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Apollo may add $10K to fund intersection improvements

| Friday, July 26, 2013, 1:31 a.m.

Apollo may put up as much as $10,000 to see that improvements to the First Street intersection at the Leonard C. Miller Memorial Bridge go forward as planned.

The project, which calls for improved handicapped ramps and pedestrian crossing signals, was put in doubt after contract bids for the work came in about $20,000 more than the funding the borough had available from Armstrong County and PennDOT.

The county provided the borough with $20,000 from federal Community Development Block Grant funding for the ramps. The lowest of four bids was almost $10,000 more.

The borough has about $12,000 from PennDOT for the crossing signals; the lowest of three bids was almost $8,000 more.

No more money is immediately available from PennDOT.

Armstrong County has committed all of its CDBG funding for the year, but it does have state liquid fuels money available, Borough Engineer Rich Craft told council on Thursday. County officials have indicated the borough should apply for it.

Although the county was funding only the ramp portion of the project, the liquid fuels money could be used for all of the work, Craft said.

“We can't do one project without the other,” Craft said.

The funding typically requires a 50 percent local match.

How much the borough would have to contribute would depend on how the county takes into account the funding the borough has received.

In the worst case, the borough would have to come up with $10,000, council President David Heffernan said.

It's money he said the council would find.

“I don't want to see this project die,” he said. “I am going to find the other half and finish this project.”

Heffernan said the borough also is seeking money from additional sources, and could make changes to the project to lower its cost.

Craft said timing may be more of an issue.

The CDBG funding expires at the end of September and must be spent by then, Craft said. Once a contract is awarded, a contractor would have 90 days to complete the work.

In anticipation of needing to act quickly, council will meet again at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 1.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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