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Glassport council moves forward with police station; councilman resigns

| Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, 3:41 a.m.

Glassport is moving forward with efforts to build a new police station.

Council on Tuesday approved a measure to set up a line of credit with First Commonwealth Bank in connection with the proposed new police station.

The action came at a meeting in which former borough police Chief Eugene Skerkoski resigned from council. He was a police officer for 35 years and served on council for 11 years.

He said on Wednesday, “I'm 73. It's time to sit down.”

He was council president from July 2013 to December.

Skerkoski said he plans to spend his extra time with family and believes council is in good hands. He said he hopes younger people will get involved with borough government.

“I was very sad to hear” that he was leaving, said Glassport Mayor Rosemary Bradley, citing Skerkoski's longtime service to the borough.

Council plans to interview prospective applicants for the vacancy at 6 p.m. on Sept. 9, with hopes of appointing a new member at its regular meeting on Sept. 16 at 6 p.m.

Bradley said establishing the credit line with the bank is a first step to securing a loan for construction of a new police station behind the borough's existing, outdated police station.

The borough has secured a $200,000 grant through the Community Infrastructure & Tourism Fund through Twin Rivers Council of Governments for the project. Bradley said the borough will have to borrow about that same amount to cover its share of the project.

The mayor said the hope is to take out a 10-year loan with the goal of paying it back ahead of schedule.

Bradley said Senate Engineering already has drawn up plans for a new police station. The proposed building is approximately 2,100 square feet with a complete locker room and showers, a lunch room, an expanded investigation office, interrogation rooms, two to three cells and a modernized evidence room.

“It's really going to be an asset to the community,” she said.

The borough hopes to break ground on the project next spring and open the station the following winter.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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