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Safety first: Plum officials seek new marketing message

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Plum Mayor Richard Hrivnak was quick to congratulate the police department when the borough was designated a safe place to live.

Now Hrivnak and other borough officials are ready to use the distinction as a means to bring in more businesses and residents to Plum.

“We need to seize the opportunity as quickly as we can and market it as much as we can,” Hrivnak said. “The No. 1 thing is safety when people are looking for a home. And businesses are looking for safety, too.”

Neighborhood Scout, a neighborhood search engine designed for homebuyers and movers late last year ranked the borough sixth in the top 100 safest cities in America.

Plum was the only town in Pennsylvania to make the top 10. Bethel Park was ranked 27th.

The firm compiled crime statistics in cities with 25,000 or more people. Crimes reported included burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, forcible rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Hrivnak wants the ranking displayed prominently on borough and police department stationery, as well as on signs and banners throughout Plum.

Councilman Leonard Szarmach said posting the message on signs should be relatively simple because the public works department has signs that could be used and erected throughout the borough.

Solicitor Bruce Dice also suggested a contest for students in the Plum School District to design a sign incorporating the message. Dice and other borough officials pledged cash donations as a prize for the winning design.

The mayor also suggested council's economic development committee take the message and run with it.

Plum Councilman Steve “Skip” Taylor, chairman of the economic development committee, welcomes the opportunity.

“It is something to be very, very proud of,” Taylor said.

Taylor plans to meet with Hrivnak, other members of council and the Plum Borough Chamber of Commerce to develop ways to use the message to market Plum.

Chamber President Chris Zozula said the distinction should be attractive in particular to businesses that are on the fence about relocating to Plum.

“Hopefully it is an attraction for businesses that are up in the air about whether to move here and a reaffirmation for businesses that have been here for awhile, Zozula said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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