The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

August 23, 2013

Southmont hillside to be restored

JOHNSTOWN — As contractors continue to shore up the hillside above Menoher Boulevard, a smaller project nearby is addressing similar issues on essentially the same hillside.

Heavy rains earlier this summer washed out some soil placed above Shady Lane and Stillray Street in Southmont, creating a mudslide that temporarily blocked Stillray Avenue, borough Manager Richard Wargo said.

Investigation showed the slide began in material that had been brought in from a Johnstown sewer project to the Southmont Self Storage property off Stillray, just below Menoher, Wargo said.

Property owner Paul Sheesley said he was trying to do some fill, but admitted he should have gotten a land development permit.

Sheesley worked with the borough engineers to design reconstruction of the hillside, which began this week.

“Everything is going to be resolved and it is going to look nice,” Sheesley said.

Plans presented at this week’s Southmont Borough Council meeting show the hillside grade will be modified, secured with concrete anchors and covered with rolled-out high performance turf reinforcement.

“We want to restore the area and make it safe,” Wargo said. “This will accomplish it very well.”

The entire cost of the project will be paid by Sheesley, Wargo told council.

“It is a very expensive mistake he made,” Wargo said.

Randy Griffith covers Southmont for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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