by Jonathan Weaver
A handful of residents along Short Street in Manor Township should have storm sewers and a newly-paved street before temperatures cool down again this fall.
At 9AM Tuesday morning, nearly a half-dozen bids were opened by Senate Engineering’s Mike Malak for the Short Street storm water improvements project.
According to bidding documents posted last week, the project – which will impact about five households that registered of low-to-moderate income along the road beside the McGrann post office– will include the installation of inlets, storm sewers and outfall, with the redirection of surrounding gravel alleys to the new inlets and the repaving of the affected alleys.
Of the five bids, the lowest projected cost (of about $41,730) came from Shadco LLC of Marion Center (Indiana County). That bid was only about $130 less than one submitted by Tim Fouse Excavating of Kittanning.
County Division Director Adrienne Commodore explained the initial cost-estimate for the project utilizing Community Development Block Grant funds was $48, 370 in 2012 but supervisors approved more money from the 2013 allocation to be dedicated to the project due to time.
If all bids received exceed that amount, extra money that is available from previous annual CDBG allocations can be transferred via amendment – but it will delay construction.
The process was to begin sooner, but officials were delayed since due to the State.
Senate Engineering was elected for engineering design in April 2013 after three bids were received – Senate’s totaling $9,000 – due to their familiarity with the township and the sewer system.
Commodore said two right-of-way agreements have been signed with property owners along Short Street, but she is awaiting one more with an out-of-town owner.
“The process is going a little bit longer than we would like it to,” Commodore said. “We’re not going to be able to proceed with the project until what we’re doing with that right-of-way.”
Malak said the right-of-way is not crucial to securing the new stormwater improvements, but rather for paving plans.
Supervisor Chair James McGinnis and Paul Rearick passed a motion for the bids to be tabled for further review. After they are closely inspected by Malak and Commodore, the recommendation will come back to the supervisors, hopefully by the May 6 public meeting. Otherwise, bids can be held for 90 days.
Armstrong County Commissioners would then vote on the plan before a pre-bid construction meeting.
The recommended contractors have 60 days to complete the project once the notice to proceed is issued.
Any leftover funds would be dedicated for the municipality’s next Community Development Block Grant project – water line replacement along Boyd Road.
That project is still awaiting state contract certification.
Senate Engineering’s Ben Bothell also recommended supervisors approve a plan for a group of storage garages along a vacant lot along Maple Drive to assist a regional nonprofit.
“The plan is basically 3,300 square foot of garages/storage areas, and stormwater would be controlled through a rain garden. That rain garden would act as an infiltration area, with the goal to infiltrate as much as possible, but there is an underdrain with an overflow inlet as well that if we get a heavy rain, what does not infiltrate will overflow and be let out in Tub Mill Run,” Bothell said.
Howard International Ministries (HIM) Founder Ken Howard said the storage areas will help generate finances for charity work, including feeding the homeless and giving Bibles with words of encouragement, on sidewalks along the Boulevard of the Allies in Pittsburgh.
“This helps us do the charity work that we do feeding the homeless in Pittsburgh every Saturday night for 20 years,” Howard said. “This is going to help us continue those efforts.”
Howard said HIS Enterprises also runs a food bank in New Kensington that feeds about 200 families monthly.
“I pray this all works out,” Howard said. “There’s a lot of effort to get it built.”
The nonprofit began with Howard’s parents, Barbara and the late-Thomas Howard.