South Baldwin Roadwork
With a 6-1 vote on Tuesday night, the Baldwin Borough Council has advertised that it is seeking bids for 2013 repairs to several roads in south Baldwin—and south Baldwin only, borough Manager John Barrett said.
The council's decision to stick to just one part of Baldwin for road repairs this year stems from a cost-savings that would be realized from not having to move resurfacing equipment over great distances around the borough.
Borough engineer Larry Souleret estimates that borough taxpayers would save between $4,000 and $20,000 on mobilization costs by focusing on roads that are geographically close to each other, Barrett said. The actual savings will depend on the eventual contractor who completes the work.
The council agreed on Feb. 12 to fix roads in north Baldwin in 2014 before returning back to the southern part of the borough the following year.
The roads being built into the bid are:SOUTH BALDWIN Base Bid Street From To Charlotte Drive McAnulty Road 2012 Paving Joint Elaine Drive (Part 1) Norma Drive Clelia Drive Elaine Drive (Part 2) Clelia Drive McAnulty Road Jenne Drive Gardenville Road McAnulty Road Judith Drive Norma Drive McAnulty Road Koeffler Drive Bethel Park Line Norma Drive Add Alternates Street From To Lois Drive (Part 1) Norma Drive McAnulty Road Lois Drive (Part 2) Norma Drive Bethel Park Line Portia Drive Bethel Park Line McAnulty Road Tommy Drive Jean Drive Dead End
Councilman Michael Stelmasczyk cast the lone "no" vote for this list on Tuesday.
He explained why in an interview.
"I am against this plan because all plans have a way of changing, and being an election year for council, next year, a new council majority could be in place who will not honor the south-north-south paving intent of this council majority," he said. "This could happen.
"Something else to consider: In addition to a possible new council majority, that majority may bring in a different engineering firm. That firm may not adopt Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering's new strategy. It could happen, and this has definitely happened in the past.
"This new strategy also paves roads that could be in better shape than other roads in the borough. We should not agree to that. Only the most needy roads should be repaved each year.
"But, here is my biggest problem with this: For many years, we political types have been trying to remove the north-versus-south Baldwin thinking. We have tried to get people to think in terms of the borough as a whole and not merely as north, central or south Baldwin.
"What this road program does is confirm to the public that we are back to the days of old. The fight about what north Baldwin gets versus south Baldwin will commence.
"I also truly believe that people in one area of the borough should not have to wait a year to get any paving done."
New Trees for Baldwin
The Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Multi-municipal Shade Tree Commission has received permission from the Baldwin Council to plant trees on public property in Baldwin, Barrett said.
The commission had hoped to plant trees—free of charge to the borough—at the borough municipal complex along Churchview Avenue, but Stelmasczyk amended a motion regarding the commission's request to state that specific locations must be approved by the council. Stelmasczyk's amendment passed unanimously.
Baldwin Mayor Alexander R. Bennett Jr., who is on vacation, was absent from Tuesday's meeting.
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