The FOXBURG BOROUGH YEAR in REVIEW
The beginning of 2016 was a learning experience for many new members of Council as well as the new secretary. We started out with A LOT of things on the agenda!
January brought a reorganization that included forming a separate Water Authority Board. Vacancies were filled, and a new President and Vice-President were named to Borough Council. February filled the last vacancy on the Board.
February brought a change in Local Services Tax collection to Keystone Collections Group. We also changed our contract with Bureau Veritas so that we will collect 20% administration fee when they do building permit work in Foxburg.
One of the first things on the extensive early-year agenda was the Trailhead Grant. After several meetings and many emails, finally around June, a Master Plan evaluating traffic and parking possibilities for the trailhead was presented and considered complete.
A new ordinance for driveway and street opening permits was adopted in time to assure that Columbia Gas’s pipeline replacements would not adversely affect the streets, and the streets, roads, and sidewalks were properly replaced.
After attending some Penndot meetings and sending some emails, some much needed work was done to the rocky hillside along Route 58 to cut it back and make it safer for traffic and local homeowners.
Repayment of a $10,000 loan from the Water and Sewer Authority sparked the beginning of work on the retaining wall on North Palmer Avenue. Work was done by A & K Excavating in two sections, resulting in just over 140 feet of retaining wall shoring up the street and making residents feel a lot safer driving down this street. We hope to finish up the retaining wall replacement this year.
Sadly, all efforts to renovate the two properties on North Palmer fell through. However, work by the Mayor, President, and Vice-president resulted in getting a Community Development Block Grant for blight removal on North Palmer. We will now have the resources to get two unsafe houses torn down and the properties will be safe for the community again.
Another very visible improvement to the community was the replacement of the old street lights with new LED lights. Not only are the streets brighter than before, the electric bill was cut in half by this move.
Golfers and local residents on Harvey Road were pleased with the patching and sealcoat work down there with help from a County Aid grant.
A website designer was hired to update and improve our website. The beginnings are very nice and we hope to put more things on our website in the coming year.
Other grants were applied for but not received. Regardless of this let-down, the effort resulted in some community spirit which helped one resident get help with a much-needed coat of paint on his house.
Much progress was made on determining ownership of the fire hall, and some work to begin making it into a community resource was begun.
Community spirit also sparked an effort to decorate the town for the holidays. The local businesses and the Borough all chipped in to get some lights and decorations up to further warm the feelings in town.
Foxburg Borough Council, Mayor, and Secretary are proud of the progress that was made in 2016, and hope to make even more improvements in 2017.