Fourth Ward residents in Kittanning showed up at last night’s council meeting to protest deplorable streets and signs in their ward.
Brian Armitage, who led the group, gave Council details about Lemon Way.
“The water authority came in, dug up the line, and replaced the blacktop. There has been no maintenance. So when you have a piece of blacktop, the frost in the winter time gets underneath that, and lifts the blacktop. You have thirty feet of that blacktop that is now being ruined because it buckles up. If it had been sealed correctly, you would have saved yourself some blacktop. Now, we not only have the last 25% of Lemon Way that needs repaired, but we also have that. Why is it taking so long to address these issues?”
Armitage’s request for answers were not as promising as he had hoped. Street Committee Chairperson Betsy Wilt said the street does not qualify for funding for Community Development Block Grants.
“To put Lemon Way (on the list), you have to meet the income guideline,” Wilt said.
Council President Kim Chiesa said Council has discussed many places in the Borough that still need attention.
“We do sympathize with you. We all have streets that are bad, allies are bad, and the government has cut so much funding out, so it’s a long process. Things were let go so long, that we try to come along and try to improve, but you can’t do them all at one time.”
Council Vice-President David Croyle assured Armitage his voice was being heard, but said resolution wouldn’t come for at least another year or two.
“We all hear you loud and clear, but we need a whole plan so we aren’t throwing money here and there. In ten years, everything we have already paved will go back to what it was five years ago. We can’t let that happen, so we must get a plan in place.”
Croyle said the revision to a comprehensive plan is long overdue and anticipates hiring a firm to create a master plan within the next year.
“Horrible roads for a decade,” Armitage said. “That’s really unacceptable. Compared to the taxes I pay, I am not even receiving the full services of Kittanning Borough.”
Street Supervisor Jim Mechling said the area of Lemon Way is 91 feet long and 15 feet wide. He said the work would have to be contracted to an outside firm because the Borough does not have sufficient equipment to pave an area that large.
Armitage also complained about the street sweeper, which throws asphalt on his driveway at 1601 Orr Avenue.
“I have had some chips and damages to my vehicles. I would appreciate it if those guys that are street sweeping wouldn’t push all that debris down there because a lot of it is winding up in my driveway.
Armitage brought photos of signage that was dilapidated and needed replaced.
“In addition to safety issues, if you have to live around there and that’s what you have to look at, it’s demoralizing.”
While Armitage praised the revitalization of the business district, he said the Wick City area needs attention.
“I’d like to see a little bit more focus on the residential. It’s quite apparent up in Wick City that we need it.”