By Natalie Gorsuch
Williamsburg Correspondent 

No Bids for Route 866 Project Equal Good News for Williamsburg Borough


April 11, 2019

During the Williamsburg Borough Council meeting on April 1, bids for the state Route 866 project were to be opened. However, no bids were sent in.

This, according to Stiffler-McGraw engineer John Clabaugh, was a good thing because PennDOT took a look at the project and determined that other renovations are needed instead of the “band-aid” project proposed and out for bids.

Those options identified by PennDOT include stormwater ponds, a piping network or a storm sewer project – at a price tag of more than $1 million.

Clabaugh did stress that PennDOT said that even though Route 866 is a state route, the issues are the local borough’s responsibility.

Clabaugh added that it is “unrealistic to think the borough will pay zero for this project, but it’s also unrealistic to think that PennDOT can think [the borough] can pay for this project in its entirety.”

Pennsylvania state Rep. Jim Gregory, R-Blair County, was present at the meeting and said that his office was in contact with PennDOT to see what the update was and what PennDOT wants the borough to do.

About funding for potential projects, Rep. Gregory said that the borough may need to “think outside the box” and cited the local tourism “Trailtown” project as a starting point.

Engineer Clabaugh then instructed borough council members about their options for the Route 866 project proposal: do nothing, re-advertise the project for bids, relieve burdens on contractors or modify the scope of the project.

Borough council decided to wait to see what PennDOT determines before any new action is taken.

Borough Chief of Police Rowdy Kagarise said that the new police cruiser will be available at the end of the week. Kagarise also said that the Police Department needs to buy new Tasers and asked borough council for three new ones at a total cost of $4,797.

Chief Kagarise said that negotiations with the Taser company resulted in a five-year agreement with a payment plan of $1,305 the first year and $873 each of the next four years.

With donations to the police department, Kagarise said that the department can pay for the first two years.

Councilmember Ed Patterson made a motion to instruct Kagarise to purchase new Tasers with Councilmember Matthew Sabol seconding and the motion passed.


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