Whitehall-Coplay Press

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Council works to keep Saylor Park project moving

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Engineer frustrated by state DCNR’s delay in reviewing, approving plans

Coplay Borough Council took a long look at the details of the Saylor Park plans during its workshop session April 3.

The renovations were designed as a fast-track project, so the park would be open in time for the borough’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2019. One lane of the fast track was to order some equipment ahead of time, so it is ready for installation as soon as the preparation work is complete. Some of the pre-ordered items include a pre-engineered pavilion, portable bleacher stands, benches, etc.

One provision in the plans was that the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) approve the plans. Unfortunately, DCNR has not acted and given the necessary approvals.

Borough Engineer Daniel Witczak of Acela Engineering expressed his frustration with the delay.

“We sent the plans out for bid. Technically, we should wait for DCNR, but our pre-bid meeting is on April 17, and plans are due back in by April 27. If we delay here, we are delaying the project,” he said.

Councilman Stephen Burker will make a concerted effort to contact DCNR to get its concurrence.

Regarding the other major project in the borough, DVS Enterprises Inc. presented its plan for 48 apartment units housed in six buildings on Second Street across from the existing apartment complex. The proposed new units would border the Ironton Rail Trail and cross the municipal boundary the borough shares with Whitehall Township.

DVS has been through a long process in working to satisfy both municipalities and preserve access to the IRT. The developer is now ready for approval from council. The project is scheduled for review at council’s next meeting April 10.

Ronald Helman, the borough’s building code official, reported that he issued his first Quick Ticket. The tickets are part of a new program introduced earlier this year.

“After arguing with the owner for months about unregistered vehicles, I issued a Quick Ticket, and he got everything cleared up in a couple of days,” he said.

Police Chief Vincent Genovese introduced Joel Mota to council members. Mota is a candidate for a part-time position on the police force. He has been trained and is presently doing part-time work in another municipality. Mota would fill an existing vacancy and bring the force up to full capacity.

Council President Louis Bodish announced that yard waste pickups would begin April 20.

Burker took time to thank everyone for the successful Saquon Barkley Day, held March 24 in the borough.

“We had a lot more than we bargained for with the snow, but everything was handled well,” he said. “We had support from our volunteers and surrounding municipalities.”

There are some problems on the use of the recreational fields, it was reported. Coplay Sports and American Legion baseball are still debating the location of an outfield fence. To date, no agreement has been reached. Council will vote to remove the fence at its next meeting and set a deadline for the removal. The fence is a temporary fence installed last year.

According to Councilman Mark Molitoris, trucks maintaining the cell tower on the sports field caused damage to the outfield. He is looking for a reasonable cost of damages that he can present to the cellular maintenance company.