West York's borough council recently selected an engineering firm to handle the first phase of a three-part project designed to improve the borough's downtown.

C.S. Davidson Inc. was among four firms that gave presentations to the board. The $178,305 project will be paid for by grants, said engineer B.J. Treglia of C.S. Davidson.

In December, council approved applying for some grants that do not require matching funds from the borough and require only some time commitment by borough employees, council members and the mayor.

The first application -- which is moving forward now -- was for curb and sidewalk replacement for residential and nonprofit properties for the 1300 block of West Market Street.

The $156,000 grant was approved in 2009 as part of a federal revitalization program, Treglia said, and the funding is due to expire in September. An additional $22,305 will come from a Community Development Block Grant, he said.

The second phase involves finalizing a streetscape design for a town square, which is intended to increase pride of ownership and property values around West Market Street and Highland Avenue. That phase is expected to cost $50,000.

The third phase, consisting of pedestrian improvements at the square, has been allocated $200,000, Treglia said.

Engineering firms will go through the same selection process for the second and third phases, Treglia said.

Other projects

Like this three-phase project, two other projects also grew out of the West York Borough Complete Streetscape Study.

One was the creation of Gateway Apartments at the old Memorial Hospital campus, which was completed in 2005. That project cost about $5 million.

The other is the $17.1 million project at the former Keystone Weaving Mill, which is under way. That project will convert the building into 80 apartments, construct 10 homeowner units and create 25,000 square feet of office and commercial space.