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Lackawanna County Commissioners Award Contract For First Phase Of Stauffer Industrial Park Paving

March 21, 2019

SCRANTON — American Asphalt Paving Co. will complete the first phase of a multi-year paving project at Stauffer Industrial Park, where the road is in a sorry state.

Lackawanna County commissioners on Wednesday unanimously awarded the firm a contract for phase I of the grant-supported project at the park straddling the Scranton-Taylor border. American Asphalt, based in Luzerne County, was one of four firms to submit base and alternate bids for the paving work. The total of American Asphalt’s base and alternate bids is $515,000, the lowest total of the four bidding companies.

Phase I covers the paving of at least 2,600 feet of county-owned road at the park. The paving, which should start around late April and take at least three months to complete, will extend from the park’s Keyser Avenue entrance to railroad tracks that run through it, county engineer Gary Cavill said.

All told, the county devoted about $750,000 for the project’s initial phase, which includes a $505,367 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the county’s match, county Chief Financial Officer Tom Durkin said. The county’s share of the money is coming from up to $15 million in borrowing commissioners approved for various projects in August.

The roughly $750,000 allocated for phase I also covers design costs and the cost of any additional paving beyond the original, 2,600-linear-foot scope of the project. It’s unclear how much additional paving will be completed during the initial phase, but Cavill said anything extra done during phase I means less paving in later stages of the project.

County officials told The Times-Tribune last year that roads in the park weren’t properly paved from the outset and have deteriorated over the years. Properly constructed roads include layers of stone and other pavement below that allow water drainage below the surface. The industrial park’s road consists mainly of asphalt over whatever earth existed there, former county economic development director and current commissioner candidate George Kelly said last year.

As of December, Stauffer Industrial Park was home to 17 tenants with about 2,860 employees. About 5,000 vehicles pass through the park daily. About a quarter of those vehicles are trucks, according to a county federal grant application summary.

Phase II of the paving project won’t begin until at least 2020. The total project, which might be completed in four phases, will likely take at least two more years to finish, Cavill said.

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Prison board OKs funds for body scanner

The Lackawanna County Prison Board on Wednesday approved and authorized the use of inmate canteen funds to purchase a body scanning device for the county jail.

The device — which functions like body scanners at airports and allows prison guards to scan inmates for weapons and contraband — allows for more efficient and less intrusive searches, numerous officials said.

The scanner in question is made by the Chinese company Nuctech. The machine and a five-year warranty would cost about $125,000, Warden Tim Betti said, noting there may be an opportunity to get two scanners for the price of one because of a recent deal offered by the company. In that case, the total cost of both devices and five-year warranties on each would cost about $155,000. The extra $30,000 would represent warranty coverage on the free scanner, Betti said.

It’s unclear at this point if the county will end up with one or two body scanners. It’s also unclear when the device or devices will be implemented.

— JEFF HORVATH