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Greensburg police seek new wheels

| Thursday, April 4, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Greensburg police are looking to replace two marked patrol cars with two new Dodge Chargers for $40,194.

City council, which is expected to vote on the purchases on Monday, discussed the cars during a meeting this week.

Chief Walter “Wally” Lyons said the Charger offers more room than a Ford Taurus after the police cage is added.

Lyons and other officers looked at Southwest Greensburg's new Charger when evaluating cars.

“We looked at theirs and determined the driver-occupancy room was much greater than the Ford Taurus,” Lyons said.

The two new vehicles will replace two 2008 Ford Crown Victorias that have racked up “well over 100,000 miles,” Lyons said.

Ford no longer makes Crown Victoria Interceptors, typically designed for police departments.

The city traded in the two older patrol cars and will be buying the Chargers through the COSTARS state purchasing program.

Normally, the department replaces vehicles on a four-year rotation, but extended that timetable for budgetary reasons, the chief said.

The city bought two cars last year after going three years without purchasing one, Lyons said.

City council also is scheduled to vote Monday on expansion plans for the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.

In March, the city planning commission unanimously recommended that council approve the site and land development plans for the museum.

The planning board's approval came with the condition that both the Westmoreland County Conservation District and PennDOT grant permits for the project.

Museum officials are proposing a 12,500-square-foot expansion and extensive landscaping for the museum's main entrance facing the railroad tracks.

The addition with a 60-foot cantilever is planned for the North Maple Avenue side of the museum in the $18 million project.

The columns to the front of the building will be removed and replaced with a concrete scrim that will create a covered walkway. A keystone-shaped window will be set into the brick wall on the North Main Street side of the existing structure.

New galleries, classrooms, studios and public gathering spaces are included in the plans for the building.

Museum officials have proposed extensive grading to the hillside in front of the building to allow a greater view of the museum and landscaping.

Museum officials hope to break ground in July.

The museum will remain open to the public during construction. A temporary space will be set up in the former Stickley Audi & Co. furniture store on Route 30, east of Greensburg in Unity, under the working title “Westmoreland @rt 30.”

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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