Southmont scrounges for project funding

Russ O Reilly, The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
·2 min read

Mar. 30—With roads to pave this year and stormwater infrastructure in danger of collapsing, the Southmont Borough Council is searching for ways to finance those needed repairs.

During a special meeting Monday to discuss how to pay for the projects, the council approved a motion to advertise for bids and see how much it could cost.

According to an estimate by Stiffler McGraw enineers, repairs to prevent the Cheney Run headwall from collapsing could cost about $137,000, Council President Sheree Speicher said.

She said Stiffler McGraw engineers gave the estimate after examining the headwall behind Leon and State streets.

Additionally, the cost of the borough's 2021 paving plan isn't yet estimated by PennDOT, but the council expects it to be well over the $85,000 it currently has budgeted for road work.

"We need to get bids and see," Councilman Richard Rodgers said.

The plan includes work on Floyd, Cheney, Stillray and Logan streets.

The borough hasn't paved roads in four years, Speicher said after the meeting.

"The last four years we were in the middle of our sewer project," she said. "There was no paving during those years."

The council is hoping the Cheney Run project will meet criteria that would make it eligible be paid with the latest round of federal stimulus funding for municipalities.

Speicher said she is learning more this week about how much stimulus funding Southmont can expect to receive.

Borough executive secretary Amanda Layton said she is checking with state Sen. Wayne Langerholc's office on whether there are state grants available for the projects.

Other ways to fund the projects could include loans from various state programs for municipalities, borough solicitor Michael Carbonara said.

The council approved advertising for bids with the stipulation that companies must hold their bids for 90 to 120 days.

The council's next meeting is scheduled for April 19.