By Felecia Stone
APOLLO, Pa. – The town of Apollo is seeing a decade-long renewal happening this fall after the Apollo Borough Council succeeded in getting grants to renew the North Plaza and construction of the radioactive soil on the industrial site.
This renewal of the North Plaza and the Industrial Site is the change for the better, said by the President of the Apollo Borough, John C. Ameno, Jr., while completing his seventh year in office.
With the talk of renewal by the council members an article was placed in the October issue of the Apollo News Record, and reads “Work set to begin on Apollo site.” The work in the article is said to be done “in the North Plaza and where Babcock & Wilcox Co. and Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp (NUMEC) was once located” said John Gibson author of the article.
Thanks to the grants the borough council applied for, Apollo is getting the renewal after over 40 years. The entire renewal program was administered through PennDot said Ameno.
The renewal is taking place at the North Plaza and Industrial site where Babcock & Wilcox Co. and Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp (NUMEC) was located. When filling out for grants, Ameno said “we had a lot to consider, we had to consider long-term.”
The renovation in North Plaza is starting with replacement of pipes. With the $56,000 Growing Greener II Grant, the council decided to replace sewer and gas lines throughout the plaza. Storm water pipes are not being put into ground till early spring of next year, after the weather breaks.
In addition to renovation, the Industrial site work is also in progress. Broken down into two sections, Partial A is where Babcock &b Wilcox was located. “Dep has an Act II, clearance has to be recognized for chemical” said Ameno.
Partial B is in renovation mode now, and contractors from Ohio are scrubbing up most vegetation there. “We will be having a controlled burn to get rid of the vegetation” said Ameno. The concrete left over from the NUMEC is being crushed, and metal will be scrapped. CEC Engineers are testing the Partial B soil thoroughly to make sure there is no contamination in the ground said Ameno.
“Concrete on site-we are going to grind it up into a useable size for a roadway base and reuse it on site and recycle it. We are going green Ameno said, “it really is the best thing to do because we were going to take it off site and just trash it.”
With saving money by reusing concrete, it will help in the long run with having additional money to do other things with. “I got to thinking about this-it would be a good savings not just now but down the road it would be a benefit to that regard,” said Ameno.
With the benefit of the grants, and additional money we can do more things to help the consumerism in the North Plaza. With this renewal of the plaza and the industrial site “I do believe it will bring in more consumers; even though right know it is a busy plaza,” said Ameno.
The borough council would like to see light industrial and commercial business in the industrial area now. “I would personally like to see a hotel sitting there” said Ameno.
Ameno stated Apollo is listed as a low moderate income area, in Armstrong County. “I look at it has horrendous to be in this position, but also looked at it as an opportunity” said Ameno. “If this is the case then we should be able to apply for all of these grants to improve ourselves.”
With the help of grants to improve ourselves in the community it should provide a benefit towards the town. With improvement of the site and the grants the borough council has applied for and received “I think we all benefit from the renovation of the town,” said Ameno.
In the Apollo News Record article, beatification of the town adds additional objects to the recreation. “We have sold (trees) and tress have been purchased (by businesses), new decorative lighting being installed along with a memorial in the center of plaza recognizing U.S. Military, Apollo Police Dept., Apollo Fire Dept., and the Apollo Moon Landing,” said Ameno.
Along with additional objects being purchased for beautification “there is also going to be a fountain being placed right in front of the memorial where the $25,000 DCED Grants helps pay for running of electricity and water to the fountain,” said Ameno.
Ameno also stated if money is left over from DCEP Grant, the plan is to place a “Welcome to Apollo” sign when consumers come off the Apollo Bridge at the corner of the plaza.
The project in the North Plaza is to be completed in the late fall of 2009, stated Ameno.