EAST BRADY – East Brady Borough officials kicked off the New Year with an extra emphasis on the “new” during their first meeting of 2021.

At their meeting last Tuesday evening, council members discussed upgrades to several borough entities — including the website, playground and roadways.

In one order of business, after researching different options, the council authorized borough secretary Susan Buechele to move forward with a new East Brady website.

“I think this is the best way to go,” Buechele said of the proposed website which will be created by UB MAX, the company that manages the borough’s billing software. “They handle all the stuff you would need in the borough.”

According to borough officials, the new website would cost $360 per year plus a one-time fee of $120 for setup.

“That’s not a bad price,” said council vice president Joe Hillwig, who ran the meeting in the absence of president Barb Mortimer.

When it comes to actually creating the website, Buechele noted that UB MAX offers over-the-phone as well as online support throughout the whole process.

“They set up the template, and I plug in all the stuff,” she said, pointing out that the website could be completed in less than a week. “If I have any problems I can call and they’ll walk me through it.”

Also at last week’s meeting, borough engineer Bob Roach of Senate Engineering provided an update on two ongoing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) projects in the borough — upgrading the community’s playground as well as sewer replacement and storm water improvements along Lehner Drive.

“The borough was funded for two CDBG projects a couple of years ago, and that money needs to be spent by May 1,” Roach said, noting that the borough is just awaiting final approval from the county on both projects.

“We’re pretty much good to go on both [projects],” he continued. “Hopefully we’ll hear from the county soon.”

In addition to an environmental review for both projects, Roach said a certified playground vendor recently visited the site at the old football field to survey the area for proper spacing and to offer suggestions for new equipment.

“I was told the borough had some concerns about spacing between the equipment,” he said, noting that the playground vendor is required to follow all federal guidelines. “All the playground equipment he proposed is kosher, and there’s enough room for it.”

As a certified COSTARS vendor, Roach continued, the borough could purchase any equipment or other materials from the vendor without needing to seek additional bids.

“The prices include installation,” he said, explaining that the current proposal estimates the project to come in at a total of $62,000 including engineering fees. With $56,000 in grant money and the borough’s $10,000 match, Roach said there is still plenty of money available for contingency during construction. “Everything looks really nice there.”

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Moving to the Lehner Drive project, Roach said that plans are drawn, the survey is complete and the borough is “very close to being ready to bid out that project.”

In other roadway matters, the council also heard from resident Christopher Zona who asked about plans to maintain the borough-owned portion of Verner Street/Shady Shores Drive.

“Since I’ve been there in seven years, I don’t think the borough has put in a penny to maintain it,” he said, noting that the well-traveled road produces a lot of dust.

While he agreed that dust is a problem, Hillwig said the borough had no plans to blacktop the road until construction on the latest phase of the housing development was finished, but could fix potholes and apply gravel in the meantime.

“It won’t be until after winter...but we’ll gladly do something like that,” Hillwig said.

Other Business

• Council members were also approached by resident Mercedes Dahl looking to petition the borough to abandon Bridge Street, a paper alley next to her East Third Street property.

“We want to be granted an easement or adopt it because, one, we would probably end up cutting the grass anyway...and, two, so we would have the availability of the setback in our favor to center [a new modular home] on the parcel,” she said.

Hillwig said the process of abandonment would start with the borough’s solicitor, and that the adjacent property owner would have the opportunity to claim half of the alley.

“The borough would still keep a right-of-way down through there to be able to maintain our sewage line,” Hillwig said.

• New sewer base and improvement fund rates were set at $6,873 and $711 respectively for the high rise, and $957 and $99 for the laundromat.

The high rise will have 237,000 gallons at no additional charge, and the laundromat will have 132,000 gallons at no additional charge. The rate per thousand gallons over the base will be $5.

• The council also accepted an estimate from Beamer Enterprises in the amount of $7,700 for the installation of 12 new cameras between the water/sewage plant and the playground.

• Accounting firm McGill, Power, Bell & Associates LLP was again authorized to perform the borough’s annual audit on Jan. 19.

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