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Uniforms set Kittanning workers apart on the job

Louis B. Ruediger | Total Trib Media
Kittanning Street Department employee Jay Beck works on a storm drain between Chestnut and North Grant streets wearing his new borough work uniform on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.

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Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

The streets of Kittanning are not all that is getting a makeover in the borough.

About a dozen borough employees are in on the act, too. Since late last month, some workers have been wearing uniforms to set them apart from the public when they are doing their jobs.

The dress code for garbage men and public works employees is part of an effort to better identify projects taking place in the borough.

“This way, people are able to see where their tax dollars are going,” Council President Randy Cloak said.

The uniforms could help if someone tried to pass themselves off as a borough employee, he added.

“This a step toward public safety,” Cloak said. “If anyone is in need of assistance, or if the borough workers are working on something and they need access, residents can feel comfortable that the worker is an employee of the borough.”

With their matching navy blue work pants and shirts, and neon green T-shirts that read “Kittanning,” it is not hard to spot the workers.

As a crew installed a catch basin on the Armstrong Trail between Chestnut and North McKean Street last week, they left their work shirts in a nearby truck to beat the heat.

“They can read the back of our shirt and actually know who they're looking at,” said Jay Beck, a street crew worker.

And when they do wear the long-sleeved shirts, residents will know their first names, too. They are embroidered on the front.

“Everybody wore blue jeans before. Now, we're color coordinated,” said Dan Dosch of the public works crew.

Another worker, Bill Ingram, chimed in: “It's like going to Catholic school.”

Kidding aside, he said the uniforms make workers look more professional. He estimated the last time public works employees wore uniforms was 25 years ago.

The uniforms are provided by the 700 Shop on Market Street and purchased by the workers, who by contract get a $400 clothing allowance each year.

Julie E. Martin is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315 or jmartin@tribweb.com.

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