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North Huntingdon tubing track could slide into place

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A year-round tubing slide could be coming to Kerber's Dairy in North Huntingdon by September.

Tom Kerber Sr., owner of Kerber Dairy on Guffey Road, received a variance from the township zoning hearing board last week permitting him to move ahead with plans to install an all-season tubing track.

The track, which will be about 15 feet wide and about 300 feet long, uses a special resin surface and hard-bottomed inner tubes to recreate a sledding experience, similar to the Summer Tubing attraction at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Kerber said.

“We won't need snow like a regular snow-tube slide, which operate from December to mid-March,” Kerber said. “This material makes it a year-round and much more economically feasible, endeavor.

“Snow making is very expensive and requires a lot of equipment, so we thought this resin surface would be a better option for us.”

In addition to the track, Kerber said, he plans to install a moving sidewalk, similar to those featured in airports, which would bring riders back up the hill.

Kerber plans to work with an engineer to develop a site plan before making a presentation to the township's planning commission in June or July, he said.

The slide will be Kerber's second recreation-based addition in the last two years. In 2011, Kerber's Dairy installed an 18-hole miniature golf course.

Jacqueline Willis, president of the zoning hearing board, said Kerber might want to consider looking into updating the dairy's zoning.

“At some point, this could become an entire recreational area and not a family farm,” Willis said. “This will be two recreational features, but if we go to three, it would become a neighborhood recreation facility.

“Sooner or later, it could become an amusement park, which just happens to also have a family farm and ice cream store — we don't want it to become Kennywood East.”

While Kerber said he has no plans to install additional recreation features to Kerber's Dairy, he did not rule out adding more items to the farm.

“We're looking at family-oriented things,” Kerber said. “I can't say one-way or another, but if something comes up that looks good, we may look into it.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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