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Gaming money sought in Mon Valley

| Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Twelve projects totaling just over $5 million are among the Valley projects vying for slices of the county's gaming proceeds.

But one project conspicuously missing from the list is the Coyle Theater in Charleroi.

This week, the Washington County Local Share Account Review Committee conducted two days of hearings, fielding nearly 50 requests for projects.

Each year, the Local Share Account Review Committee hears presentations for projects, then makes recommendations to the county commissioners for portions of gaming revenue from The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in North Strabane Township.

Some of the revenue is divided among local municipalities, and the bulk goes to economic development projects.

Last year, the Mon Valley Cultural Trust – with a goal of renovating the Coyle – failed to appear before the Local Share Account Review Committee after making a request for funding.

At the end of 2012, the Trust failed to match a $500,000 state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant and $175,000 in share account money from previous years.

“We were not ready to make a request (this year),” said Barry Cassidy, the consultant hired by the Mon Valley Cultural Trust to revive the Coyle project.

“We just applied for $500,000 from the state through the anchor building program. Next year we will seek to make a request with a $500,000 match in hand.

“The new board is working very hard to become administratively sound and deserving of consideration from the committee next year.”

But the Local Share committee has plenty of Valley projects to consider. The following are among the requests:

• City of Monongahela: Monongahela Aquatorium Restoration & Expansion Project - $339,320.

• Mon Valley Sewage Authority: Donora Sewer Separation Project - $1.5 million.

• Mid Mon Valley Water Pollution Control Authority: Mid Mon Valley Sanitary Sewer Evaluation Study - $158,256.

• Authority of the Borough of Charleroi: Speers/Dunlevy Wet Weather Control Project - $2 million.

• Carroll Township Authority: Upgrade of the Eldora Pump Station Project - $300,000.

• Fallowfield Township Municipal Authority: Kennedy Road Waterline Extension (West) - $43,000.

• Charleroi Area School District: Safety Enhancement Project - $89,447.

• West Brownsville Borough and VFD: Emergency Generators Project - $18,500.

• Mon Valley Progress Council: Intergovernmental Cooperative Ventures Public Works - $25,000.

• Charleroi, Fallowfield, North Charleroi, Speers & Twilight: Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan - $50,000.

• New Eagle and Finleyville boroughs: Ordinance Revisions - $20,000.

• Monongahela Valley Hospital: Cardiovascular Institute Project - $500,000.

Monongahela Valley Hospital spokeswoman Corinne Laboon said the hospital is seeking help to upgrade its cardiovascular unit.

Laboon said the hospital is one of a handful of hospitals capable of performing cardiovascular catheterization.

“The importance of the unit is that we can keep the patient in their own community,” Laboon said. “We can do intervention within an hour of when a patient experiences blockage.

“And, by keeping patient in our community, we keep jobs in our community.”

Monongahela Mayor Bob Kepics, who sits on the LSA board, said the Noble J. Dick Aquatorium project request would involve paving the parking lot and stage, relocating electrical lines underground and constructing a handicap-accessible ramp.

New Eagle council President Jack Fine said his borough and Finleyville hope to jointly contract to update and codify their ordinances.

“There's not much difference between us and Finleyville as far as needs for ordinances,” Fine said.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

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