DANVILLE — The Montour County commissioners awarded more than $2.6 million in contracts earlier this week for the building renovation and realignment project.

Commissioner Chairman Ken Holdren said the county will save more than $100,000 because the commissioners rebid the project.

The project includes converting the former Danville Elementary School into a county annex, boiler replacement and renovations at the courthouse and at the county jail and moving the district judge office to the courthouse from it current location off Woodbine Lane. The county hopes to sell two properties along Woodbine Lane.

"These bids did come in lower than the first round," Holdren said during the commissioners meeting on Tuesday.

The county received 14 proposals in February, which the commissioners rejected in April because the officials hoped to save the taxpayers money by receiving more offers. Those low bids totaled $2,760,382, the commissioner said. 

He said the county officials modified the specifications and rebid the project. Last week, they opened 22 bids for various parts of the project. The contracts awarded on Tuesday totaled $2,629,800.

The commissioners awarded the contracts to the following companies:

Site work, Gray Builders, whose base bid was $257,900; general construction, eciConstruction, $1,599,700; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), LTS Plumbing & Heating, $455,000; electrical, Hayden Power Group, $238,800; and plumbing, Bechdel Plumbing & Heating, $78,400.

 

Seeking funding

In other business, the commissioners approved Danville Borough's request to reallocate $80,204 in 2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds designated for the Mulberry Street culvert replacement to instead use toward the Mill Street beautification project. The borough wants to use the money to move a UGI gas line as part of developing Canal Park.

Kristin McLaughlin of the SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG), said the Mulberry Street project will require more funding than is currently available.

The commissioners also voted to apply for $1.63 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help the county residents and businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. They also approved applying for CARES funds for rent relief on behalf of the county Human Services Department. The amount of those funds has not been determined, Commissioner Trevor Finn said.

McLaughlin told the commissioners the deadline has been extended to apply for the $166,152 the county also is due to receive in CDBG funds related to the CARES Act. The deadline was moved from July 31 to Aug. 31. Finn said the project selection is now July 28 and the final public hearing Aug. 25.

 

Lagging response

Holdren reported Montour County is lagging behind the national and state in U.S. Census responses at 57.3 percent. The national response rate is 61.4 percent and Pennsylvania's is 64.7 percent, he said.

He urged residents to fill out the U.S. Census form and return it. He said census-takers will begin visiting homes that have not responded by mid to late August.

"This is critical for our funding for programs," Holdren said, noting the Census results will determine funding for the next 10 years.

The commissioners also:

Approved the 2020-2021 Human Services Plan.

Approved an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of State for internet security services at no additional cost.

Agreed to allocate $12,000 in hotel tax funds to the Danville Business Alliance.

Approved the purchase of a 2019 Ford F-350 through the state COSTARS program for $45,551 from the capital reserve fund. The vehicle is needed to replace a maintenance vehicle involved in a crash, Finn said.

Accepted the resignations of Angela Miller as part-time deputy coroner and Valerie Mazol as deputy register of wills. The commissioners affirmed the hiring of Alese Fitzgerald to replace Mazol at $21,000 a year.

Agreed to the hiring of Jeremiah Rockwell as a full-time correctional officer at $14.29 an hour. 

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