Bridge work in Bradford Township caused some tension between the township’s supervisors during Wednesday’s regular meeting.
Supervisors approved two to one a motion for an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation allowing PennDOT to temporarily direct traffic across Hemlock and Gray streets during the replacement of the Owens Way bridge. Supervisor Steve Mascho had pre-authorized the agreement.
When the motion was brought up, Cline said that Mascho had already approved and signed an agreement without telling the other supervisors.
“It’s already been done,” Cline said.
Mascho explained the reason he signed it was that businesses in that area were worried they were going to lose business. He said it is a safety issue for the township, too.
“I agree with what you’re saying, but you should have notified us,” said Cline.
Mascho replied, “I didn’t think it was a big deal,” and talked about how businesses were glad they had a way to get customers.
“I agree, but if one of us would have said that, you would have been raising heck,” Supervisor Mark Cline said.
Cline and Mascho both voted in favor of the motion. It was Supervisor Chairman Jim Erwin, who stayed silent during that conversation, who voted no.
Also passed two to one was a request to pay Swanson’s Fabrication $20,500 for trucking and assembly of work for the Browntown bridge project.
Fire Chief Dan Burkhouse noted that about eight hours after he got the call that the bridge was open, there was an emergency call for which they used the bridge. There was another call about 24 hours later, too.
Mascho said later in the meeting that it’s nice the township got the bridge done, but he wishes “it got done the right way.” According to Mascho, Swanson Fabrication did not meet PennDOT qualifications for the project, and he believes the project should have been rebid.
Under the road report, Erwin reported that the Browntown bridge is just about finished, with the exception of a little clean up work.
A resident complimented the crew that worked on the Browntown bridge.
“The work they did was phenomenal,” he said.
Erwin said he is “really proud of it,” and said he is happy there is “one less bridge we have complications with.”
Also, repair work is supposed to be starting on Lang Maid Lane and West Corydon Street for damage sustained in the recent water authority project, according to Erwin.
Erwin said later in the meeting that the crew planned to start repairing the two roads this week starting at the end of West Corydon, then the township would fix any low berms before winter.
Under the police department report, Cline said police want to remind residents to be wary of scam phone calls. He said that any government entity that contacts someone because they owe money would not do it by phone, but would instead send a letter. Anyone who receives a suspicious call should not call back without first reporting it to the local police department.
Burkhouse said in light of Fire Prevention Week and Fire Prevention Month, he wanted to remind people to take steps to prevent a house fire. He explained that many people have issues when they turn their heat back on in the fall, so people should have their heating appliances checked by qualified people and get their chimneys cleaned.
They should check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, too, Burkhouse said, noting that many people don’t realize that smoke detectors need replaced around every seven to 10 years, and carbon monoxide detectors around every five years. He suggests that people write the purchase date on the detectors in Sharpie.
With the holidays coming up, he reminded people to be careful using candles, cooking and making sure not to overload extension cords.
Residents were reminded that all garbage needs to be bagged, or the garbage crew will not pick it up.
They were also asked not to park in front of the garage doors for the police and road departments.
Halloween trick-or-treat hours will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Residents should leave their porch lights on during this time.
Speaking on behalf of the police department, Cline asked motorists to watch for children near roadways on Halloween night.
Bradford Township was honored for being the municipality in the county with the highest census response rate.
Erwin shared a piece of correspondence from the McKean County Planning Commission also on behalf of the county commissioners congratulating Bradford Township. The township had a response rate of 79.1% and will receive a $500 award.
Supervisors approved someone to fill the vacancy of township tax collector from Jan. 15, 2021, to Jan. 1, 2022. Beth Monti will not be finishing her term.
The supervisors were pleased with Monti’s service over the years.
“She’s been, I think everybody would agree, that she’s been a great tax collector and a great person,” said Mascho.
Supervisors approved a resolution for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant application of $100,628. They passed three other resolutions outlining CDBG-related policies.
They also approved the distribution of 2020 Volunteer Fire Relief funds to the Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Work sessions for the 2021 budget will be held at 5 p.m. Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29. The supervisors will hold their next regular meeting at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 16 with a limit of eight residents in attendance.