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Baldwin Council approves paving projects for 2013

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Residents in the northern end of Baldwin Borough will have to wait until next year to see any road improvement projects completed.

All roads set to be resurfaced this year will be in the southern portion of the town.

Keeping the road repaving project in one area will save between $4,000 and $20,000 in mobilization costs, borough engineers estimate.

Council members, in a 6-1 vote last week, agreed to a list of streets for the 2013 $800,000 road paving program. Council Vice President Michael Stelmasczyk dissented. Council then on Tuesday, in the same vote, agreed to seek bids for the project.

“We've got to get all that we can out of what we've got,” Councilman Bob Collet said. “Why jump around and spend the extra $25,000 when we're stretching for quarters. It's just dollars and cents. I can't see jumping around the borough just to make sure that things are even.”

Engineer Robert Firek, of Lennon, Smith Souleret, recommended that officials begin a road program this year that would group streets set for pavement — meaning all roads planned for resurfacing would be done in one area.

“We're trying to get a grouping to get you the best possible price out of your contract,” Firek said. “To move the paving machine from one street to another street can be very costly.”

Streets were identified for this year's program through a study borough engineers did two years ago, Firek said.

Some officials said splitting the borough into two road paving programs makes sense.

“We just went through a process of shutting off streetlights to save $67,000 — $14 a light, a month,” Collet said. “I think that we have to stay in one area to save that money to show that that's our purpose for saving money.”

Plans are for a set of roads in south Baldwin to get paved this year, then a group in north Baldwin will be paved next year.

Splitting the borough into two pavement programs might not be popular with residents, some officials said.

“No matter which way we decide to go with it, there's going to be complaints. That's a given,” Councilman John “Butch” Ferris said.

Stelmasczyk said he voted against the plan because changes on council could occur which might alter road pavement programs.

“I don't think people in one end of the borough should suffer,” Stelmasczyk said. “For years, we fought that there is no north Baldwin, there is no south Baldwin. Now there is again.”

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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