City Council prepares for new year

Grant OK’d for law enforcement

WENDY STIVER/THE EXPRESS
Lock Haven City Council organized for 2017, with the members keeping their same duties from 2016. They are, from left, seated: Jonathan Bravard and Sara Stringfellow; and standing: Ted Forbes, Council Vice President Stephen L. Stevenson, Mayor William E. Baney III and Richard L. Conklin. Missing is Councilman Douglas T. Byerly.

WENDY STIVER/THE EXPRESS Lock Haven City Council organized for 2017, with the members keeping their same duties from 2016. They are, from left, seated: Jonathan Bravard and Sara Stringfellow; and standing: Ted Forbes, Council Vice President Stephen L. Stevenson, Mayor William E. Baney III and Richard L. Conklin. Missing is Councilman Douglas T. Byerly.

LOCK HAVEN — City Council started the new year Monday by re-electing Stephen L. Stevenson as its vice president. Stevenson was the only nominee for the post, and there were no dissenting votes.

Council members will represent council on the same boards, commissions and committees as they did in 2016. They are:

r Mayor Baney — City Redevelopment Authority, Lock Haven City Authority, and Cable TV Advisory Committee.

r Jonathan Bravard — Central Clinton County Council of Governments (COG), Central Clinton County Water Filtration Authority and Clinton County Sewer Authority.

r Douglas T. Byerly — Clinton County Solid Waste Authority (Recycling), Code Enforcement Board of Appeals and Review, and Cable TV Advisory Committee.

r Richard L. Conklin — Clinton County Economic Partnership, and Historic District Advisory Committee.

r Ted Forbes — Council’s alternate representative on the Lock Haven University Community Advisory Board, Central Clinton County COG, and Downtown Lock Haven Inc.; and a non-voting member of the Ross Library Board of Trustees.

r Stevenson — City Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board, Lock Haven Area Flood Protection Authority, Downtown Lock Haven Inc. and the LHU Community Advisory Board.

r Sara Stringfellow — Airport Advisory Committee and Environmental Advisory Committee, and the alternate representative to the Central Clinton County Water Filtration Authority and Clinton County Sewer Authority.

Byerly did not attend the organization meeting Monday.

The schedule of meetings will remain roughly the same, with most meetings set for 7 p.m. in City Hall the first and third Mondays of the month.

In keeping with this schedule, the next council meeting will be Monday, Jan. 16. The other dates are Feb. 6 and 27, March 6 and 20, April 3 and 17, May 1 and 15, June 5 and 19, July 3 and 17, Aug. 7 and 21, Sept. 11 and 25, Oct. 2 and 16, Nov. 6, 20 and 27, and Dec. 4, 11 and 18. The extra meetings at the end of the year allow time for budget planning.

GRANT NEWS

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency told the city Monday that it will receive a $73,562 grant for law enforcement computer equipment.

The city had applied for the grant which will also benefit Lock Haven University, Woodward Township, Clinton County, and the county adult probation office.

The funding will provide a server to upgrade the county-wide law enforcement information sharing system. It also will provide four in-car laptop computers for the city, four for Lock Haven University, two for Woodward Township and one for the adult probation office.

BUS SERVICE

Council also heard that PennDOT supports the proposed trial period of bus service inside Lock Haven and from Lock Haven to Jersey Shore and Williamsport. The Department of Transportation will pick up 85 percent of the cost of the trial, Forbes reported, with River Valley Transit, the bus provider, picking up an additional 3 percent. This leaves 12 percent for municipalities, the university, local businesses and other partners who support bus service.

Forbes and Stevenson attended a recent Public Transit Committee meeting and learned that PennDOT has asked for more feasibility studies and reviews. This means the trial period will not begin in February as originally hoped and is probably delayed until July or August.

However, Stevenson reported, the trial will continue much longer than the proposed four months. PennDOT is willing to extend it to three years, he said.

Even though the trial period is expected to change, the city has budgeted enough for 2017 to pay its share, he said.

Delaying the trial will give more time to promote the bus service and recruit more partners.

“It looks encouraging, very encouraging,” Forbes said.

Downtown Lock Haven Inc., a nonprofit agency that boosts and markets the shopping district, has volunteered its office as a spot for bus schedules and maps, he reported.

Forbes recommends the first month of the trial be free for everyone interested, which would encourage more people to try riding the bus.

Stevenson said River Valley plans to schedule practice runs and City Council could request a special one so that council members could take a ride together.

River Valley plans to provide a phone app to inform potential riders when the next bus will arrive at their stop, and also to survey bus riders on whether their bus was on time and whether they felt safe on the bus.

The company also has a practice of providing buses for firefighters battling a blaze in extreme weather and for other emergencies, such as loss of heat in a nursing home.

STREET LIGHTS

PPL has been in town replacing street lights with new, bright white LED lights, council heard. Lights have already been replaced at the end of Park Street, on Liberty Street, and on West Church Street.

The utility owns the lights, and the city pays a monthly fee for the roughly 390 street lights and 32 lights in parking lots, City Manager Richard W. Marcinkevage said. The new lights should save the city $5,000 to $6,000 a year, he said, and the bulbs should last longer.

PPL also owns 49 light poles and will be changing them out soon, he added. Drivers should watch for temporary parking restrictions in these work zones.

Stevenson again asked about adding lights in the Memorial Park parking lot at the end of the levee River Walk.

No lights will be added there, Marcinkevage replied, because PPL cannot run power to that spot.

POLICE STATISTICS

The police department reported statistics for December: 10 criminal arrests, four DUI arrests and 45 traffic arrests were made; 16 non-traffic citations, 221 parking tickets, two warrants, 35 written warnings and two verbal warnings were issued; 19 vehicle accidents were investigated; 177 complaint reports and 89 supplemental reports were written; and 3,912 miles were driven.

Totals for the 2016 year were: 190 criminal arrests, 38 DUI arrests, 765 traffic arrests and 15 ordinance arrests were made; 154 non-traffic citations, 2,720 parking tickets, 178 warrants, 464 written warnings and 99 verbal warnings were issued; 174 vehicle accidents were investigated; 2,866 complaint reports, 1,527 supplemental reports and 76 incident reports were written; and 53,354 miles were driven.

OTHER MATTERS

The most recent water bills were mailed on time but were “lost in the system,” Marcinkevage reported. This means that the normal due date of Jan. 15 has been extended for everyone until Feb. 10, he said.

The bills entered the postal system and made it to Harrisburg, where the entire billing run was lost, he told council.

The city is again providing Christmas tree pickup. Trees, with no decorations on them, should be at the curb for pickup today, Jan. 16 or Jan. 17.

Conklin said the city staff is doing a good job replacing street trees. He also said brick pavers on Main Street are deteriorating here and there, and the city should look them all over and plan repairs.

Stevenson said the county plans to rename the former Piper Aircraft Blue Building as the Clinton County Piper Building, now that county offices are slated to move into it.

A stop sign at the Bald Eagle Street entrance to the Piper complex is needed, he said. This is the county’s responsibility, Marcinkevage replied, since the complex is a private lot.

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