Plans already taking shape for OC BridgeFest

Oil City will have a BridgeFest in 2019 as city council approved a request Thursday to allow the use of the Center Street Bridge and Veterans Bridge for the popular event.

“It was well received last year,” said Kay Woods, the Oil City Arts Council member who spearheaded the public festival effort in 2018. “Everybody, visitors and vendors, were happy with it.”

The two-day festival, described last year by Woods as an effort to “bring both sides of the city together,” was beset with preparation delays in its 2018 debut due to the need for licenses, traffic shutdowns on the bridge and more.

Those issues, Woods told council, will be much less involved this year as a result of having successfully completed the tasks last year.

Some traffic issues in 2018 resulted from closing the Veterans Bridge, the larger of the two spans, and that has prompted the organizers to switch the nights for the bridge closures.

BridgeFest will be held on the Center Street Bridge from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, and on the Veterans Bridge from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17.

The sponsoring groups are the Oil City Arts Council and the Oil City Main Street program. On tap will be live musical entertainment, food and other activities.

Woods, who said attendance reached nearly 2,000 people on the Veterans Bridge event last year, noted beverage and food vendors “sold out and had to go back for more” last year.

5K fundraiser approved

In other business Thursday, council also gave its approval to the annual Back the Blue 5K fundraiser set for June 15 at Justus Park. The event raises money to help with city police department training, equipment purchases and educational courses.

Regina DeLoe, a city police officer, told council the 2018 race drew about 250 people and raised about $19,000 for the department.

Council voted to enter into a shared-used parking lot agreement that will yield another dozen public parking spaces in the city’s North Side business district.

The spaces will be located in a PennDOT parking lot on the site of the former city parking garage. The two-hour parking slots may be metered and PennDOT will maintain the lot.

Board appointments made

Council acted on several personnel issues that involve city residents serving on various municipal boards.

– A letter of resignation from the city redevelopment authority was accepted from John Stiller.

– Councilman Isaiah Dunham and Mayor Bill Moon were named to the Council of Governments organization.

– Serving on the city pension boards will be Moon and councilman Ron Gustafson, non-uniformed city workers pension; Moon and Dunham, fire pension; and Moon and council member Dale Massie, police pension.

– Skip Homan was appointed to a five-year term on the code appeals board.

– Margaret Armstrong, Brenda Wenner and William Watson were re-named to the housing authority. The terms run for five years.

– Eric Reamer was re-appointed to the zoning hearing board.

The city has two vacancies each on the parking authority, redevelopment authority and planning commission. City residents interested in serving may contact city hall for information on how to apply.