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Smithton extends another invite

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Smithton Council is extending a second invitation to the new owner of the former Jones Brewery property in hopes of having him attend a council meeting.

An invitation made last month to attend Monday night's meeting was declined by Robert McKowen, who recently became owner of the brewery parcel after the settlement of delinquent property taxes was ironed out between the former owner and the various taxing bodies.

Council President Dan Barthels said that McKowen had indicated that he was going to be out of the state and so would be unavailable to attend the meeting.

The second invitation approved Monday will ask McKowen to set the date and time for a meeting that is convenient for him. Council said a special meeting could be scheduled to accommodate McKowen's schedule.

The goal is to know how the property is going to be used and what impact it might have on the borough and its residents.

“We need him here to explain it so we're all getting ... the same information,” Barthels said.

Mayor Christine Tutena concurred, “Whatever we need to do to accommodate him, because our concerns are real about what he's planning and how much.”

In other business, council approved the purchase of three 24-inch-square “No Idling” signs. One will be installed at each of the entry points to the borough to advise drivers and business owners that under Pennsylvania Act 124 of 2008 the idling of diesel-powered vehicles over five tons is prohibited.

Council also filled the vacant Municipal Authority Board seat by appointing Mary Ulish. The approval was unanimous with councilmen Robert Prah and Carl Cathers absent.

A bid for the replacement of a gas line at the borough building, including the moving of the gas meter and repair of the concrete, was approved by council. The bid submitted by Hohman Plumbing and Heating Inc., Irwin (Darragh), was the lowest of three at $1,550.

The mayor reported that the annual Smithton Cleanup Day is set for April 20. As in the past, all the volunteers will be served lunch following the cleanup. Donations of food and refreshments will be greatly appreciated, said Tutena, and any organizations like Scouts or sports teams are welcome to participate. For more information, or to donate, call Tutena at 724-872-6279.

William S. Zirkle is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-872-6800.

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