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Plum gains third state rep through reapportionment

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 7:36 p.m.

Plum Borough will be represented by three state representatives instead of two under a new reapportionment plan.

State Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-32) who picked up an additional district as a result of the reapportionment is happy to have more opportunity to represent the borough.

“I am excited,” said DeLuca of Penn Hills. “I look forward to seeing what I can do to help them.”

The state Supreme Court on May 8 approved the Legislative Reapportionment Commission's 2012 revised final plan.

DeLuca picks up District 3 in East Oakmont from State Rep. Frank Dermody (D-33). DeLuca now represents Districts 1-9 and 17-21.

State Rep. Joe Markosek (D-25) of Monroeville represents the remaining seven districts. Plum has 21 districts.

“They cut Plum in half,” said Plum Council President Mike Doyle, a Republican who twice unsuccessfully challenged Markosek for the state House seat.

Mayor Richard Hrivnak said that Plum will continue to be in good hands with its representation in Harrisburg.

“We have been blessed to have really good representatives,” Hrivnak said.

“It is good to see a community growing,” DeLuca said.

The borough is one of few in the east suburbs experiencing population growth.

Plum experienced a slight bump in population over the last decade. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, population in the borough grew by 0.7 percent in the last 10 years.

The census numbers indicate Plum's population was 27,126 in 2010, compared with 26,940 in 2000 — a gain of 186 people.

Also, the number of new homes under construction in the borough has been rising in the past few years

The borough also is changing with additional development in the form of a recently built elementary school, the new Pivik Elementary, another one planned and a new public works facility scheduled to be completed next month.

DeLuca said one of the initiatives he plans to work on is the widening of Route 286 or Golden Mile Highway that runs through Plum and Monroeville. The project was proposed decades ago, but a lack of funding has prevented the plan from advancing.

DeLuca said the lack of a state transportation budget is holding up the project.

“Once we get a budget, we can work on (developing) a (priority) list of projects,” DeLuca said.

Plum also is a part of the 45th District Senate seat held by Sen. James Brewster, (D-McKeesport). No changes are planned for the district.

A previous reapportionment plan rejected by the state Supreme Court in January 2012 proposed moving the 45th District, now based in the Mon Valley, to the Poconos in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The revised preliminary plan was adopted by the commission in April 2012 by a 4-1 vote. It retained the 45th District as an Allegheny County seat.

The Legislative Reapportionment Commission is established by the state Constitution and formed every 10 years to draw new state Senate and House district lines to reflect population shifts.

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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