Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Third Street Funding in Jeopardy – PennDot funding on verge of expiring!

PennDot Funding for 3rd St. bridge/dam quickly slipping away
In recent days there have been a lot of conversations going on in regard to the inaction by Borough Council on Third Street,  Bridge, thus bringing Democrats, Republicans and Independents together to find a solution.  I was alarmed to hear that nothing has been done by this group since the April vote 5-2 that was in favor of the design and moving forward with the project.  I’m told that letters, calls and emails have gone unanswered by Borough Council on issues pertaining to status updates and the EAP Emergency Action Plan that is the vital next step in this project.  It should have been completed months ago, yet borough council isn’t sure when it will be finished!  Council President, Brian Hall even mentioned the project was sliding backwards just last month!

What’s worse, is that the infighting among borough council members has gotten so bad, that no one is talking or moving this project forward.  If my understanding is correct, the funding provided by PennDot is expected to expire in less than 60 days and borough council is stuck at an impasse.  The consequences of missing this deadline is dire.  Media will not only be held in contemp of court and sued, but will be responsible for paying the millions of dollars to fix one of Pennsylvania’s most hazardous dams.  It’s illogical, if not shocking to think Media Borough Council is threatening a legal and financial disaster at the cost of pandering to a special interest group.  Will the FROGs make up the lost funding and pay for lawsuits should Media decide to let the funding expire?

There will be a Council Workshop meeting at 7pm, Thursday 9/6 on the 2nd flr  (Borough offices) to discuss the current status of the bridge.  I hope people plan to attend to voice their concern.  In the mean time, please feel free to leave comments on this matter.  


  1. If as bad as it seems, this council needs to explain its self.

  2. If they lose the funding and we have to pay for it, they'll have a much BIGGER problem than whatever it is they can't currently agree upon.

    With regards,

    Media Taxpayer and Voter!

  3. Gov. Corbett must take over the 3rd Street Bridge project, using his emergency and public safety powers. That is the only way it is going to forward now. Sad.

  4. Has a deadline been missed or are these unfounded accusations? Governor Corbett might be interested to learn about a multi-million tax dollar high hazard dam to impound a private lake in Delaware County.

  5. No deadline has been missed, Anonymous September 6, 2012 12:59 PM, though this is not an unfounded report. Let's try to avoid making any "accusations" here. Although, as always, name-calling and schoolyard rhymes are allowed. Thanks to Tedman for bringing this to light.

    I think Council does need to explain itself, Anonymous September 5, 2012 11:54 AM. They refused to do that once again last night with regard to the funding. I think someone should demand an explanation at the next Legislative session on September 20. Please get on this, Tedman!

    Funding for this project is entirely Media's responsibility; anything we can't get from the State is 'on us'. Council has been criticised for having chosen the most expensive option available to them, but they feel this necessary in order to fulfill their obligations to the swim club so that they will not get sued.

    The County made a grant to the borough some time ago in the amount of $75,000 for design fees. That money is gone.

    PennDOT will pay 80%, but schedules their projects years in advance. Earlier this year, BC scrambled to keep their position in the 2013 budget "The TIP" but continued to squabble amongst themselves as this passed. We'll have another opportunity to get on the next TIP in 2015. Since it takes 12-18 months (at least) to get a Class 1 dam permit from DEP, this timing simply makes sense.

    The State has awarded an Economic Stimulus ("RAC-P") grant in the amount of $650,000. This is often referred to as "the other 20%", but it doesn't get any bigger as costs go higher--and they're rapidly stacking up to $5 million, not the $3.2MM figure from years ago that led to the "twenty percent" $650K (read "Fully funded") amount. The problem we have now is that part of the funding is set to expire in late October. And yes, that's October 2012.
    The funding expires because, as part of economic stimulus for the State, it needs to be spent--otherwise the State doesn't get any stimulation! Borough council is now scrambling to apply for a 6-month extension to the grant (which can only be used for construction, not planning). The grant comes in the form of a complex, 40-page document with all kinds of requirements, including requirement that nobody sues. (Interested parties can request a copy of the grant from borough manager Jeff Smith at Ask for contract #ME300-1174, FC#4100059809.)
    Funds are disbursed (reimbursed)over a ten-month period after completion and settlement of all aspects of the project. I may be going out on a limb a bit here, but it would appear that we're going to need to hope for a lot of six-month extensions! And even upon completion, the State can opt to not pay, at their discretion and for any reason, per the contract. (Interested parties can request a copy of the grant contract from borough manager Jeff Smith at Ask for contract #ME300-1174, FC#4100059809.)

    I was reminded by President Hall last night, yet again, that "brevity is the soul of wit". In keeping with this forum, and Teddy bear that I am, and with neither stick nor stone I will delare:

    This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home;
    this little piggy had dam and dread, this little piggy had none;
    ...and this is one little piggy that just ain't gonna fly....