawford County Courthouse.

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

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