CLEARFIELD – Denny Shaffner addressed the Clearfield Borough Council on behalf of the Clearfield Historical Society regarding the downtown streetscape project. He reported they’ve reviewed the plans and concluded Clearfield’s Historical District won’t be impacted by the proposed changes.
Operations Manager Leslie Stott pointed out that PennDOT requires environmental impact clearances for the project, which include any impact on historical sites. She said the society property will lose its brick sidewalk on Front Street, which will be replaced with cement sidewalks. She noted the Pine Street sidewalk at the site will not be replaced and will remain brick.
Shaffner said the society’s main concern with the streetscape project is aesthetics. He said the society was ready to sign off on the PennDOT clearances.
Rodney Jenkins, engineer with Stiffler, McGraw and Associates Inc. presented the completed plans for the Streetscape project. He highlighted several of the changes included in the $3 million project. He said 85 LED energy efficient streetlights will be added, matching what is already in place. He said the lights will require 8.8 miles of copper wire, which will be all underground. He added that 22 metal light poles will be removed, along with most of the overhead lines.
Jenkins said 1.6 acres of design stamped concrete will replace 1.5 miles of sidewalk. Eighty-seven current trees will be removed and 108 new trees will be planted.
Stott noted the new trees are pre-approved by the Shade Tree Commission, and comply with the borough’s ordinances. She said there will be four varieties of trees that are categorized as “utili-trees,” including Cleveland Pear, hornbeam, lilac and ginkgo.
Councilman James Kling asked if water ponding at the intersections would be addressed with the new ADA compliant sidewalks. Jenkins said they did their best in the plans to eliminate that problem.
A copy of the Streetscape plans is available for view at the borough office. Stott announced that the borough, Clearfield Revitalization Corp. and Clearfield Chamber of Commerce will hold a “Coffee and Conversation” session on March 6 for all properties involved to review and discuss the project.
Fire Chief Todd Kling asks residents to put up visible house numbers, which are a great time saver for emergency services and a time waster if they can’t be found. He suggests calling the Borough Code office if residents need to verify their house number. He also said anyone needing help installing house numbers can call the Clearfield Fire Department.
Resident Jim Leitzinger addressed council, saying he’s upset about Clearfield Hospital closing its maternity ward. He said for the past 60 years, millions of dollars have been poured into Clearfield Hospital, but since the merger with Penn Highlands Healthcare, Clearfield Hospital keeps downsizing. He noted these changes are affecting employment in the area, as well as healthcare.
Councilman James Kling said he spoke to a hospital board member about the changes. He noted the council is only involved with financing matters with the hospital.