COAL TOWNSHIP — Coal Township commissioners approved the only bid submitted for the construction of the Arch Street playground Thursday night that is approximately $50,000 more than the budgeted amount for the project.

Commissioners Craig Fetterman, Gene Welsh, Bernie Rumberger, George Zalar and Matt Schiccatano approved a bid of $251,445 from Blue Ridge Excavating of Coal Township for the playground that will be constructed in front of a new recreation facility being built at the site of the former playground.

Township Manager Rob Slaby said the budget amount for the playground is $201,000.

The commissioners plan to make revisions to their original playground plans and work with the contractor to bring the total cost within the budgeted amount.

In a related matter, Zalar reported volunteers plan to resume work on the new recreation facility the first week of August.

The board approved the sale of 806 W. Mulberry St. to John P. Krebs for $1,170 and 1041 W. Water St. to Eileen Schiazza for $2,001.25.

Patrick and Jane Mack submitted a bid for 1041 W. Water St. for $501.

The township previously had the properties demolished.

No bids were submitted for demolished properties at 1008 W. Lynn St., 1657 Webster St. and 337-339 Main St., Ranshaw. The township will re-bid those properties.

The commissioners approved the purchase of 501 Main St., Ranshaw, 556 N. First St., 1204-1206 Tioga St., 1435 Pulaski Ave., and 1537 Wabash St. for $1 each plus costs from Northumberland County Tax Claims Bureau.

The board made its annual matching contribution of $2,943 for participation in the Lower Anthracite Transportation System (LATS).

Rumberger commended recently retired Detective Jeff Brennan and Patrolman Chad Yoder for their dedicated service to the township. Brennan and Yoder were Coal Township police officers for 24 and 20 years, respectively.

At the end of the meeting, Janell Schickley, of 1039 W. Water St., complained about the foundation of her home being damaged and water leaking into her basement as a result of an attached blighted property at 1041 W. Water St. being razed last fall.

Schickley said her furnace was broken as a result of the demolition work and claimed township officials have not done anything to resolve her problems.

Slaby said the township had the wall on Schickley’s property insulated and sheathed and replaced the foundation wall with cinder block.

The township hired Affordable Construction and Demolition owned by Robert Knoeppel of Coal Township to demolish the blighted structure.

Solicitor Vince Rovito advised Schickley to file a formal complaint with the township with photographs depicting the alleged damage. He said the complaint will then be forwarded by the township to Knoeppel’s insurance company.

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