The Tyrone Borough Council met for their monthly meeting on Monday evening and decided to lease out additional parking spaces in the lot located between Gardner’s Candies and the borough building. These leases will be available beginning July 1 and are being issued on a trial basis. The decision came after a lengthy deliberation that considered the growth of Tyrone’s downtown area and the need for additional parking.

Marvin Frizzel, the Tyrone Borough code enforcement officer, cautioned council members on leasing out too many additional spaces, explaining that if you take too many spaces at once “You’ve crippled how many businesses, just to help out one or two.”

Frizzel continued by suggesting fewer parking spaces and the trial basis that council ultimately decided on. Frizzel elaborated by advocating for council members to, “Give up one row, not two,” and continued by warning that taking more than one row will “force all of the businesses on 10th street into one single row.”

Terry Richardson, council member, agreed with Frizzel, stating that, “You take anything off that island, you’re hurting the daycare, Gardners, and every other business downtown.”

David Snyder, a current council member, provided a counterpoint by explaining, “The main issue we [are] discussing is how many spots are we going going to allow one single entity to lease.” Snyder continued to explain that opening spots is all well and good, but the larger businesses will buy up as many spots as they are allowed, leaving smaller businesses in the same spot they are now.

Richardson suggested the borough repave the lot next to the VFW, but explained that even that solution is not a perfect one. “I’ve had complaints about there being no lighting there, so you’ll have to put at least one big light in there.”

Council members ultimately decided to release one additional row in the parking lot, on a trial basis. The trial will begin on July 1 and last throughout the quarter. Parking spaces are leased for $20 a month, coming to a grand total of $60 for the entire quarter. The motion to lease the parking spots was passed, it’s only opposition being council member Charles Mills, who expressed concerns over getting rid of any parking spaces downtown.

The board was also approached by Tina Enderlein, a representative for the Blair County Planning Commission. Enderlein was requesting permission to move forward to commission a map of the downtown area, designating a walking path to promote healthy activities. The route is approved by the planning commission, who will provide the maps, as well as signs that identify the route along the sidewalks. While the signs will be provided by the planning commission, the poles to place the signs will have to come from the borough.

Enderlein explained that, “We are asking that the borough provide the labor and the poles for the signs,” continuing that, “we also coordinate a kickoff event in conjunction with another community event so that residents are aware of the route.”

Overall, the board supported the proposal, but had some concerns with the route, which runs along Pennsylvania Ave. Ardean Latchford, the borough manager, suggested that the council contact PennDOT before approving it. Latchford suggested, “Make the motion contingent upon PennDOT’s approval.”

Other members of the council agreed and the motion was passed unanimously, contingent on the response from PennDOT.

The council was also approached by Sarah Wilson, the president of Chief Logan Archers. Wilson questioned council members on the process of putting in a bid for land the borough is interested in selling. The Council Solicitor, Daniel L. Stants, clarified that Wilson will have to research the state statues in order to get a better understanding of what to expect once the borough begins accepting bids.

Latchford added that once the land is opened to bidding, all interested parties will have three weeks to place their bids. Wilson explained that they are expecting a surveyor to investigate a discrepancy between the borough and the Cheif Logan Archers understanding of the lane and intends on reporting back to the borough with the surveyor’s report.

Council members also answered questions from resident Eric DiMemmo, who was gauging interest in a public transportation system being installed in the Tyrone area.

DiMemmo explained he is simply asking about the, “Feasibility of a public transportation system for our town.” He continued to explain, “A place like the village pantry is a 1.4 mile walk from town. We have a lot of elderly people and a lot of disabled people in town.”

DiMemmo continued by explaining that the existing program only goes to the hospital and only runs Monday through Friday, and told council, “I don’t know how all the logeistics would work, but it’s something that we need.”

Robert Dollar, the councilmen who was running the meeting in absence of Mayor Bill Latchford, expressed genuine interest in the possibility, calling the idea, “Really great food for thought.” Dollar clarified, however, “As far as feasibility, I don’t know.”

DiMemmo expressed interest in doing further research on the subject and members were open to the idea of hearing what he is able to uncover. DiMemmo concluded by explaining he plans to return to a future council meeting with his findings.

Joe Miller can be reached at jmiller@thedailyherald.net.

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