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Vandergrift, Ion seismic testing officials to meet about requests to residents

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Vandergrift officials are hoping to resolve its dispute with Ion GX Technology Inc.Borough council recently turned down a request by Ion to test for underground natural gas shale formations in Vandergrift, citing a possible disturbance to infrastructure such as the sewer system.

Ion is a seismic testing company with a specialty of determining where natural gas deposits might lie by “thumping” the surface. Vandergrift is part of a 281 square mile testing area, based mostly in neighboring Armstrong County.

A letter from Ion recently went out to individual Vandergrift property owners, hoping for individual permission to try to determine shale deposits. That letter raised the ire of borough officials because of their denial of permission to Ion for the testing, which would involve the use of buried explosive charges.Borough Solicitor Larry Loperfito will meet with Ion officials this month and report back to council on Feb. 4.In July, Manor Township turned down a similar request from Ion.

In other business

• Michael Bove of Bove Engineering said Phase I of the borough's stormwater/sanitation separation project is about 50 percent completed in the 350-home area.

Bove said the work, being done by R.A. Monzo Construction, has slowed recently because of inclement weather. Construction officials might ask for an extension of the project, set to finish this summer, if weather continues to hamper progress.

Meanwhile, Bove said an income survey will be done with residents of Irvine Street between Emerson and Lowell avenues as part of the federal Community Development Block Grant application program.

Irvine is part of Phase II of the project.Bove said Phase II will include French drains to help conserve soil and permeable concrete for sidewalks to help with drainage.

About 100 trees will be planted as part of Phase II.

• The Kiski Valley Lancers youth football program is hoping to find a permanent home in the borough.

The Lancers practice in Kennedy Park and play home games in the Kiski Area or Leechburg Area school districts on a year-to-year basis.

Councilman Lenny Collini will meet with youth football officials to determine if an area in the borough is available.

Westmoreland County Commissioner Tyler Courtney, who attended Monday's meeting to get acquainted with Vandergrift officials and residents, offered to meet with Lancers officials about using county-owned Northmoreland Park.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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