Shamokin working to get $100K grant
SHAMOKIN - The city is working to receive a $100,000 state grant for reimbursement of expenses incurred from the emergency demolition last year of a partially collapsed building on North Shamokin Street.
If a Keystone Communities Grant is awarded to Shamokin by state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), City Clerk Steve Bartos said it would be used as a "dollar for dollar" match for the demolition costs.
Bartos said he worked with DCED Deputy Secretary Clyde "Champ" Holman and his staff on the grant proposal.
"It's not a guarantee, but it looks pretty darn good," he said of the prospects of receiving the grant. The comment came during a special meeting of city council held Wednesday at City Hall which was followed by council's monthly workshop session.
Tom Grbenick will process the grant paperwork at no cost to the city, Bartos said. Grbenick is a grant writer and historian who also is working on the restoration project of the Shamokin Creek and Carbon Run creek channels.
City council voted 4-0 to pursue the grant.
The former Shamokin Health Spa at 709-715 N. Shamokin St. collapsed into itself on June 15, 2012, with some of the debris falling onto the sidewalk and the roadway. It had long been up for back taxes.
According to invoices provided by the city in January:
- Madonna Enterprises, Port Carbon, billed the city $25,600 for completing the site cleanup;
- Forrester Environmental, Bloomsburg, billed $42,816.34 for its role in removing suspected asbestos-containing demolition debris from the site;
- Lycoming County landfill, Montgomery, billed $21,787.11 for accepting 336.22 tons of debris;
- PPL Electric Utilities' billed $11,770 for the cost of de-energizing and disconnecting a power line and also maintaining electric service in the area;
- Disposal Management Services, Coal Township, billed $6,276 for waste hauling.
The contractors have all since been paid, Bartos said Wednesday.
A lawsuit filed by a Shamokin contractor, Robert Gusick, against city officials is still pending in county court. Gusick's firm was the first to work on the demolition project, but conflicts over the project scope led the city to pull him off the job. He filed suit in October 2012 and is seeking $98,500 plus interest for work he says he completed before the fallout.
If received, funding from the state grant would not be used with regard to the Gusick case, Bartos said.
Gusick's pending lawsuit does not prevent him from bidding on other demolition contracts in the city, and on Wednesday he was awarded one.
A bid from Robert Gusick Demolition of $46,270 was the lowest qualified bid to knock down 244 S. Franklin St. and 137 S. Seventh St. Siding will also be installed on a home adjoining 244 S. Franklin St.
Knoeppel Coal Deliveries and Home Renovations, Shamokin, submitted the low bid of $45,900, however, attorney Frank Garrigan determined a paperwork error deemed the bid ineligible.
Northeast Industrial Services submitted a bid of $66,630.
Council voted 4-0 to accept Gusick's bid.