By ANNE HOLLIDAY
WESB/WBRR News Director
Brad Mangel has been sworn in as Bradford’s newest city council member, replacing Rick Benton who died June 16.
His term expires on the first Monday of January 2014.
Mayor Tom Riel said Mangel, who has lived in Bradford his entire life except when he was in the military, probably attended more council meetings than any other member of the community in the last four or five years.
“I’d like to thank the mayor and council for allowing me the opportunity to serve,” Mangel said. “I’d like to thank John (Peterson, city clerk) for administering the oath. Last but not least, I’d like to thank my wife for her support of my many endeavors, and especially this one. And, I look forward to sitting on this side of the table.”
Riel thanked the eight people who submitted letters of interest for the position.
“There were some fine people who submitted a letter,” Riel said, “unfortunately we could only choose one.”
Also Tuesday, council opened three bids for the Pine Street Pedestrian Bridge and Trailhead construction project. They were from Bob Cummins Construction for $257,000; Carl E. Swanson and Sons for $315,700; and The L.C. Whitford Co. of Wellsville, N.Y., for $335,000. Council will take action on the bids during its next meeting on July 24.
Riel noted that some people have been criticizing this project, and he wanted to point out that it’s being funded through grant money. He explained that grant money can only be used for specific projects. For example, money allocated for this project could not be used to pave city streets.
“It’s a worthwhile project,” Riel added. “The naysayers, the critics of it – they just don’t understand.”
OECD Executive Director Sara Andrews said, “For every one naysayer there are two people that are in favor of it. … It’s all about economic development. If you don’t make your town look attractive to visitors and to people who want to move here, then they’re not going to come here.”
Councilman Jim Evans added, “It’s also restoring a part of Bradford history because there was a bridge there for a good many years up until X many years ago.”
In other matters, council authorized a special events waiver for The Lighter Side during the Kids and Cancer benefit being held July 21 on Mechanic Street from Main to West Washington streets, and on Barbour Street from Mechanic to Bushnell. The Lighter Side will be able to serve beer and/or malt beverages in plastic containers outside during the event.
Council authorized a similar waiver to the Italian Festival Committee for Festa Italiana being held August 9 to 12 on Festival Way. Council also granted free parking in the downtown business district starting at noon on August 9.
“This is just a waiver of the parking meters,” Riel said. “It doesn’t mean they can park at will wherever they want.”
Pictured, Bradford City Councilmen, Brad Mangel and Fred Proper, Mayor Tom Riel, councilmen Jim Evans and Rhett Kennedy; City Clerk John Peterson administering the oath of office to Mangel.