Big Changes Underway in Downtown Laceyville

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Laceyville Borough Council members Mary Robinson (left) and Randy Brigham have been working with PennDOT to plan a smooth transition for Maple Street (background) from two- to one-way traffic, which should begin by summer.

Photo and Story by Rick Hiduk

(Also published in the Rocket-Courier)

To alleviate safety issues and create additional parking in the Laceyville business district, the borough council agree on April 3 to change the traffic flow of Maple Street below Main Street. Borough council president Randy Brigham reported that he had met with Wendy Kelley of PennDOT’s LTAP (Legal Technical Assistance Program) and was convinced that making Maple Street one way from Franklin Street north to Main Street will solve a number of problems.

I didn’t think it was a good idea at first,” Brigham said of a concept that has been discussed by the council several times over the past six months. The troubles with two way traffic include the fact that most patrons of Lech’s Pharmacy turn down Maple Street and park diagonally toward the building. Not only do the back ends of the vehicles technically sit in an intended traffic lane, which is illegal, there is not enough room to back out safely nor can drivers coming up Maple Street see around them to safely pull out on to Main Street.

The alley behind the Goodwill Fire Company and the businesses facing Main Street will remain two-way, and there will be no changes in the mail route. Additionally, council member Mary Robinson noted, there will be a few new parking spaces at the lower end of Maple Street on the west side. LTAP will continue to guide the borough as to what signage will be needed to complete the transition, which will be official after council passes an ordinance.

A change that is already obvious to residents and visitors to Laceyville is the openness of the block of Main Street between Maple and Church streets since the removal of three blighted pear trees on the south side of the street. The trees were cut nearly flush to the ground by Brown Hill Tree Service and will be replaced by large flower pots that Mayor Phil Brewer has volunteered to plant and maintain. Brigham has suggested applying a stump removal agent to prevent any regrowth of what remains. Council member Henry Laboranti and his wife, Karen, have volunteered to give several monuments and signs around town a good scrubbing before summer.

Also on the spring “to do” list in Laceyville is the cleaning out of gutters and street sides, which was contracted to Bob Clark & Sons, and brush cutting in June. Brigham has made arrangements with Braintrim Township officials to share the cost of a brush cutter for a day and will seek permission from Lehigh Railroad to keep clear a right-of-way that runs parallel to Main Street in the area of Laceyville Lumber in the event that access for emergency vehicles should be needed.

Under the topic of water and sewer, the borough will spend about a thousand dollars on a comprehensive water test that is required every three years, and flushing of fire hydrants over the next month will result in temporary loss of pressure for some residents. Council also approved a design change for the water system to make use of a grant that was soon to expire.

Council was happy to report that the old police cruiser had been sold to an unnamed buyer for three hundred dollars. Officer Kevin Costello made note that burning trash in the borough is illegal and violators are subject to five hundred dollar fines. The situation was brought to light recently when a resident was found to be burning plastic.

In other police department news, Laceyville borough has entered discussions with the Wyalusing Valley School District to have Costello make occasional, low-impact visits to the school – namely driving through and parking for short periods of time on the school campus. There are no plans at this time for him to make any direct contact with students or faculty when he is there. School administrators said on Monday evening that the details have yet to be worked out between the two entities, after which the school board will still need to approve it.

Last but not least, Carol Davis was appointed deputy tax collector for the borough, providing backup for her daughter, tax collector Kara Davis. Carol has served as tax collector in nearby Windham Township for many years and is the deputy tax collector for other municipalities.

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