Rail Trail proposals expected in May

JOHNSTOWN – City Engineer Chandra Cotter is hoping to get proposals to the Common Council in about a month to upgrade the Rail Trail within the city.

Cotter told the council last week at City Hall that she hopes to get the proposals to council members by May 6 to discuss at the group’s meeting that night. Her office has been working with the state Department of Transportation on possible conceptual designs to improve the Rail Trail within the city.

The city is implementing a Rail Trail Improvement Program in 2013 using leftover federal money to improve parts of the trail.

Her office has money for construction, and part of that funding is to pay for design work by Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Albany.

Cotter pointed out in 2012 that a section of the trail through the city could be repaved with needed topcoat. Improvements might also involve adding new signs and a trail head.

The city has about $50,000 in available federal funding to do Rail Trail improvement work, but has yet to determine exactly what work will be done.

Elsewhere in her Department of Public Works report to the council, Cotter mentioned a subcontractor was due to soon be at a site at 111 N. Market St. She said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers a “priority” the removal of underground storage tanks found at the site.

Cotter reported EPA will be at the privately owned, former Demis Leather tannery at 124-126 W. Fulton St. for cleanup in early May. She told the council in March the old tannery is contaminated and threatens public health. She said the EPA also said the contaminants at the property pose a threat of fire or explosion.

She said the city will be working with the Fulton County Demolition Team – run by the county Department of Solid Waste – to raze a city-owned structure at 115 N. Perry St.