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Indiana County Commissioners approved development of trails and recreation facilities

| Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Indiana County commissioners on Wednesday approved a plan for development of a 320-mile corridor of trails and recreation along waterways from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg.

In Indiana County, the plan is intended to promote tourism and improve bicycle and pedestrian access along the Kiski River, said chief planner Jeff Grim of the county's Office of Planning and Development.

“The greenway plan is another opportunity to draw and connect the rails-to-trails network in Western Pennsylvania,” Commissioner Rod Ruddock said after the meeting. “It also demonstrated the cooperative nature of the agencies and counties involved in improving these trailways to benefit the citizens of our county.”

Grim said the program will help with state funding opportunities.

“State officials want to maximize the bang for their buck and want to know they're helping as many people as possible when they make an investment,” he said.

In addition, commissioners approved several contracts for the Department of Children and Youth Services, among them retaining department solicitors Samuel Clark and Jennifer Szalkowski at $95 per hour. Contracts for attorneys Michael Clark and Mark Bolkovan, who will represent children during dependency proceedings, were approved at a rate of $70 per hour.

County officials also recognized the county's 4-H program with a proclamation.

“The 4-H community is a very, very important educational program for the youth of Indiana County,” Ruddock said. “We like to recognize those that are involved in the program and the contribution that 4-H makes to the county, particularly when we have such a strong agricultural base in Indiana County.”

Indiana County 4-H ambassadors who attended the meeting to accept the proclamation were Jesse Isenbergy, 15; Alexis Elgin, 16; and Mary Ann Ostach, 16.

There are 708 youth members of the program countywide and 66 adult and teen volunteer leaders.

Commissioners announced:

• The Marion Borough polling location has moved from the fire hall to the community park at 22823 Route 403 Highway.

• The last day to register to vote is Oct. 9. Residents can register to vote by calling 724-465-3852. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is Oct. 30.

• The courthouse will be closed Oct. 8 for Columbus Day.

The next county commissioners meeting is 9 a.m. Oct. 10.

Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.com.

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