Hop Bottom boro hall rebuilt

Borough officials gather in the more spacious, renovated borough hall Tuesday, Feb. 5. STAFF PHOTO/PAT FARNELLI

BY PAT FARNELLI

The Hop Bottom Borough Hall renovation project is completed, and borough officials are pleased with their new headquarters.

It was unveiled at the Tuesday, Feb. 5 meeting.

The garage space that has housed fire trucks, a jail cell, and the police car over the years has been remade into a larger town hall, and the building is now handicapped accessible, with an indoor entrance ramp and handicapped restroom.

The wainscoting was preserved on the walls, and the seating area is more than double, with desks and filing cabinets in a connected alcove and a hospitality table with a coffee and tea maker added.

Around $300 worth of purchases made by Secretary Deb Norton for the new hall and office space was approved by council.

Council President John Koshinski said that People’s Neighborhood Bank has offered some of the office furniture it has stored in a barn to the borough.

Some interesting artifacts found in the renovation project were displayed on the ledge of the entrance ramp, including several cast iron pinels, on which the jail cell door hinges were mounted.

During the council meeting, it was reported that the stormwater project’s sediment basin was once again hit and damaged by a motorist.

“This time it was a hit and run,” Mayor Paul Henry said. Last time, the repair cost $600.

Henry said a resident reported seeing a white vehicle “sitting astraddle the concrete basin, only three weeks after it had been fixed.

He said that both accidents were caused by drivers taking the corner too fast, and that a guard rail might be a solution.

Council has requested an extension on the Martins Creek project, which will have to be completed by Mar. 12 without an extension. Freezing weather will make it difficult to complete the project on time, and a six month extension was requested.

One wall of the bridge over Martins Creek has moved a foot and a half out from its original location; the other wall is eroded.

This was reported after the 2006 flood, but has been better documented recently, council member Janice Webster said.

The council voted to enter into an Agility Program agreement through the state Department of Transportation.

At least five sunken grates need to be replaced, and the boxes for the grates would have to be fixed by the borough, while PennDOT would replace the grates themselves and the blacktop surrounding them.

With the agreement, the program will construct the boxes as well, swapping that work for the use of Hop Bottom’s police officer to patrol construction zones around the borough.

A maintenance agreement with PVR Partners for a natural gas gathering line  also was approved.  The line will be coming through the borough near the old creamery building.