WILKES-BARRE — City council Thursday approved $384,000 in additional engineering costs for the Solomon Creek wall project.
Borton-Lawson Engineering Inc. has been doing the design and preliminary work to prepare the infrastructure for bidding and construction. The Plains Township-based firm was awarded a $266,500 contract last June through a Request for Proposals process.
Council voted 5-0 to hire the firm for an additional $245,000 to design, engineer and perform related services for a storm water pump station on Brook Street as part of the wall project. Council also unanimously approved a $139,300 modification to the original contract for additional work on the wall as a result of the pump station.
The added costs will come out of the $4.5 million the city committed to the project through a bond refinancing deal last year. Wilkes-Barre has received another $4.6 million in state grants for the work. But even with more than $8 million available, it’s still short of the estimated $15 million needed for a comprehensive fix, officials said.
The Depression-era wall has deteriorated due to age and lack of maintenance and has been damaged by high water from storms. A temporary repair was made on a 40-foot section that collapsed in December 2016.
• Council approved a three-year contract with Blue Bell-based PMA Management Corp. to be the third-party administrator for the city’s self-insured workers’ compensation program. PMA will be paid $30,000 annually during the three-year contract and a one-time fee of $5,000 to switch from the current provider, Excalibur Insurance Management Services of Dunmore.
• In the last of the four resolutions on the agenda, council approved the appointment of Attilio “Butch” Frati, the city’s director of operations, to serve a five-year term on the General Municipal Authority. The position is unpaid. Frati replaces Raymond Witczak, whose term expired at the end of last year. The authority oversees the Wilkes-Barre Municipal Golf Course in Bear Creek Township.