West View officials seek grant to pay for bridge-repair project

| Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, 4:29 p.m.

West View officials say they hope a county grant will pay for a $250,000 bridge-repair project.

At its Feb. 13 meeting, the West View council approved the submission of a grant application to the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, or RAAC, to fund repairs for the Martsolf Bridge.

West View officials are seeking $250,000 to repair the bridge, which was identified by PennDOT as needing beam repairs.

The bridge, which is on Martsolf Avenue, runs over Center Avenue. It is open and on a six-month inspections schedule, said Jason Zang, acting bridge engineer with PennDOT District 11. The weight limit for the bridge was dropped from 8 tons to 7 tons in June, and if it drops to 3 tons, it must be closed, Zang said.

“If we don't get this grant, we'll have to find borough money to repair it,” borough engineer Bob Zischkau said.

Zischkau said he expects to hear back from the RAAC in six to eight weeks.

Procurement cards

Council also approved issuing two procurement cards — one for borough manager and police Chief Bruce Fromlak and one for public-works coordinator Joe Assisi.

The cards, which work like credit cards, are offered through the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust, or PLGIT, a local-government investment pool based in Harrisburg that provides the cards and investment options for municipalities and school districts.

Fromlak said West View only is obtaining the cards and will not use PLGIT's investment services.

He said the cards will enable borough officials to purchase items online, and the borough will receive rebates based on the amount of expenditures.

Fromlak said the cards will be used for things such as a new police cruiser and public-works supplies. He estimates the borough could get as much as $10,000 back at the end of the year.

“These are things we've budgeted for and were planning to buy anyway,” he said. “We might as well get a little return on our money.”

Previously, Fromlak said, he made online purchases with his personal credit cards, and the borough reimbursed him.

Fromlak said the assistant treasurer and the finance committee will review all purchases.

Salt update

Despite an inch and a half of fresh snow, roads in West View were clear on Feb. 13, after the borough faced a severe shortage the previous week.

Fromlak said at the meeting that night that West View currently has about 450 tons of salt and that it takes 45 to 50 tons to salt roads each time the trucks go out. Another 50-ton delivery was expected.

“A week ago, we were sweating it, but we're good now,” Fromlak said. “Let's just hope this weather settles down.”

When West View ran out of salt in early February, it borrowed 20 tons from Ross Township that has been returned.

New cruiser

The council also approved the purchase of a $26,896 2014 Ford police car from Woltz & Wind Ford in Heidelberg. The vehicle purchase was planned and incorporated into the 2014 borough budget.

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer at Trib Total Media. Reach her at kshea@tribweb.com or at 724-772-6353.

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