County backs Clarion Borough Second Avenue project

Clarion County commissioners threw their support behind Clarion Borough’s Second Avenue project at their meeting Tuesday.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to send a letter to PennDOT backing the borough’s application for grant funding through PennDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program that will go toward the borough’s safe route to school and recreation project.

The commissioners said in the letter the borough, with funds from the program, will undertake a “comprehensive reconstruction of non-motorized transportation infrastructure along Second Avenue, thereby increasing safety for students, pedestrians and other users of non-motorized transportation options while also improving the aesthetics of the community.”

The letter said that in recent years, “it has become apparent that sidewalks within the borough have become deteriorated and uneven along Second Avenue. Along some portions of Second Avenue, sidewalks do not even exist.”

The commissioners said the pedestrian infrastructure along the street poses an “immense safety hazard for students, pedestrians, cyclists and individuals with mobility issues.”

Second Avenue is a direct route to Clarion Area Junior/Senior High School and will also provide access to the anticipated Clarion Multi-Generational Park.

“These two destinations make safety along Second Avenue a paramount concern for the community,” the commissioners said. “Enhanced pedestrian amenities are needed to improve Second Avenue’s safety, walkability and accessibility.”

The commissioners said the project will address these issues through improvements to non-motorized transportation infrastructure along Second Avenue and Main Street, including replacement of sidewalks, improvement of ramps and crosswalks to ADA compliance, enhancement of curb cuts, enhancement of lighting and signage, and addressing stormwater-related issues.

“The borough is proposing an impactful investment in the safety and walkability of its residential and downtown areas,” the commissioners said. “As our county seat, the well-being of the borough and its residents have a profound impact on the entirety of Clarion County.”

The amount of the grant request wasn’t provided by the commissioners.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners hired Shippenville resident Sarah Schettler as the county’s new Human Services director.

Schettler is a graduate of Union High School and PennWest University-Clarion.

Dan Blose was appointed the interim warden at the county jail.

Blose was the deputy warden under warden Jeff Hornberger, who resigned earlier this month.

Commissioners also signed an agreement with the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry for use of Veterans Park for the Autumn Leaf Festival.

Commissioner Ted Tharan said the vendors must put down plywood, they can’t dump any grease in the park, and any damage must be repaired.

The commissioners accepted a bid of $641,000 from Jamestown Roofing for the roof at the Clarion County jail.

And they also accepted a $63,500 bid from IA Construction for tar and chipping the parking lot at the Clarion County Sorce building in Shippenville.

Commissioners will next meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26.