Curwensville Mayor Raises Concerns Regarding Recent Demolition of Houses in Arnoldtown

(Photo by Wendy Brion)

CURWENSVILLE – During Monday night’s Curwensville Borough Council meeting, Mayor John Adams brought up an issue of concern regarding the recent demolition of houses in Arnoldtown.

Three houses were recently condemned and demolished in the little settlement along the Clearfield-Curwensville Highway earlier this year by Smeal Enterprises.

Adams asked if there had been any kind of a signed contract between the borough and the contractor or if it had only been an agreement by phone.

Secretary Autumn Norris explained that once the bids were reviewed and Smeal was approved, she called and told the contractor they had been awarded the bid, but there had not been a contract.

Council President Sara Curulla added that the borough has always had a policy of operating on the “honor system” for such things.

Adams had a solicitor-prepared document that detailed things a contractor would need to agree to before taking on a demolition project, including the type of fill used, evidence of how material was disposed of and so on.

He said upon visiting the site he noted pieces of steel sticking out, linoleum, rock, stone, wood and other items.

Curulla asked him if he knew about this document before, why he didn’t bring it up to council. Adams replied that he assumed it was something everyone had as he had been given it when he became mayor as part of his packet.

He continued to express concern, adding that if the contractor wasn’t aware of these expectations, it reflected on the borough. He said it was a poor way of running things.

Council member Tom Carfley expressed surprise that there hadn’t been a contract. He said that, as a businessman, he makes sure to have a contract for every transaction of business, no matter how small, in order to protect himself and the customer.

After some additional discussion, it was suggested that the contractor could be contacted and asked to address any problems, and then council moved on to other business.

A couple of other items were approved by council during the meeting.

Council approved start of construction on a pavilion in Irvin Park by Lezzer Lumber at a cost of $1,700. The borough will use money from the park fund and also donations to help pay for the structure.

Also, council approved renting “space” on a tower for a repeater system for the radios used by borough crew.  Foreman Denny Curry explained that the radios are not strong enough as it is and a repeater system would widen the range. The cost would be $50 per month or $600 per year.

At the suggestion of Carfley, the council voted to hire a contractor to mow lawns at abandoned properties and send the bill to property owners, freeing the borough crew for other work.

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