Sunday, July 26, 2009

EPD officers receive life-saving commendations

Two Elizabethtown police officers saved the life of a borough resident in May after using an automated external defibrillator (AED) to jump start her heart.

When officers Nicholas Finicle and Richard Regel responded to the call of an unresponsive person on May 29, they found Shirley Nauman unconcious. Working together, they used the AED to shock her heart and then administered CPR until emergency medical technicians arrived.

Nauman made a full recovery and was able to attend the presentation of life-saving commendations to both Finicle and Regel at Borough Council's July 16 meeting. During the presentation, she pinned the commendations on both officers and hugged and kissed each as her husband and members of her family looked on.

In remarks prior to the presentation of the awards, Mayor Robert Brain said that only four other officers in the history of the Elizabethtown Police Department have received life-saving commendations. Although neither officer spoke, I am certain that if you talked to them about the commendations they both would say that they were just doing their job. And thanks to their commitment, their training and their quick thinking, that meant saving a life.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Borough Council approves recommendation of train station contractor

At its July 16 meeting, Elizabethtown Borough Council unanimously approved to recommend to PennDOT that Lobar Construction of Dillsburg is the low bidder for the train station project.

By all accounts from members of Borough Council, it was a historic moment to vote on the recommendation. For at least 10 years, Borough Manager Pete Whipple and the rest of the borough staff have worked on the project. Although 12 to 18 months of actual construction work remains, it is an honor to have been a part of the project for which other council members and leaders laid the groundwork.

Lobar came in with a bid of nearly $5.9 million. The borough received seven bids, which were extremely competitive. The difference between Lobar and the No. 2 bidder was just $7,000.

For the record, under an agreement between PennDOT and Elizabethtown, the project cannot be altered so the borough can keep all of the stimulus money. Elizabethtown was in line to receive $8 million in federal stimulus funding for the construction, and because the winning bid was much lower the borough will return a balance of the funding so more money will be available for other projects along Amtrak's Keystone Corridor. Speaking as one council member, this is the absolute right thing to do, and I am very grateful that this project is coming to fruition.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Update on train station project

What's the status of the Elizabethtown Train Station project? WGAL's Meredith Jorgensen did a great update story on July 8.

In the meantime, here are the details:

Bids were opened about two weeks ago, and the apparent low bidder is Lobar Construction of Dillsburg, with a bid of $5.9 million. That's nearly $2 million less than what the borough, Amtrak and PennDOT were estimating. Because the project is being funded with federal stimulus money, the borough will likely return a balance of the money so the government can allocate it to other projects.

At the moment, borough staff and PennDOT are discussing how much the borough needs for contingency funds and to address alternate bids, one of which potentially can lower the cost of the project. Borough Manager Pete Whipple said PennDOT and the borough should complete those talks in time for Borough Council to make an official recommendation by its July 16 meeting.

If all goes well, work could begin next month.