Trainless in Tyrone Construction of Rail Platform too costly

Tyrone Borough Council met last evening at the Municipal Building for its first meeting of the month. A number of issues were addressed, including a lengthy discussion concerning the proposed railroad station platform and the payment of MeadWestvaco for a waterline repair and easement. The Daily Herald also met with some hostility by a borough employee as it attempted to enter the meeting.
A borough employee was standing in the upstairs hallway when this reporter arrived for the meeting, which was already underway in the small conference room. The employee called the reporter a “snoop” and “sneak” as he was preparing to enter the conference room. The employee said that it was a closed-door, executive session and continued to insult and browbeat this reporter, attempting to further dissuade entrance. A knock, and opening, of the conference room door revealed the Borough Council, members of staff and numerous residents fully engaged in a public meeting, as had been advertised. Borough Manager Al Drayovitch later apologized for the incident.
Council learned last evening that the $80,000 from PennDOT, plus a local match of $20,000 probably would not cover the construction of a rail platform. Borough Engineer Ray Myers and Drayovitch brought Council up to speed on the situation, noting Norfolk Southern and Amtrak regulations, requirements and fees could push the cost of the project to upwards of a half of a million dollars. They also pointed out that acquiring information from Amtrak and Norfolk Southern had been challenging.
“I even asked a simple question like, ‘Who would actually, physically own this thing — would the borough own if they’re going to build it or is Amtrak going to own it?’” Myers explained. “The people I talked to said, ‘We’ll have to get back to you on that?’ I think these things are evolving.”
The news caused Council to shift its focus from the platform to possibly using the PennDOT funds for another project. Drayovitch said that he would check with PennDOT to see if this would be an option.
“I don’t think we ought to give it back,” Mayor Pat Stoner said, referring to the $80,000.
Councilmember Jim Beckwith agreed that the costs projected seemed prohibited and the money would be better spent somewhere else.
“It didn’t seem very encouraging,” Myers said of the process. He said he should have more information for Council at next Monday’s meeting.
In other business, Council approved Carla M. Fink’s request to use Reservoir Park’s amphitheater August 25 for a Tyrone-Snyder Public Library benefit, a request from Pastor P.W. Glunt of the Community Drug Forum/Church Liaison Committee to hold a prayer service at the City Hotel Park September 8 and a rally in the downtown August 17, as well as a request from Jeff loose on behalf of a number of Borough employees to host a “Teen Night” at Reservoir Park August 16.