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Online votes could help Baldwin-Whitehall earn grant

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Baldwin-Whitehall residents have three more days to cast a vote to support the school district in an effort to win one of 10 $100,000 grants from State Farm Insurance.

Whitehall Mayor James Nowalk last week encouraged residents to participate in the “Celebrate My Drive” contest, in an attempt to help keep the roads safe for student drivers.

Anyone who is 14 years or older can log in and vote once a day for the Baldwin-Whitehall School District at www.celebratemydrive.com through Oct. 26, Nowalk said. There also are 90 $25,000 grants being given out as part of the insurance company's commitment to safe driving.

There are 3,439 high schools competing for the grants, Nowalk said.

“Our odds are pretty good,” he said. “That's one in 34 for at least a $25,000 grant.”

High school seniors have been working to promote the program in Baldwin-Whitehall, Nowalk said.

Public hearing set

A public hearing is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Dec. 4 for Whitehall Council members to review a proposed zoning change for several properties on Provost Road, borough Manager James Leventry said.

The zoning amendment would change the five properties to an R2-AS residential zone, a category that allows four single-family dwellings or 12 townhouses to be built per acre. Properties that would be rezoned include the former Whitehall Country Club site and 50 townhouses on Shadow Drive.

Whitehall officials have said rezoning the 4.3-acre former country club property on Provost Road could help the owners of the now-defunct club market the site to potential buyers.

Three of the five properties, including the former country club, are zoned R2-S, which allows fewer homes per acre.

The other two properties, including the Shadow Drive Plan townhouse association common area and 50 existing town houses, are in R-5 zoning, which allows for eight townhouses or a multifamily dwelling containing 20 apartments per acre.

Refuse collection contract

The elimination of nearly 1,500 apartment units from Whitehall Borough's refuse collection contract will save the borough nearly $250,000 next year.

Council members, in a 6-0 vote at their Oct. 16 meeting, awarded a five-year garbage, recycling and yard waste collection contract to Republic Services. The contract was bid through South Hills Area Council of Governments joint purchasing alliance.

Councilman Harold Berkoben was absent.

The borough will spend about $855,000 for collections in 2014, borough Manager James Leventry said. In 2013, Whitehall is expected to spend $1,076,000 for garbage and recycling collections.

In recent contracts, Whitehall had paid for collection on a per ton basis, Leventry said. Because council members agreed to no longer provide collection for apartment complexes with four or more units beginning in 2014, the contract now is based on per unit collections.

Whitehall officials sent letters to the owners of 14 apartment complexes, Leventry said.

Whitehall did not switch to automated collections — a process that uses a truck with an motorized arm to collect refuse — because it would have been more expensive after the uniform containers were purchased, Leventry said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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