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Columbia Gas reaches out to Clairton community

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By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 4:11 a.m.
 

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania is reaching out to the Clairton community in advance of planned infrastructure improvements in 2015.

The utility company has put more than $700 million into regional infrastructure improvements since 2007 in its continued effort to replace old natural gas pipes in the ground, Columbia communication specialist Brynnly J. Schwartz told city officials and residents during a council meeting on Tuesday.

With crews making their way down Route 51, Columbia will be targeting Clairton next year.

“We deliver gas to many of your homes that helps you cook your food and take a nice, warm shower,” Schwartz said. “We've served your parents and grandparents and we want to be around to serve future generations.”

A map of Clairton homes served by Columbia will be posted at city hall. Any street that is marked in red or blue includes homes with Columbia service.

While there will be an inconvenience during construction, Schwartz said the project will prove to be a great benefit once it's complete.

Affected customers will receive new service lines at no charge. If safety checks reveal problems with furnaces or appliances, Columbia has programs to cover unexpected expenses.

“We have programs available for our customers ... to help pay for that type of equipment,” Schwartz said.

Columbia is committed to promoting carbon monoxide and natural gas safety through community programming.

“Unfortunately over the past two winters, there were two separate fatalities due to carbon monoxide in the community,” Schwartz said. “In both cases, there was faulty equipment or ventilation. While it wasn't gas related, we still feel that we have information that can educate folks about carbon monoxide safety.”

Schwartz said Columbia staff want to educate the public before another awful winter. She suggested partnerships with the city's fire department, schools, churches and community groups to make public presentations.

“We have a lot of good ideas, and we're hoping to implement them within your community,” Schwartz said.

More information on Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania is available online at www.columbiagas.com.

In other business, council:

• Approved an agreement with the Industrial Appraisal Co. to appraise and inventory all city properties, buildings and equipment for $6,120, paid from the city's capital projects fund.

• Approved a joint factual stipulation agreement with police officer James Kuzak Jr. regarding workers compensation insurance.

• Hired part-time police officers Daniel Jena and Matt McDanel to a full-time positions, effective Friday.

• Appointed Robert Haramia to the Steel Valley Authority with a term through Dec. 31, 2015.

• Appointed Desiree Williams to the city planning commission with a term through Dec. 31, 2017.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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