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South Union may change waste-composting program

| Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

The South Union Township Supervisors will be looking into changing a waste-composting program between the township and the City of Uniontown.

Approximately two years ago, the township and the city entered into an agreement through the Pennsylvania DEP to establish a composting program between the two municipalities, which share the cost of operating the program.

The program was designed to have residents drop off household organic waste that would be transported to the composting site and then the city and the township could sell that compost.

“I don't think we've sold one truckload yet,” said Supervisor Thomas Frankhouser. “We don't have a place to store it, and nobody wants it.”

Supervisor Robert Schiffbauer said the state DEP was supposed to provide additional locations where compost could be stored, sold or given away, but DEP has not provided any locations as of yet.

Also, the state mandates the compost not be stored for more than two years.

Schiffbauer said the supervisors are planning to meet with DEP to see if they can get that two-year timetable extended.

Another problem the township experienced was with the drop-off point, which is across the street from the supervisors' office. Township residents as well as those from other municipalities have been dropping off more than organic waste. There have been bricks, appliances and other non-organic material.

“You have to go through that manually and separate it,” Frankhouser said.

The added man-hours increased the cost of the program, which the supervisors said adds up to $100,000 to $200,000 per year.

“We have to look at this and reassess this,” Schiffbauer said.

Anyone with questions regarding the composting program can contact the township office at 724-438-5598.

In other business:

• Supervisors passed a $3,651,895 budget for 2013 with $3,090,295 in revenues and $3,488,599 in expenditures. The passed budget brings about no real estate tax increase and the millage rate will remain the same at 0.06 mills.

• Supervisors voted to request to the Fayette County Commissioners to consider allocating a portion of the county's gas-well fees among the townships in the county to help fund bridge and roadwork.

• Supervisors will table bid openings for a general contractor, electrical contractor and a plumbing contractor to rebuild the concession stand at Hutchinson Park after an arson destroyed the structure in October. The bidders were contacted about the change and can rebid if they so desire as well as any other contractors until 11 a.m. Dec. 17 where supervisors will open the current bids and any additional bids and award the contract. There's still a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the arson.

• Supervisors will readvertise for an administrator of the Community Development Block Grant. They were directed to reschedule and readvertise to better encourage minorities and women to apply.

• Supervisor Rick Vernon reported that because vehicle break-ins are still occurring to unlocked vehicles, residents should lock their vehicle doors to help prevent a possible break-in.

• Supervisors announced that the Olive Garden restaurant will officially open on Monday. Schiffbauer said there may be upcoming news concerning the former Wal-Mart Plaza along Matthew Drive.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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