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Murrysville

Foundation grant will help fund electrical upgrades at Shields Farm in Delmont

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 1:27 p.m.
Jaxson Fetter, right, picks through bushels of apples with his grandfather Charles Fetter, center and grandmother Toni Fetter during the 2017 Delmont Apple 'n Arts Festival at Shields Farm in Delmont on Saturday Oct. 7, 2017.
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
Jaxson Fetter, right, picks through bushels of apples with his grandfather Charles Fetter, center and grandmother Toni Fetter during the 2017 Delmont Apple 'n Arts Festival at Shields Farm in Delmont on Saturday Oct. 7, 2017.

Delmont Borough will make electrical upgrades to its Shields Farm property thanks to its share of $143,000 in grants aimed at “Revitalizing Westmoreland.”

The grant program is now in its fourth year, administered by the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County .

This year's grants will help fund nine projects, and communities receiving the grants must raise additional dollars to fully fund their proposals.

Borough council President Andy Shissler said electrical improvements at the Shields Farm property will help with the annual Apple'n Arts Festival in the fall.

“Right now we're at the limit of our current capacity,” Shissler said. “So this will let us bring more (vendors) in.”

The festival regularly draws thousands to the borough and will take place this year on Oct. 6 and 7.

Festival organizer Brandy Walters said normal wear and tear on the current electrical boxes has taken its toll, and welcomed the potential upgrades.

“The festival has grown over the years, which means an increase in attendance,” Walters said. “This led us to bring in more food vendors to help alleviate long food lines. Today, more vendors use trailers or even food trucks. These trailers and trucks require a lot more power to run.”

The upgrades can help with not just food vendors, but also the sound equipment that powers the weekend's live music.

“Right now, we blow and pop breakers several times during the festival,” Walters said. “So it is a safety concern to increase and upgrade all of the electrical needs on the farm.”

For the past three years, the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County has annually distributed about $150,000 in “Revitalizing Westmoreland” grants in Arnold, Jeannette, Greensburg, Latrobe, Lower Burrell, Monessen and New Kensington.

For 2018, it was opened to all Westmoreland communities.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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