PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Borough Council held a brief meeting Tuesday evening, with the borough manager’s report having the most lengthy discussion, and ending with a change in meeting night.
Borough Manager Toby Santik told the council he and Councilman Larry Chenoga were hoping to get the council’s approval to hire CME Engineering as the borough’s engineer firm, and handle all further borough projects with this firm.
The borough has been using the EADS Group as their engineering firm for many years, and has most recently been focused on the Indiana Street sewer and waterline replacement project. This project has been in the works for many years through the EADS Group going through several different engineers over that time, and was finally started at the end of last year.
Santik gave the floor to Chenoga to share some information about CME with the rest of the council.
“These folks, I do not know them but they come highly recommended and I do believe our manager has dealt with one of these people on the dike and some other things here in the borough, and I think it’s worthwhile that we try them, at least for a year,” Chenoga said.
He also ended by saying he would like to see the council motion to have the Indiana Street project passed from the hands of the EADS Group to CME Engineering as soon as possible.
Vice President Justin Cameron, who was leading the meeting in President Michele Lorenzo’s absence, asked to have a discussion about this before a motion was voted on.
He expressed concerns at trying to move such a large project from one firm to another in the middle of construction. He said the EADS Group has been working on the project for such a long time he would rather see them finish out the project than try to transition it to another group.
“I don’t have any problem with hiring them for future projects going forward Larry, but anything in EADS hands already, I would prefer them to properly finish,” Cameron said.
He did say that any projects EADS has just in the beginning stages could be moved to the new firm.
Another reason he cited was the possibility of issues in communication as the project and details were passed along.
“Everybody’s pointing fingers then when things go wrong,” Santik said, echoing Cameron’s concerns.
Santik said he got involved with the company for another project he would like to work on with them that they are well versed with, but would not comment further on the project.
“Like we said, if it doesn’t work out, we can always go back to what we were doing. We’re going to continue to utilize EADS because they have a long history with the borough and there’s no sense in throwing that out,” he said.
Following this discussion, Chenoga adjusted his motion to let EADS finish Indiana Street, and have CME become the new borough engineer and take over any other projects going on. This was approved by the council.
The council ended the meeting with a brief discussion about the night of its meeting. Councilman Jim Bianco said Tuesdays were not good with his work schedule, and no other council members provided reason not to move the meeting day.
Following short discussion, the council agreed to move the meeting to Mondays at 6 p.m. until further notice. This motion had one opposition from Chenoga.