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Feds could delay Berlin sidewalk project

October 5, 2018

Sidewalk replacement in Berlin Borough between the upper and lower diamonds may be delayed because of federal rules.

During a borough council meeting Thursday night, engineer Kevin Yoder, of Appalachian Engineering Group in Meyersdale, said that because a $1.2 million grant the borough received for the project is federally funded, more regulations could delay the construction for at least another year.

“We’d like to do it next spring, but it may end up in early 2020,” Yoder said. “Because it’s federal funded, you have to go through a lot of reviews.

“It is a straightforward project, but there is a lot of red tape we have to jump through.”

During the meeting, Yoder announced the initial cost for the project for his engineering work is $94,400. The phase is estimated to cost the entire $1.2 million, he said.

The councilvoted to accept Yoder’s proposal.

In May Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Berlin was the recipient of the federal money, which is being administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The idea for the project is toreplace sidewalks and curbs and add lighting and other features along Main Street between the two diamonds, similar to work that has already been completed on West Main Street. There have also been talks about adding a bike lane.

It is part of a larger yearslong goal to replace the entire length of the sidewalk down to East End Grille.

Councilman Tom Fisher said that the work on West Main cost about $185,000.

Fisher said for the next step, the council has to focus on what the design will look like over the winter.

“We have our ideas, the same as we had up there,” he said referring to West Main. “Are our ideas going to be OK with PennDOT?”

Also during Thursday’s meeting, the council accepted the resignation of police Officer Mark Kasterko, bringing the borough police department down to two full-time officers. Council members said they will discuss whether to hire another officer at their next meeting.

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