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White Oak councilors OK early action on insurance

| Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, 2:11 a.m.

White Oak council moved on Monday to start a new year of health insurance for borough employees one month sooner, to jump the gun on the Affordable Care Act.

Finance chairman George Dillinger said the borough's provider assured officials that starting the new year on Dec. 1 will mean only a 12.5 percent increase in premiums, whereas starting on Jan. 1 might mean a 20-60 percent increase.

Council authorized the auditing firm of Maher Duessel to go over the borough's books for 2013 for $14,700, for 2014 for $15,215, and for 2015 for $15,750.

Council approved another extension of the contract of borough public works director Jim McCabe, this time through Oct. 31. Council has been reassessing his contract in recent months.

Council public works chairman Charles Davis said PennDOT is about to start paving jobs on McClintock and Stewartsville Hollow roads.

Davis said Equitable Gas will begin relocating its utility lines under Lincoln Way next month. He said the work is expected to take four months to complete.

It is one more sign of the upcoming widening of Lincoln Way, a project expected to begin next year. Davis said the White Oak Local Development Corp. is likely to hold a public hearing soon regarding the project.

Another highway project of interest is the effort to reopen Center Street Extension after a recent landslide. Borough engineer Donald Hultberg of EADS Group said the geotechnical work is complete but not the engineering.

Hultberg said he continues to review expansion plans on the White Oak Athletic Association property along Lower Heckman Road. Earlier this year the borough approved a proposal to build a $1.14 million community center there.

Businessman Marvin Berk hopes that those in the 22,000 cars that travel Lincoln Way each day might take notice of the stores and other entities in the borough's commercial district.

“They pass by a lot of businesses that people don't know exist,” Berk said.

The businessman said a new business and professional association is being established to replace the old White Oak Chamber of Commerce.

He also is involved in the White Oak Rotary that meets each Thursday at the Rose along Lincoln Way.

On Sept. 28 from 6:30-9:30 a.m. the Rotary and Excela Health will sponsor a wellness check at the borough building. Cost is $45. More details are available by calling 877-771-1234.

Also Monday, Marton issued a proclamation marking Friday as Thyroid Cancer Awareness Day. She said cancer survivor Christine Krznaric Sypien of McKeesport, founder of the Butterfly Bandits organization, asked for the proclamation.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or