Ford City Borough Council held its regular monthly meeting Monday night.
There was a motion to approve and enact an ordinance to authorize the Borough to enter a Cooperative Agreement with Armstrong County for the purpose of securing Community Development Block Grant funding for the Ford City Public Library American with Disabilities Act Improvement project.
“We have already secured the grant money. The library project is $37,000. $32,616 is in CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) money and the rest is matching from the borough.”
The grant money would be used to make improvements to the Ford City Public Library.
Former Library Director Anita Bowser said in January the funds will be used to make the building more accessible for patrons with disabilities.
“The Borough got a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). We are going to be changing our accessibility so that we are ADA-accessible. Our front double doors are really cumbersome and difficult for people to come in if they are in a chair, on a walker, or even people with canes, or baby strollers. They are going to replace the existing doors with automatic doors. There will be two sets and they will both open using a button, coming and going.”
The doors have been an issue because although there are two sets, they are extremely close together.
“There still will be two doors, but they will increase the distance because it makes it hard for people in a chair or with equipment to get through because of limited space. They will have to pull his wall out and make the space between the doors wider.”
Bowser said contractors will also install doors at the rear of the library, which currently are not there.
“We are going to install an emergency exit that is also handicap accessible. It will be wide enough for someone with a chair or walker.”
Bowser estimated earlier this year that the work is to be completed by September 2018.
Council President Carol Fenyes told the public last night that there are also some additional considerations.
“We would be adding a ramp,” Fenyes said. “A handicap accessible ramp across the back of the library for easier access. We would be expanding the bathrooms to make them handicap accessible and changing the front entrance to make it handicap accessible.”
In other action, there was a motion to award Lutterman Excavating, Inc. out of Greensburg, PA the bid for the 3rd Avenue Trailhead Parking Improvements Project. The total cost will be $38,148.
Council President Carol Fenyes confirmed they were looking to expand the number of parking spaces along the trail between 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave, but was not sure on the total number Lutterman Excavating, Inc was planning to expand to.
“We had to take the lowest bid,” Fenyes said. “We had 4 bids; They came in from the low of $38,148 to a high of $64,460.”
Police Chief Michael Greenlee also wants to entice people to come and use the Rails to Trails by making some changes in the parking area across from the ACMH facility on Fifth Avenue. In March 2017, he said there is no specific parking lot that invites people to come and use the trail. The parking lot would be designated for use only by those using the trail and would have 16 spaces.
“There’s an idea for a small ‘tot lot’ for the kids that don’t want to go with Mom and Dad the whole way up and down the trail. The kid feature would make it possible for the whole family to come and do something on the Rails to Trails.”
This is a three-year plan to do one park per year and would be contingent on grant funding through the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
Some of the other work planned would include excavation of the walking ramp along with existing gravel area and grass, line/handicap line painting, handicap signs and posts, and removing existing concrete curbs.
During the meeting last night, former Council Woman Vicki Schaub addressed concerns about speeding vehicles late at night along the 600 block of 5th Avenue.
“The speeding part of motorcycles and trucks is around 10’oclock until 1 in the morning,” Schaub said. “They’re coming down the hill with air-brakes on all the time.
“I’ve had several conversations with (Police Chief Michael Greenlee) about the speeding up and down 5th Ave. The trucks are horrible.”
Schaub also addressed concerns regarding garbage pickup last Monday.
“There was a passenger and a driver and two more garbage people picking up,” Schaub said. “Why are we paying for a passenger?”
“The passenger might have been learning the route,” Borough Secretary Lisa Bittner responded.
Fenyes addressed that she was unaware that there was a passenger along for trash pickup Monday but that she would look into the issue.
by KP Intern Kyle Predmore