June 18, 2008

Windber OKs Funding for Flood Project

By Patrick Buchnowski, Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

Jun. 18--WINDBER -- Borough Council on Tuesday approved $9,215 from the sewer fund to help pay for the 13th Street surge box project to stop flooding in the borough.

The $44,000 job is expected to begin next week, borough officials said at their monthly meeting held at the municipal building. In September, the borough received $30,000 from Somerset County Growing Greener II funds to help pay for the project.

A surge box retains large amounts of water and then releases it gradually. The current box is undersized and unable to stop heavy rain that floods Graham Avenue and 13th Street.

Responding to ongoing complaints about coal trucks, council said it is working with officials of Rosebud Mining Co. to alleviate traffic trouble on Railroad Street.

As many as 85 coal trucks travel Railroad Street each day, and that's expected to increase as business grows at the nearby coal cleaning plant.

"They're working with us to find an alternative route bypassing the town," Councilman Simon "Red" Ohler said.

Resident Andrew Kondas recently sent a letter to PennDOT requesting the speed limit on Railroad Street be reduced to 20 mph from 25 mph. PennDOT had conducted a traffic study three years ago and said a reduction was "not warranted at this time."

In other business, council approved a $36,000 donation to the Windber Volunteer Fire Department. The money comes with a stipulation that $15,000 be used to pay fuel bills.

Council also approved $100-per-week increases for Windber Codes Enforcement Officer Fred Oliveros and Acting Borough Manager Robin Gates.

The raises are retroactive to Jan. 1.


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