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AutoZone to replace Brewster's Ice Cream in Harmar

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By George Guido
Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, 1:06 a.m.

Harmar residents will soon lose ice cream cones for auto parts.

Supervisors on Thursday night approved a proposal to put an AutoZone store at Freeport and Guys Run roads, replacing the Brewster's Ice Cream stand.

Jeff Berneberg of MDM Engineering presented a plan that would allow customers to enter and exit from Freeport and Guys Run.

Berneberg said the project will begin once all of the permits are secured.

While no target date for completion of the auto parts store has been determined, Berneberg said the project will take about four months.

An Advance Auto Parts is nearby, but Berneberg said his company has developed a number of AutoZone stores near Advance locations.

“I hate to bring a new business in and see somebody else go out of business,” said Supervisor Robert Exler.

Berneberg replied that the stores have co-existed in the same area elsewhere.

Heavy truck crackdown

Officials said 51 citations were issued last month in Harmar for violations involving heavy trucks.

Supervisors Chairman Michael Hillery credited police Officer A.J. Yonek, who came to Harmar from Delmont, for his expertise on heavy trucks enforcement.

It was part of a crackdown that included 148 overall traffic citations issued by police.

“Our police were very busy last month, taking 468 police calls,” Hillery said.

Deficit determined

The township is about $117,000 behind in anticipated revenue for the year.

Officials say that's because a number of businesses and residents will be receiving property tax refunds after winning appeals before the Allegheny County Board of Assessments.

Solicitor Charles Means said that total could approach $200,000 by the end of the year.

An example authorities cited was the U-PARC facility along Gulf Lab Road that is due a $54,000 refund.

Means said he approached a U-PARC attorney about taking property tax credits in 2014 and 2015 in lieu of the refund, but hasn't received an answer from the company. He added that “the concept certainly was not rejected.”

Agility plan considered

PennDOT's Angelo Pampena and Brian Myler presented township officials with what's called an agility program.

The state transportation bureau signs a deal with municipalities where services are traded.

For instance, Pampena said, the township might consider plowing snow on three state roads during the winter. In return, the state would offer to paint road lines or do seal coating on township roads in the summer.

Pampena added that a five-year contract would lay the framework for an agreement, though tasks aren't mandated to be traded.

No money would be exchanged between PennDOT and the township.

Supervisors said the proposal will be reviewed and possibly voted on at a later date.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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