The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

November 18, 2013

State Street spruceup satisfies

Streetscape brightens downtown

SHARON — Owners of businesses on State Street say they’re mostly pleased with the recently finished Streetscape project that is giving downtown Sharon a brighter look.

A few of them criticized the design of ramps built at several corners for use by handicapped pedestrians, but business owners generally like the crisp new look of the shopping district after its million-dollar makeover.

Contractor S.E.T. of Lowellville, Ohio, installed new streetlights, repaired and replaced sidewalks, removed dead or damaged trees and replaced them with new ones to add color and shade as they grow taller over the years.

The $1.1 million project was funded almost entirely with state grants. The city’s costs added up to about $200,000 to pay for the design and inspection of the finished work.

Rita Ways, who manages her husband Dr. Joel P. Ways’ optometry business at 89 E. State, echoed what other business owners all said.

“I love the lights,” she said of the lamp posts with 80-watt LED luminaries whose white light gleams in brilliant contrast to the softer yellow glow of older-style sodium-vapor lights that still illuminate the nearby banks of the Shenango River.

“I love that we have lots of light and I love how the street signs look,” Ways said. “They have old-fashioned lettering and the letters are nice and big. I think that was well done.”

Ways and others expressed worries about access ramps that rise from the street in a low, wheelchair-friendly slope that leads to the sidewalk. Some of the ramps have perpendicular edges rising several inches from the sidewalk. The slope creates a ledge along the ramp that Ways said is likely to cause pedestrians to trip, especially when snow accumulates on sidewalks.

The ramp outside the former Wave restaurant at Dock Street narrows the width of the sidewalk and the one outside Penn-Ohio Cigar at Vine Avenue and East State has a railing because of the height of remaining old sidewalk beside the new, lower ramp to the corner.

City Manager Scott Andrejchak said the ramps’ design followed specifications in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and they were approved by both the city’s engineering consultant and PennDOT and inspected after construction by PennDOT.

“There’s more to an ADA ramp than you might think at first,” he said of the designs that went through many revisions before they were built. “A ramp has to have the right slope and a level landing. In order to fit those exacting requirements in a certain amount of space along the sidewalk, it’s really an engineering job.”

Harmon Lustig, whose Outdoor Army Store at 47 E. State has been a Sharon mainstay since 1946, said completion of construction presents an opportunity for the city to turn its attention to a persistent problem with parking.

People who work downtown – and who should be parking in the free lots or parking garages off State – are instead abusing the one-hour-limit on spots outside his store and others.

“I think the police department could make some money if they ticketed some of the people working downtown who park all day,” he said.

Farther west, Toby Abrutz said the appearance of the street has been greatly improved outside his Korner News Stand at Porter Way but it remains to be seen whether the makeover will attract new shoppers.

Most of his customers who buy magazines, tobacco products, lottery tickets and newspapers live nearby or work downtown during the day.

Beth’s New Beginnings, a store selling secondhand clothing and kitchen and household items began operations in March. As the owner of one of the newest businesses, Beth Howard said she is pleased with the look of her block of West State between Water Avenue and Main Street.

“I feel honored to be here,” she said of her location across the street from Sharon City Centre.

Andrejchak said he’s encouraged to hear that some businesses plan to decorate planters for Christmas. He added that keeping the street looking its best will require cooperation between building and business owners and the city.

“Now that it’s done, we have to plan for maintenance,” the city manager said. “The brick-stamped concrete has to be maintained properly. In the winter, there’s an accumulation of salt and it gets into cracks and the stamped brick sections. We have to hose all the sidewalks every spring to add life to the concrete. Maintenance is a big deal.”


Text Only
Local News
  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014

  • Firm will study timing of traffic signals

    Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Whitman, Requardt and Associates LLP to study the timing scheme of traffic signals along parts of Hermitage Road and East State Street.

    July 25, 2014

  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo