TOWANDA BOROUGH — The $1.4 million Towanda Borough 2020 budget includes major road work backed by PennDOT and start up money for the proposed Central Bradford County Trail among other new items said Borough Manager Kyle Lane in their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday evening.
Besides a one mill increase in the borough’s fire tax to pay for a new truck, no tax raises are included in the proposed budget.
The major road work in the borough will be along State Route 3020, which was relinquished by the state as a part of a PennDOT initiative to turn over downtown roads to boroughs, will be a total reclamation that includes digging out the road a foot deep and rebuilding it.
State Route 3020 begins at the intersection of Bridge Street and Third Street and includes two blocks of Third Street to Poplar Street, two blocks of Poplar Street to Convent Avenue, then a small portion of State Street to the borough line near Towanda Elementary School.
PennDOT has already provided the borough with the funds to complete the project. The council plans to bid out the project before Christmas in order to have the work completed by mid August.
Lane told the Review on Tuesday that the work will be done in areas where residents park in the streets. He said that the borough will try to accommodate everyone that is inconvenienced by the work but that some interruptions should be expected when the work is performed.
Also included in the 2020 budget will be the resurfacing of the tennis courts shared by Towanda School District and the borough. Both parties will share the costs. Hazard mitigation work on Cash Creek is also included in the budget.
In order to prove that the borough has “skin in the game,” $25K was also earmarked for possible studies for the Central Bradford County Trail according to Lane. The money is not certain to be used for the project, but Lane said that is was smart for the borough to have it ready for unforeseen studies to show how serious they are about the project.
The proposed trail would connect Monroe Borough and Township, Towanda Township and Borough, Wysox Township and North Towanda Township.
Towanda’s portion of the trail would connect the existing Merrill Parkway riverwalk into a loop around Towanda Borough. From the North Towanda end of the Riverwalk, the trail would continue adjacent to Patterson Boulevard to Route 220, then follow Route 220 south. The trail would continue to travel through Memorial Park, down through the borough and connect the loop at Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park.
For the Monroe and Towanda Township portion of the trail, starting at Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park the trail would run along Railroad Street, then parallel to the Towanda Airport east of South Main Street all of the way to Monroe Borough, where it follows Route 220 to Shaw Boulevard to the Monroeton Library on College Avenue.
The Wysox portion of the trail starts at Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park then crosses the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Bridge to East Towanda Park. From the park, the trail would go underneath the bridge along the Susquehanna River until near where Masonite Road and Leisure Drive meet in Wysox Township.
The proposed Towanda portion of the trail is 2.6 miles, Merrill Parkway Riverwalk is 1.9 miles, the Wysox portion including the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Bridge is 2.9 miles and the Monroeton portion is 4.3 miles, totaling 11.7 miles of trail. The current plan for the trail is to have either paved and/or gravel pathways and to allow bicycles on most parts of the trail. Motorized vehicles not used for disabled people would be prohibited.