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Council tables decision for gypsy moth spraying on watershed property

Tyrone Borough Council made the decision at last night’s regular meeting to hold off on its decision to spray the gypsy moth population on the borough’s nearly 4,000 acre watershed property on Ice Mountain.
Council received its lowest bid for the gypsy moth spraying from Ag Air, LLC out of Dover, PA for a price of $120,388.80. The borough has set aside $125,000 in its budget for the spraying if council decides to move forward with the project.
Councilperson Steve Hanzir was quick to question the rest of council on the necessity to spray the watershed property. He doesn’t feel the gypsy moth spraying is warranted because of the amount of forest that is actually on the entire watershed.
“It’s covered with fern,” said Hanzir. “It does need work to revitalize the watershed, but there has to be something there to save before we start saving stuff.”
Hanzir thinks that the $120,000 would be much better spent downtown clearing away brush from the edge of the river to help with flood control.
“Since we can’t dredge the river, we can do something to help the businesses downtown,” added Hanzir.
Council wants to discuss further with the borough’s forester, Paul Noll, about the severity of the gypsy moth problem and what the effects would be if the borough didn’t spray the gypsy moths, before the borough spends that much money on it.
Noll will be asked to attend the borough’s May 5 work session to discuss the gypsy moth issue in detail to council.
Hanzir said that the biggest problem he has with spraying chemicals to kill off the gypsy moths is the fact that the spraying will be done around and in the watershed, although council was told the chemicals have no harmful effects.
“I know the guy said it’s safe enough to drink, but I’ll believe that after he has a glass of it,” said Hanzir.

Other business conducted by borough council last evening included a request from Tyrone Rotary Club President William B. Bell to move this fall’s upcoming Farm City Day from Reservoir Park to downtown. The move would involve closing off Pennsylvania Avenue between 10th and 11th Street from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The reason to relocate Farm City Day according to Bell, is due to the park’s end of summer upgrade and construction of its main pavilion. Bell is concerned with safety issues if construction is still being completed.
Council had a consensus to move forward with relocating Farm City Day, which will involve the borough seeking a permit from PennDOT to shut down the state road for the time period Bell requested.
Councilperson Pat Stoner said in light of council’s decision, “It’s a community project and that makes a big difference.”
Council also approved the following:
• request to replace two slabs of sidewalk in the City Hotel Park; costing approximately $2,000, which will come out of the City Hotel Park Maintenance Fund.
• request to purchase new sewer camera and sell old equipment. The old camera was 14-years-old.
• resolution No. 2008-07 – HOME Program application, which assists in improving low-income homes.
• request for use of Pavilion No. 1 at Reservoir Park on June 12 for Senior Citizens Day.
Council disapproved the following:
• request for donation to Blair County Wildlife Rehab of $50.