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Burrell Township OKs contract for Smith Plan, Snyder Lane

| Friday, July 18, 2014, 5:51 p.m.

Burrell Township's supervisors have awarded the township's summer road paving project to Derry Construction at a total cost of $155,407.35.

The supervisor approved the Latrobe contractor's low bid at a special July 10 meeting. Other bids were submitted by Force Inc. of Indiana, at a cost of $157,762.29, and by Quaker Sales of Johnstown, at a cost of $159,799.50.

Supervisors Chairman Larry Henry said the township each year selects roads that are in need of improvement to include in resurfacing. He indicated this year's schedule of eight roads, requiring application of an estimated 1,869 tons of Superpave wearing course material, represents “the biggest project we've done in a while.”

“We usually try to pick the worst roads every year,” he said, noting, “Snyder Lane has been long overdue.”

The contractor will have until Oct. 10 to complete work on that road, which connects Route 119 at the base of Mile Hill with Route 22 at the base of Penn View Mountain, along with several roads in the Smith Plan residential development: Smith Avenue, Elder Drive and Lintner, Hunter, Campbell, Brown and Wallace roads.

The bid was approved unanimously by the three-member township board, though Supervisor Tony Distefano noted the amount was about $2,000 more than what had been budgeted for the project. He said the supervisors had planned to spend $82 per ton of needed paving material, but Derry Construction's unit price was $83.15 per ton.

“The only thing I can think is the prevailing wages are throwing it out of whack,” Distefano said,

As noted on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry website, the state's Bureau of Labor Law Compliance “determines prevailing wage rates for the construction industry and enforces the rates and classifications under heavy, highway and building construction projects of $25,000 or more when public funds are involved.”

Henry suggested that higher may have helped to drive up bid prices.

“For two grand, I'm not going to worry too much about it,” Supervisor John Shields said of the excess cost.

Henry indicated there should be money enough in the general fund to cover the extra cost.

The supervisors noted the township received a recent substantial tax payment for a real estate transfer involving the Indy Park Apartments property located along Snyder Lane.

Documents recorded at the Indiana County courthouse indicate the apartments, which provide housing for students at the nearby WyoTech automotive school, have an assessed value of $378,620.

Henry noted the township also will be applying tar and chips to some roads this summer, including Country Lane, Lear Road and High Rise Drive.

Jeff Himler is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2910 or jhimler@tribweb.com.

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