Friday, July 25, 2014

Some on Wilkes-Barre City Council question First National Bank project cost

July 08. 2014 11:19PM
By James O’Malley

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WILKES-BARRE — City Council Chairman Bill Barrett and Councilman George Brown on Tuesday questioned a resolution to authorize a $722,300 project to restore the First National Bank building on Public Square.

Barrett said during Tuesday’s work session that he thought the bid seemed high, and he asked if the city had any plans for the building. Brown asked if the city could recoup the money in the future.

City Administrator Marie McCormick, who appeared in place of Mayor Tom Leighton, said the building has not yet attracted any interested parties. She also said she does not believe the city will recoup the costs, but assured the council that grant money would cover the proposed project.

“The whole idea was to get the outside taken care of,” she said. “Often times you have to do various things to attract developers.”

The agreement between the city and C&D Waterproofing Corp., of Bloomsburg, would pay for the repair of mortar joints, replacement of copper roofing and a detergent wash of the entire building, according to city documents.

City Council will vote on the resolution at Thursday’s regular meeting.

It also will decide on a handful of other resolutions authorizing agreements to repair the roof at City Hall, designing and implementing a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation paving program and a sewer analysis.

Council will also likely authorize the purchase of a 2014 SUV for the police department at a cost of approximately $40,000.

McCormick also read a resolution to upgrade the city’s accounting software from the outdated 2002 version, to the program’s 2013 incarnation.

Despite aforementioned questioning, resolutions received little debate, but council members spoke up during the talk of paving.

Barrett commented on the results of a recent road repair project on Scott Street near MotorWorld Drive.

“We now have a 20-foot section of fresh pavement and the rest is a mess,” he said.

He also proposed the city locate funds to paint lines on heavily travelled roads.

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