City details various bond projects

Amy Cherry
Staff Writer

Numerous bond projects were reviewed by St. Marys City Council on Monday during their meeting.
The city must spend the $1.8 million from the bonds proceeds for the projects by October 2019. They have expended $691,462 for various projects, leaving just over $1.1 million.
The projects have been divided into three phases with the first two phases previously approved. Phase one, implemented in September 2016 included six projects, while phase two was approved in August and included three projects.
The city is currently working on projects in phase three of the bond project. They include:
•The Airport Industrial Park access road. The city originally requested $250,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) with the city applying a $66,000 match.
City Manager Tim Pearson explained PennDOT redeveloped the project which increased the cost of the project. The ARC approved a grant for $585,576 with the city's match remaining at $66,000.
City officials are working with PennDOT for planning of the project.
The city's portion of the funding will be used this year for the planning and engineering aspect of the project. Construction is slated for 2019.
•The Charles Street reconstruction project was approved contingent upon receiving $500,000 in funding from the Keystone Communities grant, however throughout two rounds of funding the city came up empty-handed.
Pearson said the project is closed for this phase due to funds not being available.
While there is potential to possibly have the project funded next year, Pearson said with two denials it is not a priority project. The project remains on the city's list however there is a need to secure a funding stream for it.
•Elk Creek Park. The city will spend $150,000 to lay down the initial infrastructure such as electrical conduits, laying of sidewalks and dirt work to level the area.
Pearson is confident they can break ground in the fall.
He said they are hoping to submit the park design and permit application to the Department of Environmental protection (DEP) by the end of April. It is anticipated to take 90 days for the DEP to approve the permit, taking the project into August.
Pearson said they plan to apply for a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Greenways Trail grant – for updating and improving parks within the state – to fill the other pieces of the park.
•The Elk Creek Park bridge. The city has spent $175,000 on the project including purchasing property along Brusselles Street to allocate space for the bridge.
The city did not receive a $50,000 grant for the project through Keystone Communities. They are using $125,000 from the bond and have $30,000 remaining from it.
Pearson explained the city is considering purchasing a bridge which would drop down into the allotted space at a cost of $50,000.