Category: Manor Township

Storm Sewer Bids to be Opened Next Month in Manor

Residents who live along Short Street in Manor Township may have a new storm sewer this fall after all (KP File Photo).

by Jonathan Weaver

A storm sewer installation project discussed for two years in Manor Township may begin this fall.

County Planning and Development Division Director Adrienne Commodore told supervisors that the environmental review for the storm sewer improvement project along Short Street (near the Manorville Post Office and Manor Township Fire Hall) utilizing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds has been completed and the next step can be taken.

“We can proceed with bidding the project,” Commodore said. “I talked with Michael Malak from Senate Engineering and he told me the permits were in order, so we’ll be working to get that bid out.”

After officials prepare bid documents and receive updated wage rates, a bid opening will be held at the August 6th regular monthly meeting. If the bid is in order and within budget, supervisors could request approval from the Armstrong County Commissioners later that month.

“Worst case scenario, we could feasibly be under-construction sometime the week of the 22nd of September,” Commodore said. “And, according to (Malak), it should not take more than a week’s time for the project because it is small.”

Less than $68,500 is budgeted for the project currently. In response to Secretary Jill Davis, 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.

Five residents currently live along Short Street, and a majority of those surveyed were found to be of low-to-moderate income to allow for the use of the funding.

About $48,000 in CDBG funding was dedicated toward Short Street in 2012 and another nearly $20,000 in 2013.

Three bids for engineering design in that project – ranging from $9-29,000 – were opened by Commodore in April 2013, with Senate Engineering approved due to their low bid and familiarity with the Township’s storm sewer system and working relationship.

Commodore also received a cost estimate for a possible 2014 project.

About $48,750 would need to be utilized to extend water service to three residences along Boyd Road, based on the road’s condition and engineering.

The 2014 allocation has not yet been announced by the Department of Community and Economic Development.

More than $82,000 in CDBG funding was received in 2013, with 15 percent of that funding going toward the County Planning and Development office to fulfill administrative fees. About $20,000 last year went into the Short Street project and $50,000 toward housing rehabilitation.

A dozen local homes are currently eligible for the housing rehabilitation. More than $100,000 remains available for that project after supervisors designated money for that the past three years.

Costs will also be shared with the Manor Township Joint Water Authority.

Manor Township is one of five entitlement municipalities in Armstrong County – along with Kittanning Borough, East Franklin Township, Kiski Township and the City of Parker – due to its population.

Geocachers Exploring Crooked Creek for Caches

The Geocachers assemble before starting the hunt.

by Ryan McLaughlin

A Geocaching event was held at the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center on Saturday at noon.

Geocaching is a real world treasure hunt through GPS coordinates.  Caches are little containers that are hidden in a variety of locations throughout the world.  People can find the locations of each cache through the website, which is at www.geocaching.com.

From there, people get each coordinate, along with a little information.  Some of this information comes in the form of Size, Difficulty, and Terrain.  This tells people the size of the cache, as well as how difficult it will be to obtain.  For example, a one star Terrain rating means wheelchair accessible.  A regular size cache may be the size of a tub of butter.

Once one has the coordinates, then it’s time to hunt for the cache.  Upon finding the cache, people can either take or leave a small token and then sign the log that is in each cache.  Then, they can go back onto the website and log their finds.

The event on Saturday was to help introduce people to the concept of Geocaching.  Bob Ashley, one of the organizers, explained that this specific event has been going on for six years.

“A bunch of us at Geocache, just sort of said, ‘Hey, we need to form get an event going,” he said.  “I just started sending out emails, and people that responded, we started with meetings.  It just sort of took off from there.”

He also explained that the event is about bringing families together.

Steve Adams brought his family to Saturday’s event.  He said that he read about the events in the newspaper, and thought it would be a fun thing to do with his family.  He explained that his daughters like treasure hunts, and he thought it would be neat to do this in the woods.

For Saturday’s event, 15 temporary caches were established throughout Crooked Creek.  The participants received “passports” that had all of the coordinates on the back, as well as locations for 15 stamps.  Each cache had a stamp inside, and each one was different.

They added a competitive twist, by offering tickets for each stamp that the person receives for their Chinese auction.  In addition, there was a bonus 16th cache, whose coordinates were spread out in the 15 other caches.  The bonus cache rewarded five extra tickets to everyone that found it, and it had its own separate stamp.

Not everyone at the event was a local.  Shonda Davis drove the whole way from Virginia for this event, though she originally grew up here.  She has attended events in Virginia, and explained how she got into Geocaching.  Her mother had been doing it long before she starts.

“In Virginia, I was out in one of the state parks riding my bicycle, and I saw one,” she said.  “And I knew what it was, because my mom had talked about it.”

The participants were allowed to hunt until 4 p.m.  Afterwards, they gathered and had a potluck dinner and passed out prizes from the auction.