ASD gives $61K to bat fund
The bats are off the Armstrong School District's back.
After learning last week that ASD's proposed high school in Manor would encroach on the forested habitat of the endangered Indiana Bat, the school board approved a mandatory donation of $61,800 to the Indiana Bat Conservation Fund during its regular meeting Tuesday night.
Architects with L.R. Kimball told the board last week that the bats were discovered during preliminary research on the site off Buffington Drive and that the district received notice from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Project manager Brian Hayes said if ASD didn't pay the amount calculated by the government based upon the disruption of trees within 20 acres of the bats' territory, the district would have to provide additional acreage for the bats at another location or halt construction entirely.
Director Linda Walker inquired about the timing of the payment.
“This money would have to be paid no matter when those trees are removed, right?” she asked. “Whether we do it now or 8 or 10 months down the road, the money would have to be paid?”
Solicitor Lee Price assured the board that was the case, and the motion passed 5-1.
After the meeting, board President Joe Close said it was the only realistic option for the district.
“We didn't have another 20 acres to mitigate,” said Close. “From what I understand, the money is supposed to go to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and they're supposed to buy other properties that would be safe for the bats to inhabit.”
As for the unforeseen expense, Close said the donation comes out of budgeted soft costs of about $8 million for the $60 million project.
“There's extra money they build in for these types of things,” said Close. “You don't want to use it, but that's what it's there for.”
The board is next set to meet in December.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.