Affordable Demolition begins task


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DONALDSON - A temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement. That's how the Frailey Township supervisors are looking at the time it is taking Affordable Demolition, Coal Township, to demolish the old factory building on the corner of Martin Street and Cedar Alley.

"We don't care how long it takes them," said supervisor Keith Allar. "We'll just be glad when it's gone."

Discussions surrounding the old factory building began two years ago when it first appeared on the June 2012 meeting agenda. At that time, the board agreed to have the township engineer inspect the building since the roof was caving in and, according to chairman Donald Allar, the building was probably filling up with water. The following month, the report from the engineer stated that the building was determined to be unsafe and it was recommended it be torn down. Because of a conflict of interest between the township's solicitor and building owner, Lewis Graver, Jr., Attorney Eric Lieberman was hired to represent the township in future actions regarding the building.

Ownership

From that time on, every month, the 'Old Factory" appeared on the agenda and was often discussed, with the township finally securing ownership of the building in February 2014. Following the Schuylkill County Commissioners' advertisement for bids for the building's demolition, and the awarding of the bid to Affordable Demolition in April, the demolition finally began in the middle of June.

In April chairman Allar reported the township had spent in excess of $7,000 for engineering and legal fees associated with the old factory. Although $4,438.34 in back taxes were owed to the county, the school district, and the township, all parties agreed to relieve the township of those payments. Since the township had been awarded a county demolition grant, it was only responsible for 25% of the cost. The board was also fortunate that the low bid was only $7,500. According to roadmaster Keith Allar, one of the employees of Affordable Demolition had been hired to perform the asbestos removal which cost $400 and was aware of the amount of scrap metal in the building, plus the huge wooden beams which could be salvaged prior to demolition. However, taking everything into consideration, the township will have spent approximately $10,000 to rid the village of the unsafe eyesore.

Playground

A pre-construction meeting had been held May 2 with Spotts Brothers, Inc., Schuylkill Haven, the low bidder for the township's playground project, and it was expected that work would begin soon afterwards. That, however, has not happened, but a two-week extension to the substantial completion date of July 4 and the completion date of July 19 has been requested.

According to K. Allar, everytime Spotts has told him they were ready to start the project, they never showed up. No equipment, not even a hand shovel, said Allar, has been moved into the area. He and the other two supervisors agreed with engineer Alfred Benesch's recommendation not to approve the extension. It was also noted that liquidating damages in the amount of $300 per day for each day past the completion date can be imposed on Spotts Brothers by the township.

Spotts Brothers' bid of $43,579 was the lowest of three bids for the playground project. Arthur 'Pat' Aungst, Pine Grove, submitted a bid of $49,108.25, followed by $55,698.75 from Reading Materials, Inc., Shippack.

Grant

The board authorized Alfred Benesch to submitted a request for a "Greenway Trails and Recreation Program Grant" from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to expand the playground. The submission of various township records to include a copy of last year's audit, a $ 100 application fee, plus the adoption of a resolution were also approved.

Thefts

Several residents have experienced thefts during the past week. According to Tremont Police Chief Michael Conway, the thieves have entered cars and taken change, while garages and sheds have been entered and items of value taken. He recommended residents keep their porch lights on, and their cars locked or anything of value removed from them, and to call the police if any suspicious behavior is observed. The problem, he noted, began in Tremont and moved on to Donaldson.

Other business

- The police report listed 33-1/2 hours of coverage during May with patrolling on all but nine days. Patrolling was done during various times throughout the days to include hours of darkness. The cost to the township was $3,024.90.

- Twenty-five properties were listed on the Code Enforcement Officer's report dated June 3. One property had been taken off the May list following removal of debris. Five others on the June report were also found to be in compliance and will be removed from the July report. One property owner was issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) and given 21 days to correct the violation, although the CEO noted that he expects the property to be in foreclosure. The remainder will be revisited. The cost to the township was $1,031.60.

- The township is currently paying for lawn care of three properties in the village. A bill for several cuttings on all three properties was approved at a cost of $790.

- A bill of $2,748.47 for new street signs was approved for payment.

- Chairman Allar questioned several residents in attendance whether they would consider re-starting the crime watch group which had died out some years ago due to lack of participation. According to one resident, the residents are basically doing those activities now.

- The annual community yard sale will be held Aug. 23, along with a bake sale sponsored by the Methodist Church. The fire company will also reschedule its monthly chicken BBQ, which is held the last Saturday of the month to Aug. 23.

- The fire company's next monthly chicken BBQ will be held July 26.

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