DALLAS — A small farmer’s bridge was the big topic of conversation Wednesday at the borough council meeting.
Sylvia Hughes, a borough resident for 55 years, asked council members what their plans are to repair a bridge on Reservoir Road between West Center Hill Road and state Route 118. The bridge, built by a farmer about 50 years ago, was damaged during a major storm two years ago and is impassable.
“It would be nice to have access to that road. It’s very inconvenient. … It can’t be that bad of a project, can it? Have we ever gotten a bid on how much it would cost?” Hughes said.
Council President Lee Eckert said the borough has an estimate for repair costs. “It’s staggering … and we just don’t have the money.”
Borough Manager Tracey Carr said the borough engineer estimated the cost at $350,000 to $400,000. It’s so high because the bridge goes over wetlands, a crane would have to be brought in and overhead power lines complicate the job further.
Carr said there is a lot of competition for grants. “I don’t know how well a single bridge in a single municipality on a road that’s not very traveled, how well that would be seen competitively. … We’ve been trying for other things that affect more of the municipality.”
“Could we have a little contest and name the bridge after (a benefactor) or something? Is there nothing we can do? Must we settle for the rest of our lives to have that bridge unrepaired?” Hughes said.
Mayor Timothy Carroll said there are other things the borough needs more than the bridge repaired. For instance, he said, the street sweeper is shot.
Hughes said she would be back next year to ask again.
In other business, council voted unanimously to:
• Advertise for a part-time police officer. Carr said patrol hours are not increasing; she just wants to have a full pool of available officers.
• Promote Frank Kus to Road Department supervisor, a position that had not been filled for many years. His hourly rate will increase to $19.
• Pay Campbell Business Machines $4,191 for a new HP Laserjet Enterprise copier/printer for the administrative office.
• Authorize Quad3 Group to solicit proposals for a back-up generator for the municipal building.
• Reappointed H. Clark Lewis to represent the borough on the Back Mountain Area Uniform Construction Code Board of Appeals.
• Amend the Disability Leave Policy to allow coverage of people who already have coverage through another job. This would allow volunteer firefighters to receive disability coverage under the borough’s policy if they were injured in the line of duty.
Borough Council will have a special meeting for general and bidding purposes at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 in the municipal building. Council also will meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 and 21.