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Ready for winter

Contract renewed to plow state roads within the city

August 25, 2010
The City of Warren has reached an agreement renewal with the PennDOT, providing funding for state road maintenance. At its meeting earlier this month, city council voted unanimously to approve the agreement. It requires the city to perform winter services on state roads within the city. Department of Public Works Director Michael Holtz said the city would provide ice and snow control with the use of salt. Every five years, Holtz said the city renews its agreement. Council Vice President Maurice Cashman asked what happens if the city suffers a severe winter. Officials receive the money, Holtz said, and hope it covers their need. “Some years you win and some you lose,” Holtz said. “So far our supply looks okay.” Holtz said the city has entered into the agreements for more than 20 years. This year, he said PennDOT will pay the city $22,500 for the first year which will increase to $25,300 by the final year of the agreement. The increase adjusts for the cost of salt and materials, Holtz said, and comes from a set formula. In Warren, he said state roads make up 13.5 miles and include Pennsylvania Ave., Park Ave. and Market St. On rare occasions, Holtz said the state can give additional funds for severe winters. However, he said the city does not have to return money in the case of mild weather. “We usually use most of it,” Holtz said. “We don’t carve out what goes to state roads and what goes to city roads.” Officials have signed the agreement, Holtz said, which they will send to PennDOT’s district office in Oil City. PennDOT Warren County Maintenance Manager Wes Hess said department officials have contacted all municipalities in the county. In addition to Warren, Pine Grove, Freehold, Elk, Pleasant, Conewango, Mead, Farmington and Columbus townships all have agreements with the department, he said. Agreements require municipal workers to maintain state roads up to state standards, Hess said. If the department and municipalities cannot reach an agreement, he said department workers maintain their own roads. PennDOT extends the option to all municipalities, Hess said, as long as officials have the ability to perform the required work. A township which only has gravel roads would have to consider purchasing salt, he said. Department officials monitor the agreements, Hess said, and make sure the municipal workers perform the required work. Besides payment, he said the department would consider sharing services with municipalities.


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