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Brockway reminds residents park is closed, discusses 4th of July concerns

Brockway, PA – The Brockway Borough Council held its first meeting since declaring an emergency in the borough on March 17.

The COVID-19 pandemic canceled the April meeting and forced the council to change venues, moving to Brockway Ambulance to observe social distancing guidelines. Council members wore masks except when they were talking.

The council officially met new part-time police officer Jason Arthur. Arthur has been a police officer for six years and has been working in Brockway for the past two weeks.

They reminded the community that Taylor Memorial Park is closed. Children should not be playing on the equipment and people should avoid the park altogether. During the closure, the recreation board installed new automatic-flushing toilets in the main restroom and are doing regular maintenance work. They are also preparing the pool to open, but do not expect to open it due to the pandemic.

The council opened bids for paving and voted to award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder after solicitor review. Hawbaker came in with the lowest bid at $72,099.

Brockway Council is also encouraging residents to participate in the 2020 census. The Brockway area has the lowest participation in Jefferson County at only 28% responding. Councilman Lu Inzana said that the count has consequences for the community if they try to get grants.

The council discussed several concerns related to the borough’s Fourth of July celebration. The park is closed and will remain closed until further notice, so there may not be a place to have a Fourth celebration. In addition, the council expressed concerns for police, fire fighters, and borough employees. Various members questioned if holding a Fourth of July celebration during COVID-19 would be a responsible thing to do.

Council President Chris “Smoke” Benson also thanked everyone who keep the community running during the pandemic. He says, “I want to thank all the frontline workers, the essential workers, the first responders and healthcare workers who are working to keep us safe, the healthcare workers who are treating our sick, and the essential workers who are making sure we’re well supplied, we have food to eat, we have whatever we need. I just want to say our hearts go out to the small businesses, the people who are laid off, the people who are unemployed at this time. Hopefully, at some point, we can get back to some normalcy.”

June 4 will be the next meeting.