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Chambersburg replaces, repairs and relocates sewer, water, gas lines

October 23, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- It has been a rough ride for downtown Chambersburg in recent weeks, one that will continue through the end of the year as the borough replaces, repairs and relocates aging sewer, water and gas lines prior to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation repaving U.S. 30 next year.

"We're squeezed by PennDOT's schedule to overlay U.S. 30 from Coldbrook Avenue to Sollenberger Road," Borough Manager Eric Oyer told about 20 people attending a town meeting hosted by Downtown Chambersburg Inc.

Utility lines are buried as deep as 18 feet below the surface and the sewer, water and gas lines are among the oldest in town, Oyer said. Lincoln Way West, which is part of U.S. 30, from the Memorial Square fountain west to Spring Street had one of its two lanes blocked off Wednesday as part of the utility line project, he said.

That section of underground work should be completed in a month, he said.

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About every six months, Downtown Chambersburg Inc. (DCI) sponsors a town meeting to update residents on efforts to revitalize the borough's commercial core. Oyer was invited by DCI President Paul Cullinane to brief residents on the utility work and other projects.

Asked about new streetlights, Oyer said those have been on hand for a while, but hit a snag when it was discovered the poles do not match the mounting brackets.

"We're going to make every effort to get this thing done by the end of the year," Oyer said of the lights.

Cullinane spoke about new businesses downtown, such as Cafe d'Italia and C&C Coffee Co., and renovations to properties up and down Main Street. The King Street School has been sold to King Street Church as part of its expansion, properties such as the Harmon building on North Main Street are available for development and the county government eventually will expand its presence downtown, he said.

Chambers Fort Park west of North Main Street was dedicated during last Saturday's AppleFest. The park, a scaled-down version of the Village on the Falling Spring plan, was one of three major projects in the borough's 1995 master plan, along with the Heritage Center and the Capitol Theatre Center, Cullinane said.

The Chambersburg Transit Authority ceased service a few years ago, but Cullinane said transit companies have been invited to a November meeting to help the borough draft a request for proposal to bring back some type of public transportation, Cullinane said.

New police chief David Arnold discussed the possibility of beefing up foot patrols downtown, a measure he said brings positive contacts between the public and police. One idea he might use from his years with the York City Police Department is "Take 30," where officers park their cruisers and walk an area.

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