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Nicholson Borough Council accepted a $79,686.68 bid from Neal-Lynn Inc. in Luzerne last Tuesday (Sept. 3) for its Horton Creek project.

With funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation Service, council plans to have riprap installed along sections of the creek.

NRCS Supervisory District Conservationist Michael Hanawalt was present on Tuesday for the sealed bid opening process.

“I just want to thank the borough for being a sponsor for our emergency watershed protection program,” Hanawalt told council.

Council members also opened sealed bids from Rutledge Excavating and Pioneer Construction Company Inc. on Tuesday, but ultimately chose Neal-Lynn, the lowest bidder.

The project has been estimated to come in at $73,406.67, Hanawalt said.

Council agreed to cover the roughly $6,000 difference between the estimate and the bid if Nicholson Borough does not receive funding to cover the whole cost for the project.

Council vice president David Noakes and Nicholson Mayor Charlie Litwin were absent on Tuesday.

After Neal-Lynn receives its award letter and gets its required documents submitted, the project could move forward.

Once Neal-Lynn begins working at the creek, the company has 22 days to complete the project.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, council members appointed three members to the Nicholson Borough Planning Commission: Wayne Beers, Bruce Herron and Randy Stull.

According to council president Dawn Bell, the commission has been inactive, with all seats previously expiring.

Solicitor Paul Litwin reminded that since Clinton Township wants to amend the zoning ordinance, the new planning commission members should meet to discuss any additional changes since it’s more efficient and cost effective to make several amendments at once.

Council members also discussed the Streetscape project meant to fix Nicholson Borough’s sidewalks.

Council member John Bower said most property owners living on streets slated for the project have signed off on agreements allowing entrance to their property, as well as releasing PennDOT and the borough from any liability.

The general consensus among owners so far has been to fill in any vaults on their properties, though a separate agreement would be necessary once work actually begins, Bower said.

Council hopes to advertise for bids this fall and break ground on the project in the spring.

He also suggested to council that long term planning about repairs to Walnut Street should be considered.

Last month, Bell said Davis Tree Care in Factoryville gave her an estimate for removing six problematic trees in the borough, two of which had a larger expense for being near power lines.

Treesmiths in Spring Brook Township plans to remove these two trees, but won’t clean them up.

Bell noted that if somebody doesn’t take the trees for wood, Davis could clean them up for a cost.

“It’s going to be a lot cheaper,” she said.

After hiring Bureau Veritas as the borough’s code enforcement officer last month, council accepted and signed an official agreement with the company on Tuesday.

Council also approved covering a $5 fee for any councilor looking to attend a convention on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Before adjourning, council held an executive session to discuss personnel matters, as well as another upcoming project regarding the pedestrian bridge.

Nicholson Borough Council is scheduled to meet again on Monday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.