Rice Township supervisors upset with lack of progress at Ice Ponds project

By Tom Huntington - For Times Leader
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RICE TWP. — Township supervisors this week said contractor inactivity at the Ice Ponds dam project could lead to possible legal action against contractor A.R. Popple.

Although the project to replace broken pipes at the base of the dam was supposed to be completed in May, supervisors said there has been little progress.

“The time has come to get it done or get someone else,” Supervisor Rick Arnold said.

Supervisors even discussed the possibility of moving on the performance bond posted by Popple when the contract was awarded.

In the meantime, Arnold said supervisors are waiting on a recommendation from their legal counsel, attorney Ray Wendolowski of Wilkes-Barre.

Engineer Andy Pasonick said Popple, within the past week, has moved material and equipment at the site, which is indicative of work being scheduled. Pasonick is hopeful that after many weeks of inactivity, the project “will get done without further delay.”

In other business, supervisors:

• Reported that a contract to repair the Blytheburn Road bridge has been awarded by Luzerne County officials.

• Noted that PPL has contracted with Davey Tree Service to inspect and possibly remove diseased trees on Blytheburn Road, Prospect Road and Henry Drive.

• Heard a report from Supervisor Chairman Robert Pipech on pothole patching by the road department.“By late fall, we hope to be done,” he said.

• Stated that Dave’s Custom Construction has been awarded a bid of $2,050 to make repairs to the comfort stations at the township park.

• To save on premiums, supervisors said they have switched carriers for workers compensation insurance from AmTrust to EMC Insurance.

• Accepted a $50,877 bid from PIRMA for liability coverage effective Aug. 1. The switch, Pepich said, resulted in a savings of almost $17,000. PIRMA, or the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Risk Management Association, is a “group self-insurance pool” that offers coverage to public entities.

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By Tom Huntington

For Times Leader