I’m pleased to report that, thanks to intervention by Senator Smucker, PennDOT has allowed us to proceed with planned improvements to the streetscape around Central Market and the Heritage Quadrant of Penn Square. A request for proposals to complete these improvements has been issued and project bids are due by January 29th. We expect construction to begin in APRIL and continue through APRIL 2016.
This $2.2 million project is the third and final phase of our downtown streetscape improvement program, and will include new brick work and granite poetry path in the Heritage Quadrant, new brick pavement with granite sidewalks around Central Market including on North Market Street from King Street to Orange Street, new pavement and sidewalks on West Grant Street from Penn Way to N. Prince Street, new brick pavement on William Henry Place and Penn Way, and new boulevard, in-ground or bollard lighting throughout. Other features will include new traffic signal poles at Queen and King Streets and at Market and Orange Streets, new planters and traffic signal controller at Penn Square (yes the mushroom structure is going away), new brick crosswalks at Penn Square, new curb ramps, audible pedestrian signals, wayfinding signage for Central Market, and site furnishings to include benches, litter and recycling receptacles. Finally, green infrastructure elements in several locations will include a cistern that will provide LEADS with rainwater for the beautiful planters placed in the downtown during the summer months. With completion of this third phase, the City's major corridors in the Central Business District and the Central Market district will have seen streetscape enhancements for the first time in decades.
A request for bids has also been issued for renovations to the old City Hall, commonly known as the Heritage Center. As you know, plans are underway for the Lancaster Office of Promotion (LOOP) to establish a City Visitor’s Center at this location. We expect that renovations will be completed in time to allow the Visitors Center to be fully operational by spring.
Beginning this month, the City’s solid waste hauler will begin accepting cardboard and paperboard of any size or quantity for collection at curbside. And last month, the City began the annual permitting process for independent trash and recycling haulers. As a condition of permitting, all vehicles in the City that collect municipal waste or recycling must be inspected by City Police, and provide proof of required insurance. Permitted haulers must also submit customer lists to ensure that multifamily dwellings and businesses have regular collection service. The number of independent haulers in the City has held steady at 14 over the past three years. This permitting process has proven to be an important supplement to our Single Hauler Program that has effectively reduced illegal dumping and litter, and increased recycling citywide.
We are joining with the City of Bethlehem to host a one-day forum here in Lancaster to discuss the CRIZ Program. Presentations will be given by Lancaster and Bethlehem on how we are implementing the CRIZ Program and our experiences to date. Staff from both cities will discuss some of the issues encountered in working with developers. Discussion about CRIZ requirements and interaction between a City and the Commonwealth will also be discussed. Cities that are eligible to apply for the CRIZ Program beginning in 2016 and other third class cities that may want to find out more about the program have been invited. We expect the Mayors, Economic Development Directors, developers and others from these cities to attend. The result could be a list of program administrative and legislative changes that could be recommended to the Commonwealth and Governor-elect Tom Wolf’s administration.
J. Richard Gray, mayor