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Ford City stalls again on Ford Street paving project

| Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007

FORD CITY -- Borough council reopened discussions Monday about the temporary paving of Ford Street.

Last week during a special public meeting called to address the deteriorating condition of the main business district avenue, council recessed the meeting so that questions could be answered before taking a vote.

Council President Tim Malec had proposed contracting with Terra Works, of Clarion, in the amount of $9,118 using state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money left over from a completed water line project.

The proposal was for a 3/4-inch layer of asphalt known as a "skim coat" for the street to get merchants through the Christmas season and to make it safer for residents. The street is scheduled for permanent renovations next year.

Councilwoman Renee Zacour made a motion at the first meeting to award the contract.

Councilmen John Rudosky and Dan Cousins asked then if the CDBG money is available, if the paving is sufficient and if the contract had to be bid.

When council revisited the issue the same questions were asked.

"We have no more answers than we did last week, at this point," said Cousins.

Representatives from the Armstrong County Planning Department attended Monday's meeting and advised council that there were restrictions on how they could use the grant money from the water line project.

"They said we could patch where the lines were laid, but no complete coat," Cousins said.

Cousins said council will look at the possibility of using state liquid fuels money allocated to the borough for streets.

Council plans to meet with the borough engineer to discuss paving options.

Business owners are mixed in their views on whether to do the temporary paving work, according to borough officials.

"Some want it, and others say let's hold up and do the thing right," Cousins said.

"Most of the merchants are in favor," Zacour said. "We adjourned without taking a vote. We still haven't accomplished anything."

Council meets again publically on Nov. 5.

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