Montrose to save borough garage
BY PAT FARNELLI
Montrose Borough Council has chosen not to level the borough garage and build a new one, but will instead replace and extend 10 feet of damaged roof to stop water damage to existing cinder block walls, it was decided during Monday night’s regular meeting.
After weighing several options, including tearing down the existing garage and building another, as well as putting on an entire new, pitched roof, the council listened to Craig Reimel’s report of engineer Francis Fruehan’s recommendations on what could be done to salvage the existing garage.
After Reimel’s review, council member Julanne Skinner made a motion to proceed with the repair plan, seconded by Reimel, by having Fruehan draw up the specifications for the roof repair.
Reimel said that Fruehan looked over the existing garage and doubted that such a building could be replaced, even at a cost of $100,000 or more. Both of the visits he made to assess the situation occurred during inclement weather: once while it was snowing, another when it was raining, which Reimel thought was fortunate.
The 10 feet of damaged asbestos roofing should be professionally removed, and the cost to properly seal, extend, and shingle the roof was estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. The cost for a new, peaked roof for the existing garage was estimated at $40,000 to $50,000.
Councilman Sean Granahan said that since the borough is in the process of paying for the new municipal office building, it would be prudent to keep the existing garage in working order for five years until the borough office building is paid off. By that time, perhaps the triangular property on the corner will still be unsold, and the bank may be willing to let it go at a lower price.
In other business, a quote was received on the electrical service to the park, and Reimel recommended that the project be done at this time.
He said that estimates ranged between $5,200 and $8,200 for the electric project. He recommended that council hire electrician Frank Conroy at an estimate of $900 for the electrical work, to install a new, heavier line to be run to the park fromUnion Street.
Penelec estimated the cost of the 200 amp service and circuit breaker box at about $1,500, Reimel said, so the project should cost about $2,400 initially. The council voted to proceed with the project.
Next, the council approved redesigning the layout of parking spaces in the borough parking lot, so that they are lined up, rather than perpendicular or horizontal as some of them now are around the building. Ken DiPhillips will paint the lines.
Security cameras will be installed at the park when the electrical system is ready. The Lions Club has several members who are experienced in electrical line installation who have offered to run the lines. Reimel recommended that the security cameras be purchased from V Max out of Drums, PA.
The surveillance cameras will include night vision, infrared, zoom and motion following features, as well as stationary cameras, and can be set to be manipulated by the borough police station. Reimel said he has talked to Frontier and Time Warner about the service for the cameras. If they are installed on Penelec poles, the cost will be $29 per pole, and $1,000 for the annual agreement for the use of the poles.
Reimel said that he has been consulting with Craig Owens, technology director at the Montrose Area School District, about the security system, and about the use of wireless repeaters.
The bathrooms at the park are seldom used, and are being heavily vandalized, so a recommendation was made to tear them down and dispose of them, using Port-a-Johns instead. This was approved.
The Blueberry Festival requested barricades for Maple Street and Lake Avenue, as they have every year, which was approved.
A new fiscal policy is nearly completed for the borough. According to Granahan, the policy “arose out of Annette’s departure,” and this initial draft is based on two sample policies he obtained and has given to the auditors to review.
The fiscal policy lays out the best possible scenarios for dealing with cash payments, credit cards, and bank deposits, and will utilize an independent treasurer for reconciling balances as a check and balance measure for borough secretary Erin Jenner.
The borough building will probably be used as the polling place for both wards for the next election. Granahan said that Laura Watts can make recommendations, “but in the end, it’s our decision.”
The borough will receive $50 for hosting both wards. It was suggested that the council meet with Watts and the poll officers for Ward 1 and 2 to discuss building accommodations as well as parking.
The Lions Club has been working on a volleyball court, and it was suggested that the surface of the court should be more like sand. The surface is made of “court mix,” it was said. They are also planning a skateboard facility there.
The borough is looking to purchase a new truck, and prices were quoted at about $80,000.
An executive session was held at the end of the meeting to discuss litigation. Council president Tom LaMont asked for comments or questions from borough residents just before adjournment.