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Nod given to mine reclamation project, flower shop

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 9:13 p.m.

Officials at Coal Loaders Inc. hope to clean up a 1940s strip mine in Ligonier Township.

Ligonier Township planners gave a nod to the mine reclamation project last week. Supervisors will rule on the proposal at their Dec. 11 meeting.

“Everybody wins (in a mine reclamation project),” Planning Commissioner R. Eric Schrieber said at the Nov. 20 meeting. “(The developer) takes a risk and hopes to get money out of what they take out of the property, and the government gets the land cleaned up.”

The plan calls for the reclamation of 17.6 acres of private property located off Tosh Road.

Coal Loaders owner Donald Lupyan said workers will eliminate a 450-foot-long high wall, fill in pit holes and take out “spoils,” or coal waste near a stream.

Water will no longer drain into the pit holes and taking out the spoils will decrease contaminants from getting into the stream, an unnamed tributary that flows into Hanna's Run, Lupyan said.

Coal Loaders completed five mine reclamation projects in Ligonier Township.

Commissioners will recommend approval to supervisors with hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. No excavation or hauling will occur on Saturdays.

Lupyan said private water testing was completed for the two water sources located within 1,000 feet of the site. Those with private water sources within 2,500 feet of the site will also be tested at the request of a property owner, Lupyan said.

Planning commissioners will recommend that supervisors approve issuing an occupancy permit for a flower shop along Route 30 in Laughlintown.

Owner Eleanor Coyne has been operating The Conservatory using a peddler's license for about two years, said project manager Tim Fyock with Laughlintown-based Benchmark Engineering and Construction Co., Inc.

Commissioners also showed favor for the construction of a lazy river at Idlewild and SoakZone, located off of state Route 30 in Ligonier Township.

“It's the second-most requested attraction,” said Idlewild Park General Manager Brandon Leonatti.

The winding, slow-moving river that will take inner tube riders around a 600-foot-loop, project manager Matthew Bagaley of Pittsburgh-based The Gateway Engineers Inc.

Bagaley said the project will involve removing some walkways and splash features to make room for the river, but will leave the rest of the park undisturbed.

Supervisors will also rule on the flower shop and Idlewild project at their Dec. 11 meeting.

Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.com.

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