SHIPPENVILLE - Potential future upgrades to Woodburn Park were discussed by Shippenville Borough council members during their Sept. 27 meeting.

Council member Rose Schreckengost told the board she had looked into the costs of adding new playground equipment and said the costs were "outrageous."

"Each piece of equipment is so expensive," Schreckengost said, adding some pieces came in as high as $50,000. "I don't know if it's something we just want to table until spring and look at it again?"

Schreckengost added she had searched for funding that might be available to the borough for park upgrades and said the borough would probably receive very little help because it does not have an explicit need for the playground to exist.

Council member Steve Brocious proposed another form of potential upgrades to the park separate from playground equipment.

"Instead of a piece of equipment, what about maybe updating the pavilion a little," Brocious said. "Cement the pavilion and put a pathway from the parking lot down as a step towards improvements."

Borough Secretary Jacqui Blose said she believed the borough could make the pavilion handicap accessible by putting in a path connecting from accessible parking spaces to the pavilion with a solid or gravel surface.

"I'm just thinking the park gets used by a lot of kids but I've never seen the park overwhelmed where people are standing around and waiting for a swing or waiting to get on the merry-go-round, whereas the pavilion gets used by everybody," Brocious said.

Brocious also estimated the pavilion to currently house five or six picnic tables. None of them are handicap accessible.

"By rights, you should have at least one handicap accessible table there," Blose said. "Maybe it's something as simple as putting in a handicap accessible table in there with the cement."

Schreckengost acknowledged at this point in 2019, it is too late to start working on the project.

"In the spring, maybe we should get some prices on doing it," Schreckengost said. "I think it's a good idea to cement (the pavilion) because the gravel is almost impossible (to travel on) for someone with a walker or wheelchair. I think that would be a good place to start."

Nuisance property

Blose told council she spoke to legal counsel Andrea Stapleford of Stapleford & Byham, LLC regarding a potential nuisance property located along North Second Street.

According to Blose, Stapleford told Blose she spoke to representatives of S&T Bank which now owns the property in foreclosure.

The bank has retained an unnamed contractor to make necessary repairs to the house.

According to Blose, the contractor is supposed to meet with Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. Certified Building Inspector Jeff Elder in regard to the property, but such a meeting has been unable to be scheduled so far.

"After I talked with Ms. Stapleford, I directed her, because I felt that this was within my power, to send an email to both Jeff and the company asking them what their ultimate goal is," Blose said. "Are they going to sell it or are they holding it and when do they expect this to happen?"

Blose also asked Stapleford to inquire about when Elder would be meeting with the contractor.

According to Blose, the bank has directed individuals to mow and keep the property clean.

"The bank knows we're unsatisfied," said council vice-president Craig Lewis.

Other news

lThe borough received a liquid fuels allocation notice stating the borough would be receiving $17,170.

Blose estimated the total was up from roughly $16,800 the borough received last year.

lCouncil approved a $1,845 Foreign Fire Payment to the Shippenville-Elk Township Fireman's Relief Association.

lCouncil announced the borough's Halloween trick-or-treat will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Council member Dutch Robertson was absent during the proceedings.

Council next meets at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the borough building.