Y’ville hears proposal for creek property

Does Youngsville Borough want to own a creekside property downtown? That is the question Nancy Holmberg and Joanne Oviatt of the Revitalization of Youngsville (ROY) committee asked Youngsville Borough Council Monday evening.

The two have been researching the possibilities of the property on the east side of the bridge on East Main, bordered by IOOF Street.

Holmberg indicated that the owner of 101 East Main Street is interested in negotiating a price, as the building is falling down, and she doesn’t want to have to pay to repair it.

“It sure would be nice to have downtown access to the Brokenstraw Creek,” Holmberg said. She added that she had an estimate of $9,500 to demolish the building.

Council member Pamela Olewine asked if that would include asbestos remediation, and Holmberg said no. “With the age of the building, I’m almost certain that there is asbestos,” Olewine said. She believes that would double the cost of demolition. She also noted that permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Enviromental Protection would be required, because of the proximity to the creek.

Council member John Barhydt noted that given the location, any work would need to be in compliance with the borough’s flood plain ordinance.

Councilman Douglas Peterson, who was sitting in for absent Mayor James Farr wanted to know if they were asking about council’s interest, and Oviatt replied, “We don’t want to do all the work if you’re not interested, and get everybody aggravated.” She explained there has already been a considerable amount of work done, and there would be much more ahead.

Councilman Erik Leamon said, “I’m interested, but I don’t want to over extend the borough.” Other council members agreed that it was a good idea, but expressed concerns about costs and possible liabilities, especially if it became a borough park.

The steps would be to buy the property, declare it blighted, use Community Block Development Grants to demolish, then apply for Department of Natural Resources (DCNR) and Department of Community Economic Development (DCED) grants for improvements, although Holmberg and Oviatt said the safer course would be to take it one step at a time.

A point paper from ROY that was handed out to council members indicated that DCNR and DCED have both expressed interest in helping Youngsville develop along the Brokenstraw, particularly by the bridge.

In other business, Lisa Hagberg, borough manager thanked council member John Barhydt for his service, after receiving his letter of resignation, effective after the September meeting. She added that the borough had paid $750 to the Transit Authority of Warren County, and noted that TAWC director John Aldrich has invited council to tour the new facility at their convenience.

Warren County YMCA CEO Thad Turner said the Y would like to have some programs in Youngsville, especially for youth. He apologized for the delay, as the issue has come up before. “The snag with tax assessments… could be a major blow…things are on hold until we figure out this tax thing,” he said. He indicated that he would welcome ideas from council, saying, “You know better than we do” what the community needs are.

He noted that the Y has a seventh grade initiative, where all seventh grade students of the county are eligible for a free membership.

Branden Lake, a junior at Youngsville High School was appointed as a non-voting junior council member, to bring a different perspective to council meetings.

A meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 13 between PennDOT and Kingsview Paving to make sure requirements are being met for paving on Mill Street and Laverne Drive. Kingsview was the low bidder for the project.

Hagberg reminded council, and the Times Observer, that the Younsgville Corn Fest would be held this coming Saturday and Sunday, August 17 and 18.

She noted that she had received a number of emails about electrical issues at Island Park, and she needed to know if council was willing to spend money on repairs. Councilmen Morris and Robert Olson said the repairs needed to be done, and council approved unanimously.

Hagberg said that a borough website could be built for $890, with an annual maintenance cost of $120. The website, she said, “would be another avenue to get information out.” She noted that Glade Township has a similar website that they are very happy with. Council approved the motion.

The current borough newsletter costs $250 monthly to mail, and anyone with internet access could sign up for a paperless newsletter, reducing mailing costs. Those who didn’t have access, or wanted to continue receiving the standard mailing would be able to do so.

Youngsville Poice Chier Todd Mineweaser reported that complaints about school buses not stopping while leaving the YHS parking lots will be addressed by asking the school board to paint stop signs on the pavement. He noted that any vehicle leaving a parking lot is required by law to stop or risk a traffic ticket.

He also said that the Yellow Dot program materials are available at the borough building.

Council approved his request to write a grant to purchase a ‘drug drop box,’ where citizens could leave prescription medicines. The box would be “locked in a locked building,” for security. Mineweaser also asked council to look at their door-to-door permitting, saying solicitors could be preying on the elderly. Eric Mineweaser said, “Lets put it on the agenda for next month.”

Hagberg said the council meeting times of 4:30 caused hardships for some citizens who had to work day jobs, and wanted to attend. She suggested council think about it before the reorganization in January.

A town hall meeting where residents could voice their concerns was scheduled fo Wednesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m.