Montour County, Pennsylvania

Issue 18/Fall 2018


  President Richardson’s Report

              Summer has once passed by in a flash, and here we are about to move into fall. As various celebrations and shopping seasons present themselves right around the corner, this seems like an appropriate time to discuss the borough's downtown shopping area, as well as the developments over in the industrial area.  

              There has been, as always, a fair amount of activity downtown and in that general area of the borough. First of all in the long-awaited return of BJ's Steak and Ribs to Danville. On track to re-open in October at 494 Mill Street after the devastating fire several years ago destroyed its original place, BJ's will once again be here serving good food and drink. Meanwhile, for those interesting in a faster meal, not far away on Northumberland Street Burger King is set to re-open in October while Taco Bell is being built nearby and is set to open in December.

                 As is often the case several businesses have moved around, so Unity Fitness has moved to 608 Mill Street to expand their offerings, while Creative Attitudes Hair Salon has moved to 322 Ferry Street. The Danville Elks, after having relocated out of the borough quite a few years ago, is planning to move back to 559 Mill Street and is in the process of getting a liquor license and other permitting. 

                While we're at it, we really must also mention the several food trucks to offer meals to folks here in town. These mobile eateries offer and variety of tastes for everyone, and also offer a fun new eating experience that might pop up literally anywhere. The borough currently has no less than 12 food trucks that offer services here, making our eating opportunities ever-changing and interesting.

                One of my personal goals as council president was to push for as much industrial activity there as possible, and I'm pleased to say it looks like things might start moving in that direction. The office building that DRIVE owns on Railroad Street is listed with a commercial broker and there has been significant interest now that it’s being properly marketed. At the Plate Shop, also known as KVS North, a letter of intent has been signed for the building by a manufacturer and it may be occupied before the year is out. It would be the first business to be in that building in nearly two decades. The Store Room, a smaller building in the former Metso complex, has been leased for six months to a local manufacturer. CSS Industries has put their 120,000 sq ft building at 350 Wall Street on the market.

                I hope this autumn finds you happy, healthy, and well.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Danville Area School District Homecoming Parade – Friday, October 6, 2017 @ 5:30 PM

Join us for this once-a-year opportunity to celebrate our School District and students both current and alumni.  The parade route goes from Wall Street/Co-op Court to Franklin Street to Clinton Street to State Street to the High School.

Annual Danville Halloween Parade – Thursday, October 25th, 2018 @ 7:00 PM

A great Danville tradition with marching bands, fire trucks, and young and old in costume.  Join us for this once-a-year opportunity to get in touch with your inner ghoul! Mill Street in Danville, PA – Halloween Parade Committee – 570.275.4863

22nd Annual DACC 5K Walk & Run – Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

For the FUN of it.  Everyone is welcome.  Great course: some neighborhood, some levee, some hills, and some flat sections.  Participants will be divided into age groups.  Door prized and lots of fun!  After the race, if the weather cooperates, there will be food and conversation while waiting for race results.  Call the Danville Area Community Center to register. The Danville Area Community Center (1 Liberty Street in Danville, PA) – www.thedacc.com – 570.275.3001. $20 with Shirt ($10 without Shirt)/$25 day of race with no shirt guarantee.

 SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11TH IS VETERAN’S DAY!


Saturday, November 24

Small Business Saturday | Shop Local

Support local businesses by visiting the wonderful shops Danville has to offer.
Refreshments & specials throughout downtown.

Friday, November 30

Welcome, Santa Parade

Parade on Mill Street Welcoming Santa to Canal Park.
Visit with Santa at his cottage following the parade.

December 7 – 22

Visit Santa’s Cottage

Stop by Canal Park Fridays 5 p.m.-7 p.m. &
Saturdays 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. to send a wish list to the North Pole!

Friday, December 14

Danville Hometown Holiday Celebration

Late Shopper’s Night | 10 am – 9 pm

Carriage Rides | 5 pm – 9 pm

Sidewalk Cocoa Stations & Wine Tastings | 5 pm – 8 pm

Booth Theater, Victoria’s Photography, J&J Financial, Woods Wealth Mgmt.,
Rosie’s Comfort Shoes(Shade Mtn), Red Shale Ridge Winery

Geisinger FREE Flu Clinic | 5 pm – 8 pm
Borough Ballroom, Canal Park

*Must be ages 18 or older

Visit with Santa | 5 pm – 7 pm

Santa’s Cottage, Canal Park

Holiday Storytime | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Come ready for bed to enjoy a reading of The Night Before Christmas & other holiday favorites. Late night snacks available after storytime.

Thomas Beaver Free Library

Caroling throughout Downtown

Iron Mill & First Baptist Church

Saturday, December 15

Danville Hometown Holiday Celebration

Artists in Residence Shopping Downtown | 10 am – 8 pm

Children’s Parade | 10 am – 11 am

Mill Street

The Exchange Art Cart & I Blew It! Balloons & Polar Princesses Meet & Greet | 11 am – 1 pm

Borough Ballroom, Canal Park

Visit with Santa | 12 pm – 3 pm

Santa’s Cottage, Canal Park

Donation-Based Gift Wrapping | 2 pm – 4 pm
Location to be determined

Bonfire & Caroling in Canal Park | 5 pm – 8 pm

Canal Park

Sunday, December 16

Danville Hometown Holiday Celebration

Shopping Downtown | 12 pm – 5 pm

Donation-Based Gift Wrapping | 2 pm – 4 pm

Announce Window Judging Contest & Holiday Secret Shopper Winners | 2:30 pm

@DanvilleBusinessAlliance, Facebook Live!

Saturday, December 22

Carriage Rides | 5 pm – 9 pm

Sunday, December 23

Carriage Rides | 12 pm – 5 pm

Visit the Danville Business Alliance Website for details on this year's Hometown Holiday celebrations.

FLOOD FLASH


The Borough’s Flood Resiliency Task Force held a Flood Insurance Seminar on September 20th with Stetler Insurance Agency.  We would like to thank everyone who attended this educational program.  If you were unable to attend but have questions about your flood insurance policy, please contact your insurance agency. 

 The Borough and SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) are working together to provide FEMA Elevation Certificates.  SEDA-COG has negotiated a group pricing agreement with Orangeville Surveying Consultants, Inc. to complete the Elevation Certificates at a rate of $600.  Applications for Elevation Certificates are available for pick-up at the Borough Office, or via email at jshrawder@danvilleboro.org. You can also access this online at http://www.seda-cog.org/Documents/Application-Authorization%20to%20Enter-Danville-2018.pdf.

Visit www.floodsmart.gov for more information about the National Flood Insurance Program.  To look at the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps, visit msc.fema.gov. Educate yourself on flood insurance reform at https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-reform-law.

BOROUGH AND SCHOOL DISTRICT AGREE TO LAND SWAP

At their consecutive board meetings on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, Danville Borough Council and the Danville School Board have agreed to enter into a long term lease agreement for the School District to utilize 20 acres of land owned by the Borough directly across State Hospital Drive from the Danville Primary Center for athletic fields.  This lease agreement will be similar to the agreement already in place between the Borough and the Danville Area Community Center for the soccer complex on East Front Street.  The School District will compensate the Borough over a 15 year period for the use of this land.  In addition, the School District will convey to the Borough a portion of the land at the Danville Elementary on Front Street to be utilized for construction of the new police station.

 “This is a major milestone in the history of the Danville Community.  I am thrilled that this will be a win-win for both entities involved and a benefit to the community as a whole.  I give kudos to both Boards for having played an integral part in making this happen.”

Shannon Berkey, Borough Manager, Danville Borough

 “I am excited about the partnership between the Danville Borough and the Danville Area School District.  Through this partnership, the District will be able to address our space issues regarding additional athletic fields and the Borough will be able to find a location for their new police station.  I am excited and proud that the two entitles worked together to find a way to benefit our community.  The public will be able to utilize our additional athletic fields when they are not in use by the District.  The District has not formulated a timeline for this development.”

Jason S. Bendle, Ed. D., Superintendent, Danville Area School District

MONTOUR STREET BRIDGE RECONSTRUCTION


Reconstruction of the Montour Street Bridge is underway.  The deck, sidewalks and parapits are being replaced to ensure the structure meets inspection criteria and remains in excellent condition as traffic volumes increase.  This project is funded with a grant from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development’s Multimodal Transportation Fund and contributions from the Borough and Geisinger.

HOSPITAL RUN AND UPPER SUSQUEHANNA LEVEE RAISING UPDATE

As reported in several past editions of the Borough Newsletter, we are raising the Upper Susquehanna and Hospital Run levees to meet FEMA freeboard requirements which will bring the system into compliance with FEMA certification standards.  Once certified and accredited, the floodplain behind the levee will be zoned as protected rather than simply as the special hazard flood area.  Flood Insurance rates should decrease when this happens.  The timetable for certification and accreditation will be in FEMA’s control once the Borough completes the raising project and submits the certification package to them.  The project has been delayed by issues that were not identified prior to letting and award of the construction contract.  Gutelius Excavating will begin construction as soon as the issues are resolved and should be completed in spring of 2019.

SIDEWALKS IMPROVED ON ROONEY AVE. AND AT CUT AND COVER

   Sudul Paving and Excavating has removed the broken stampcrete on the Cut and Cover.

   Rooney Avenue Improvements                                         

The Borough has reconstructed several Borough-owned sidewalks in our Central Business District this summer!  New sidewalks are in place around the pump station and public parking lot on Rooney Avenue, on Market Square at the intersection of Market Street and Ferry Street, and several broken/hazardous pieces were replaced at Montgomery Park along Water Street and on the sidewalk located at the top of the pedestrian walkway on the tunnel above Route 54 at West Mahoning Street. The Borough will continue this sidewalk reconstruction project through funds being budgeted for this effort every year.  Please note sidewalk maintenance and repair are the responsibility of the property owner!

GRANTS SUBMITTED FOR MAHONING CREEK, CANAL PARK, TREEVITALIZE AND SECHLER RUN BRIDGES IMPROVEMENTS

Jamie Shrawder, Administrator of Governmental Affairs has submitted grant applications on behalf of the Borough for several projects.

1.       Mahoning Creek Shoaling Removal – Inspection reports on the levee system have noted that the accumulation of sediment in Mahoning Creek should be removed to improve the flow of the creek and increase the creek’s water storage capacity.  This is a very expensive endeavor.  Grant applications have been submitted to the PA Department of Community and Economic Development’s Flood Mitigation Program and to the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener program. The Borough has been awarded $200,000 from the DCED Flood Mitigation Program for the work.  We will await the outcome of the Growing Greener grant application prior to beginning any work.

2.       Canal Park Construction – the Borough has been awarded a grant through the DCED Keystone Communities Program to cover approximately one half of the cost of construction at Canal Park. We have applied for a grant through the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to match the Keystone Grant to cover the remaining project cost.

3.       Planting Trees – Bloomsburg University students prepared a tree inventory and report for the Borough during last semester.  This report, along with guidance from the Penn State Cooperative Extension team was used to guide application for TreeVitalize grant funding to purchase 13 new trees that would be planted in public spaces including Market Square and/or F.Q. Hartman Recreation Area. 

4.       Bridges over Sechler Run – We have applied for DCED Multimodal Transportation Grant program funding to make improvements to the bridges that span Sechler Run on Railroad Street, Pine Street, Ferry Street, Church Street and Rooney Avenue.  The most pressing of these projects is the Railroad Street Bridge due to the volume of heavy traffic that traverses the bridge daily.  The Railroad Street project also includes construction of sidewalks from Walnut St. to the current sidewalk near Market Street.

RAILROAD CROSSINGS GETTING AN UPGRADE

Four railroad crossings in the Borough will be getting signal upgrades, and one crossing will be signalized, in 2019.  The crossings at Mill Street, Ferry Street, Pine Street, and Church Street are all scheduled for installation of new, upgraded active traffic control devices.  Signalization will be added at Jacobs Alley as well.  When this project is complete, all railroad crossings in the Borough will be signalized, improving the safety for our residents and those traveling through the Borough.  

CROSSWALKS PAINTED NEAR LIBRARY


Walking to the library just got easier! New crosswalks have been painted to allow for improved access to the Thomas Beaver Free Library.  In August, Borough Council approved painting crosswalks on East Market Street and on Ferry Street.

 DANVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT LADDER TRUCK CAMPAIGN


The Danville Fire Department is beginning the process to secure funding for the purchase of a new ladder truck.  The current ladder truck was purchased in 2002.  This apparatus is reaching the end of its 20 year lifespan, as dictated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.  Even though the current ladder truck is maintained in excellent condition, it continues to depreciate in value while the cost of replacement continues to rise. The Danville Fire Department and Danville Borough Council have started to brainstorm ideas in search of avenues to fund the replacement of the fire department’s aging ladder truck. The cost of the current ladder truck new in 2002 was $637,000. With the increasing costs due to inflation, it would now cost $1.3 million to purchase this same ladder truck. The fire department’s executive committee recently met with the Borough Council Fire Safety Committee to discuss options of how to fund the replacement of the ladder truck.  The ladder truck is an essential part of the firefighting equipment in a community that has large buildings such as industrial complexes, multi-story office, churches, schools, hospitals, townhouses, as well as residential units above businesses in the downtown business district. All of Montour County relies on this indispensable apparatus because it is the only ladder truck in Montour County, and only piece that can fight fire and access emergency situations in the multi-story properties as well as Geisinger Medical Center. The ladder truck provides elevated master streams, access to higher elevations for rescue, safe means of roof ventilation along with a variety of other uses on the fire ground.  In the coming months, the Borough and the Fire Department will be soliciting support for this purchase from both our residents and our surrounding townships, local businesses, the School District, Geisinger, and foundations, such as the Greater Susquehanna Community Foundation and Degenstein Foundation.  We will also apply for any grant opportunities to fund this necessary piece of emergency equipment.  Thank you very much for your support of the Danville Fire Department.  If you have any questions, please contact Fire Chief Ken Strausser at (570)854-8977.