City Council sees Susquehanna Square plans

WENDY STIVER/THE EXPRESS Lock Haven Mayor William E. Baney III, right, receives the Presidential Award of Honor on behalf of the city from the Lock Haven Area Jaycees. DuWayne Kunes, left, presented it Monday.

LOCK HAVEN — The City Planning Commission will soon review a request to rezone part of Susquehanna Square, including the townhomes area.

The request is from Townhouses of Susquehanna Square LP and also from Patrick M. and Pamela N. Bigatel of Seattle who purchased land from Townhouses of Susquehanna Square last year. They would like to have property rezoned from medium-density residential to general commercial.

The request is apparently part of a larger plan to subdivide and consolidate Susquehanna Square lots. Susquehanna Square, on Spring Street, sits on what was once Painter Football Stadium and Hanson Practice Field. Development consists of the Fairfield Inn and one row of townhomes. The original plan also included more townhomes and two restaurants.

City Council looked at the request Monday and referred it to the planning commission with few comments. The planning commission will meet Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Council also recently approved a commercial loan of $33,390 for Full Body Health and Fitness Center LLC, 501 E. Walnut St. (the former Skate Haven) under the Lock Haven Commercial Loan Program.

Owners Brian and Lori Hoy want to buy the property and complete building renovations there.

The loan is for five years at an interest rate of 3 percent. Collateral includes the fitness center property and the Hoys’ residence.

The Hoys are also asking for a $100,000 loan from the Clinton County Revolving Loan Fund and another $33,390 from the Clinton County Enterprise Zone Fund for the project.

Council also hired SEDA-Council of Governments for financial analysis and technical assistance for the Lock Haven Commercial Loan Program next year at $80 per hour, the same rate as this year, with a cap of $25,000. There are currently eight active loans, reported Maria Boileau, who will be city planner in 2018.

The new downtown manager, Kasey Blesh, was appointed to replace the former downtown manager on the Lock Haven Commercial Loan Program Committee.

PennDOT notified council that a contract is tentatively scheduled to be let in April for preservation work on Great Island Bridge. The work is expected to be done next summer and would include minor paving, updating drainage, replacing curbing and upgrading the guide rail.

The city will apply to the Clinton County Community Foundation for four grants: $5,000 each for the 2018 Summer Concert Series and the proposed river boat dock, $2,500 for expanded beach hours in 2018, and $350 from the Hoberman Trust Fund for Hoberman Park.

Also Monday, Councilman Jonathan Bravard was able to participate and vote in a council meeting for the first time in about a year, attending the meeting electronically. He has been absent due to health.

Bravard had suggested the arrangement in September, according to Assistant City Manager Gregory J. Wilson.

Council discussed the unusual arrangement. Council Vice President Stephen L. Stevenson was among those who wanted to take a vote first before allowing it.

Teleconferencing is permitted by state code, Councilman Richard L. Conklin said. Wilson said a council meeting must have a quorum of members who are physically present, and then other members may “telecommute.”

“It’s permitted for select use,” he said.

Mayor William E. Baney III noted that Bravard has kept up with city issues even though he cannot attend meetings.

Bravard voted on business matters Monday and his votes were recorded.

The mayor also accepted an award from the Lock Haven Area Jaycees. DuWayne Kunes, Jaycees acting treasurer and advisor, presented the Jaycees Presidential Award of Honor to the city.

He said he recalls representing the organization at council meetings over the past 30 years, asking for the city’s support for events, particularly the annual Jaycees Labor Day Regatta. The award recognizes the decades of support and service the city has provided.

Work on railroad crossings in Lock Haven should start in mid December, the mayor reported.

He relayed a suggestion that the city might like to have one of the old-style crossing lights, adding that the Clinton County Arts Council might want to install it at the Station Gallery, located in the historical train station at 2 E. Bald Eagle St. The gallery already has a railroad light out front. That particular light reportedly was at the pedestrian bridge over the tracks in Renovo. It flashed when trains were headed through town, to warn workers taking the overhead bridge they could be hit with steam from the locomotives.

Conklin remarked the new LED street lights are nice. PPL is in the process of installing them to replace the old lights on green posts.

Beginning Dec. 11, the lights in the Church Street parking lot should be replaced with the same style, Conklin said.

Stevenson noted that lights are still out along Bellefonte Avenue. Those issues are being worked on, now that the bucket truck is back in operation, City Manager Richard W. Marcinkevage reported.

Council expects to see and vote on a resolution at its meeting this coming Monday in response to new state legislation that expands gambling.