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Pike still awaiting state bridge decision

Robert Ruiz was appointed director of Pike County’s transportation and human development offices at the commissioners’ November 16 meeting. Ruiz, whose appointment took effect on Nov. 21, replaces Christine Kerstetter in these positions and will be paid $55,000.
TRR photo by David Hulse

By DAVID HULSE
November 22, 2016

MILFORD, PA — Pike County is still awaiting PennDOT confirmation about its share of the costs for restoration of Milford’s Mott Street Bridge.

“We’re working on it,” Commissioners’ Chair Matt Osterberg said as the commissioners met on November 16.

The county has so far spent about $150,000 for engineering on the project, $85,000 coming from the National Park Service, and has $465,000 more in grant funding. But the project is expected to cost $1.8 million, and PennDOT has not yet made a final commitment on the remaining costs.

The commissioners also hosted a public hearing on final disposition of 2013 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Christine Kerstetter, out-going director of the county’s transportation and human development offices, announced deletions including $33,000 for a proposed shelter generator in Matamoras, after it was found that the building would not accommodate it, and the $3,549.28 balance of funding for Shohola’s Rohman Park project.

Robert Ruiz was appointed as Kerstetter’s successor later in the meeting. He will be paid $55,000, without medical benefits, in the full-time position.

Robin LaDolce, director of the Pike County Area Agency on Aging, announced a new state-funded housing initiative to address an increasing need for affordable housing options for seniors and seniors with disabilities. The SHARE Program could also potentially expand to serve people under 60 years of age.

Pike has been chosen as a pilot county for SHARE, which will fund two counselors, who will match senior homeowners with available space in their homes with persons of all ages seeking affordable housing in Pike, Wayne and Monroe counties.

In other CDBG business, the commissioners approved a resolution approving the 2013 CDBG changes, authorized a letter to the Department of Community and Economic Development requesting an extension of the three-year completion deadline for the grant.

They authorized Osterberg’s approval of contracts for Ray Evans to consult on CDBG housing projects and for TCI Environmental Services for lead paint evaluation on CDBG housing projects.

Separately, the commissioners made several appointments to the Pike County Conservation District: Scott Savini as the board’s farmer director and Kelly Stagen as its public director to four-year terms, and Commissioner Rich Caridi as commissioner director to a new one-year term.