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Senator says sidewalk spat smoothed over

December 09, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Major points of contention between Washington Township, the Borough of Waynesboro and Renfrew Committee Inc. over a proposed $325,000 walkway linking the township and borough have been smoothed over, state Sen. Terry Punt said Friday.

The agreements came at a closed meeting of representatives of the three agencies Thursday night called by Punt.

Punt secured the federal and state money to build the walkway at the request of Washington Township. He threatened to pull the grants in October, he said, because of objections by Renfrew officials and the borough council, which is divided over the merits of the project.

Punt called Thursday's meeting "very productive."

He said he expects the project to move forward once Renfrew officials and the borough council give it their blessings.

"I want a decision from both by the end of the month," he said.

If both agencies approve, he will release the funds, he said.

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Renfrew's board, which runs the 107-acre park and museum, will vote on the project next week, Punt said.

The sidewalk would run for a mile from Waynesboro Mall in the borough's east end along the south side of Pa. 16 to Welty Road in Washington Township. It will pass by the YMCA, school property and through Renfrew park.

Renfrew officials feared they would be liable if someone was injured on the sidewalk in the park.

They also balked at the proposed location of a footbridge over the East Branch of Antietam Creek, which runs through the park, and over the loss of trees during construction.

Punt said all of Renfrew's objections were eliminated Thursday. He said most of them came about because of false information.

Renfrew is owned by the borough.

The borough council is split over the project.

The council president said Friday if the Renfrew Board gives its blessings to the sidewalk it has a good chance of winning council approval.

The council will vote on the sidewalk Dec. 18.

The Washington Township Supervisors asked Punt to find money for the walkway two years ago, saying it would eliminate a safety hazard for pedestrians who must walk along the dangerous stretch of road.

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