BROOKVILLE – Brookville Council was visited by Boy Scout Troop 64 on Tuesday as they attended the council meeting to earn their communication badges and ask if the dam would ever be open for swimming or if another site bathing area would be open in the future. .
Troop leader Don Musgrave said the troop asked the question together because some of them grew up swimming in the dam and Scouts have used it for about 15 years for many purposes.
This question led the council to take stock of the community pool project and the current grant application. Council Vice President Karen Allgeier responded to the question, saying the borough applied for and received a grant for the planning phases of the pool project.
“At this time, we have hired a designer based on what the grant has provided us with, to provide us with a plan that would include a swimming pool and the revitalization and reuse of Longview Park,” Allgeier said.
She also spoke about the future of the dam and the Walter Dick Memorial Park located there. She said council would discuss later in the meeting a grant to repair the swing bridge, or pedestrian bridge, which has been closed for a year from this month.
Regarding swimming at the dam, Allgeier said the Department of Natural Resources Conservation lowers the amount of E Coli allowed in the water each year, making it increasingly difficult to keep the dam open for swimming.
“…and it’s hard to hire lifeguards knowing they can only work six days all summer because of E Coli levels. So right now we’re not looking at whether the dam can be open or not because again they keep dropping levels which means you really don’t have to be in the water that’s why we are pursuing this grant opportunity to provide a beautiful park of recreation with a swimming pool in Longview, and take this underutilized park and make it a vibrant center for young people and townspeople,” Allgeier said.
The Boy Scouts also had the opportunity to ask any questions they had of the council. Scout Ethan Gray asked what the process was for becoming a council member, to which council chairman Phil Hyes answered for them. Many council members thanked the Boy Scouts for coming and participating in the meeting.
Allgeier also said the borough hired MKSK as the designer and architect for the initial work on the plans. Councilman David Taylor later said it was the same company that did the town square, calling them “highly skilled professionals from Columbus, Ohio”, and said they expected a good results.
Allgeier also encouraged Boy Scouts to attend public meetings after the plans are completed, explaining that the community can comment on what they like and dislike about the plans. She said she hoped to see the scouts review the plans and give their input on how to make the park a place they would like to go.
Borough attorney Jim Dennison also said this was just the planning phase and after that the council would be looking for more grants and money to build the pool. and new park elements.
“It is one thing Scouts can learn from this meeting that even with the best of intentions, local governments cannot act so quickly. It takes time,” Hynes said.
Musgraves then asked if the construction of the new Interstate 80 bridges had anything to do with the bridge’s renovation schedule. Dennison responded, saying the council tried to get PennDOT to include the pedestrian bridge in plans to remove the bridge, but were unsuccessful.
Later, during the Borough Director’s report, Director Dana Rooney presented the T-Mobile Hometown grant for the swing bridge. She sought approval to submit the grant and recommended that council approve a resolution stating that if it received the grant, the borough would commit to matching the additional funds to guarantee the project’s completion.
Resolution 583-21 states that the borough is requesting a $50,000 hometown grant from T-Mobile for the rehabilitation of the swing bridge, and that the borough is allocating local resources for the remaining costs of the projects, estimated at $100,000. The board approved this resolution.
Rooney later said the extra money could also come from other grants or could be taken from US bailout funds.
“As far as T-Mobile is concerned, the borough itself has to personally guarantee that the money will be there. There are other grants I have that might be able to fund this eventually. So I plan to apply for these and pursue them, but ultimately T-Mobile is concerned that if no further grant funds are ever secured, will the borough confirm that the remainder of the money is there to make sure the project gets done,” Rooney said.
She said that if the borough goes ahead with the project now and has a brand new pedestrian bridge, and PennDOT ruins it by dropping the old I-80 bridge on it, PennDOT will have to install another brand new bridge anyway. .
Rooney also said that PennDOT guaranteed access to the road leading to the dam throughout the project as it is the only access to the water plant. She said there will be times when the park will be closed to the public, but there will still be road access.