Bellefonte waterfront project may begin soon

The borough’s waterfront revitalization project could break ground this spring.

The moment has been five years in the making.

“We are very excited for this, because this will be a very good project for Bellefonte,” Borough Manager Ralph Stewart said. “It’ll hopefully include a new hotel and other entities to draw people into Bellefonte. First, we’ll need to start the public part of the project. Then, we’ll hopefully have wrapped up with a developer the plans to handle the private development side of the project.”

The project, which council discussed in a work session, will include building a walkway and floodwall along Spring Creek. There are three tracts of land that the borough will also have raised above the floodplain.

The Army Corps of Engineers must grant a permit to the borough for construction to begin.

Assistant Borough Manager Don Holderman said he hopes the public side of the project will be complete by late 2015 or early 2016.

Once the public project is completed, the borough plans to sell the land to a private developer to build hotel, residential and office space. The development would be located along Spring Creek on the three tracts of land between High and Lamb streets.

Stewart said the borough has discussed possible plans with developers and will continue to market the property to attract more developers to discuss possible private projects.

The borough received bids for the project last week from Glenn O. Hawbaker for about $3.3 million, G.M. McCrossin for about $3.7 million and HRI Inc., for about $4.1 million.

The $6 million project will be paid for with a $3 million state grant that the borough will match.

Holderman said the borough is in the process of evaluating the bids.

Council also revealed bids to repair Lamb Street’s storm sewer system during its meeting.

The lowest lump-sum bid was made by Ameron Construction at about $320,000.

Other bids included R.C. Bowman at about $337,000, Mid-State Paving’s $393,000, John Nastase Construction’s $421,000, Hawbaker’s $436,000 and Leonard S. Fiore’s $572,000.

Borough Council’s Streets Committee will review the bids.

Council also announced that the Ladies Auxillary of the Bellefonte Legion’s ninth annual Easter Egg Hunt, scheduled for March 29 at Talleyrand Park, was canceled due to the organization’s concerns about the park’s condition following winter and because of insurance costs.

Mayor Tom Wilson said the communitywide egg hunt at Talleyrand Park will go on April 4, starting with 1 p.m. activities and a 2 p.m. egg hunt.