Borough Meets Post Flood

Rian Fantozzi, Editor in Chief

Following the flooding that shut down access across the Juniata River, the regularly scheduled Huntingdon Borough meeting occurred at 7:30pm on the 19th of September. Many members of the Huntingdon community attended, leading to a lack of agendas.

The Council signed Ordinance 2018-951, which approves a $300,000 bond at 2.793% interest to fund a project that will provide for better water flow control in Muddy Run and other small water systems. Ben Cappenstein, a Public Money and Management financial advisor, presented two different bond options. The council decided to approve of the bond that he suggested. This project has been in the works for a while, but small towns often find funding scarce. Councilman Robert Jackson stated, “The wheels of progress don’t turn as fast as you want them to.”

It is unlikely that had this project been funded earlier that it would have had any effect on flooding that occurred. As the substitute engineer pointed out, “Our pumps are good but, you can’t pump the whole Juniata River”.

This gave Borough President, Nicole Houck, a chance to commend the actions of the Department of Works personnel who got the call in the middle of the night to deal with the water spilling over the banks of the Juniata. Chris Stevens said that all employees of the Borough went, “above and beyond” in their response to the flooding. Two employees took it upon themselves to climb through  the woods in the night to reach the sewer plant to prevent catastrophe. They then were flooded into the plant until the water subsided.

Our pumps are good but, you can’t pump the whole Juniata River.”

— Borough Engineer

Mayor David Wessels stated, “We should all be so proud of the community in Huntingdon … Where every person rolls up their sleeves and gets dirty and goes beyond the call of duty”. While multiple traffic lights were out, the Mayor directed traffic downtown.

Thankfully, the Borough suffered very little lasting damage from the flooding. The traffic light at 7th and Penn will be replaced with insurance money and moved to a location where it is less likely to become waterlogged in the future. An upcoming PennDOT grant will hopefully provide funds to help cover the move. Most of the parks were restored to working order within daysafter the flooding.

The Borough Police have applied for a USDA grant to provide training and funds for a K-9 detector dog unit. The Borough is also waiting on a permit to put a dog park on Ice Plant road.

Halloween will be on October 31 between 6:00 pm to 8:00pm and there will be a Halloween Parade on October 22 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.