If the whole point of having historically low interest rates is to spark economic activity, then that strategy is working—in Bridgeville, at least.
Borough council voted unanimously last week to borrow $1.7 million to fund numerous infrastructure improvements around town, including several key flood-alleviation measures. Bridgeville will likely pay 2.25% per year on the 15-year, $1.7 million loan.
Initially, the borough planned to borrow a somewhat smaller sum of money, but with rates at historic lows, council opted to take out a bigger loan to pay for long-awaited improvements to Chartiers Park as well.
“Rates are so cheap that we decided to move forward and do everything,” said councilman Joe Verduci.
The borough has also applied for grant money to help pay for the Chartiers Park initiatives.
“We’re hoping that we can continue on and get the thing done that we want to do, in terms of projects,” Verduci said.
Here’s what’s on tap:
McLaughlin Creek Trash Rack: During heavy rains, large debris rushes down McLaughlin Creek, clogs the waterways in Bridgeville, and contributes to flooding near Baldwin Street. To prevent this, Bridgeville will install “trash racks” in the creek near McLaughlin Park. Sort of like large sink strainers, these devices will stop tree branches and other debris before they reach populated parts of town. Work is expected to begin this fall.
Lowering the McLaughlin Park Ballfield: While the trash racks are installed, workers will also lower the elevation of the park’s baseball/softball field, allowing that greenspace to serve as a retention pond to reduce the amount of water that rushes toward Baldwin Street.
Bower Hill Storm Sewer Improvements: Bridgeville received grant funding to install catchbasins and storm sewers on Bower Hill Road at Union Street. This area experienced flooding in the past.
Commercial Street Headwalls: Behind the Dari-Delite, McLaughlin Run Creek flows beneath Commercial Street via two underground tunnels. During the 2018 flood, the tunnels’ concrete entrances were damaged and continues to deteriorate. Workers will begin repairing/rebuilding the headwalls during the next month or so.
Jane Way Access Ramp: Another frequent flooding point is the area behind the Beer Warehouse on Railroad Street. This fall, the borough will build an access ramp that allows public works crews to easily access the creek and remove debris as needed.
McLaughlin Run Park Improvements: Starting this fall, the park will get new picnic pavilions, an improved parking lot, a handicapped parking area, a new flag pole, signage, landscaping, skate park equipment, and other fixes.
Chartiers Park Improvements: Next year, the park will get landslide repairs, streambank improvements, a repaved road, a paved parking lot, new playground equipment, and ADA improvements.
New Municipal Building Parking Lot: Earlier this year the borough demolished the house 416 Darby Way, which is directly next to the municipal building. During the next month or two, the now-empty plot of land will become a 12-car parking lot with an LED community message board facing Bower Hill Road.
Additional House Demolitions (Maybe): The borough recently applied for grant money to demolish five other condemned houses—105 Prestley, 146 Liberty St., 145 Liberty St., 1364 Terrace St., and 917 Laurel Street.