| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Charleroi council mulls Coyle Theater takeover

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Friday, July 11, 2014, 1:01 a.m.

If Charleroi takes control of the Coyle Theater project, it will be on the borough's terms, Mayor John Mollenauer said Thursday.

“If we take it over, we can start with a whole new board and everyone on there can be tossed,” Mollenauer said of the Mon Valley Cultural Trust.

The mayor and council members Larry Celaschi Jr., Paul Pivovarnik and Debbie Kruell-Buck recently met with trust officials, who want to turn over site control of the 119-year-old theater.

The trust was incorporated in 2000. It has gone through numerous personnel changes over the years. It owns the theater and two accompanying buildings, but little else.

Despite years of fundraising efforts by former trust boards, a representative of the nonprofit organization last month acknowledged that it has $100 to $500 in its accounts.

At one point, the trust had significant grant money for the project. But it failed to match $175,000 in Local Share Account grant money by a Dec. 31, 2012, deadline and state grant money totaling $250,000 by a spring 2013 deadline.

Local Share Account money is generated through gaming at the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in North Strabane Township.

Pivovarnik said the trust does not have enough members to form a quorum, but expects to rectify that situation shortly.

Trust representatives and the borough officials discussed the possibility of dissolving the organization and forming a new board under borough control.

He said the borough would set a timeline for the renovation project and establish a special commission to oversee fundraising and renovation efforts.

Celaschi said he worked at the Coyle during the mid- to late-1970s. Touring it recently, Celaschi said he was distraught over the condition of the historic theater.

“I was nearly brought to tears,” Celaschi said. “The place is just decrepit. It's going to take an exorbitant amount of money to rehabilitate the place.”

Meanwhile, Mollenauer welcomed Charleroi Regional Police Chief Eric Porter, who will be sworn in 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“I feel strongly about his loyalties, capabilities and availability,” Mollenauer said.

Mollenauer said Charleroi has three representatives on the regional police board, with Speers and North Charleroi each having two members.

Charleroi covers about 70 percent of the annual police budget. Charleroi police calls constitute at least 75 percent of the log, the mayor said. In June, 309 calls – more than 80 percent – were in Charleroi.

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

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Mon Valley

  1. N. Belle Vernon man jailed after police station visit
  2. 2 men nabbed in Donora drug sting
  3. Summer youth program in Donora bridges gap between young, old
  4. Probation sought in former Yough coach’s sex-texting case
  5. Watch out for computer scams, identifty theft
  6. Monessen police, family looking for 17-year-old girl
  7. House fire claims life of Monongahela man
  8. Goldfish sparks alleged assault by Carroll man
  9. North Belle Vernon man charged with making threatening calls to borough police
  10. In-house busing aids Belle  Vernon Area
  11. Monessen residents angry about blight