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Indiana County commissioiners award grading contract for Windy Ridge development

| Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6:54 p.m.

The Indiana County Commissioners approved a contract last Wednesday to help keep Creps United Publications operations in Indiana County for years to come after a fire destroyed the company's printing plant on Philadelphia Street in White Township in October.

Creps United Publications is one of the largest printers of newspaper advertising inserts in the Eastern United States.

The commissioners acted on the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development's recommendation to award the contract for a grading project on Lot 5 of the Windy Ridge development to Adam Eidemiller, Inc. in the amount of $214,433.03.

Adam Eidemiller, Inc., of Greensburg, was the low bidder for the project to prepare the pad-ready site for future development. Bids were as high as $512,000 according to commissioner chairman Rodney Ruddock. The project is being funded entirely through a Redevelopment Assistant Capital Program grant.

“This particular item of improvement as a project on that development plan speaks for the importance of having that available in Indiana County,” Ruddock said. “The Indiana County Development Corporation was able to move very, very rapidly to keep Creps Publications here in Indiana. That's about 200 jobs in Indiana County that we're saving because we had the property and the ability to provide a pad-ready site to save those jobs and get that equipment up and running in a short period of time.”

Planning and Development, along with the development corporation and elected officials held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site last Friday.

“This is just a good indication that we are doing everything we can and we have a partner out there that is making it happen,” Ruddock said. “As we always see, when you move quickly on projects like this it's going to attract other interests of other organizations that know we can get through the red tape and get it done quickly.”

The commissioners also approved a change order to the Communities at Indian Haven conference room addition project, decreasing the contract amount by $1,540.

“It's always nice to see a decrease,” Ruddock said of the change order.

Indiana County Jail warden Samuel Buzzinotti spoke to the commissioners regarding a plan to seek compensation from the state for housing state inmates at the county jail.

The proposal, approved by the county commissioners, would seek $65 per day from the state for housing non-county inmates. The jail and other county and out-of-state facilities had been temporarily housing state inmates to accomodate expansion projects at state prisons, but with those projects complete the state had been reclaiming its inmates.

“With all the expansion projects in the state and the building of new facilities, what the state did was they moved some of their inmates out to other states and they contracted with the counties to hold state inmates for a period of time until they were able to bring them back,” Buzzinotti said. “A couple weeks ago I got the final letter that stated they would be pulling all of their state inmates. They moved everyone back from the other states that were out and all the inmates from the counties and they're all back in the (state) facilities now. We kind of went to zero and I'm trying to work on building that back up.”

The jail held as many as 70 state inmates and was reimbursed about $54 per inmate per day during that period.

The revenue from housing out-of-county inmates is a welcome addition to county coffers, the commissioners said.

“I want to commend what our warden has done since he's taken over,” Ruddock said. “We ran into a revenue stream, lost a revenue stream that we were not so much counting on, as we had in years past because that hurt us in our budget review... Now we don't necessarily count on it, but we have it in there as a goal to achieve. Any dollar that we lose, and since we've lost those state inmates now, our projections are below projections. Sam has done all he can do to try to fill that void. This is a good start.”

The commissioners also took action on an item tabled at their Feb. 13 meeting, authorizing the Indiana County Airport Authority to accept grant money in the amount of $97,500 to fund the installation of an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) to replace the airport's obsolete weather observation equipment.

The airport authority agreed to pay the local match for the grant and to cover obstruction removal costs associated with the project in the amounts of $32,500 and $3,000, respectively.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved a memorandum of understanding regarding the continuation in the county of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency's Pennsylvania Statewide Automated Victim Information Notification system. PA SAVIN alerts crime victims via telephone, email or text message when there is a change in the custody status of a criminal offender, such as a release or escape from custody or transfer to another jail.

• Accepted a contract from Armstrong-Indiana Behavioral and Developmental Health Program to hire Darlene Hawk as a constable.

• Approved two appointments to the Armstrong-Indiana Behavioral and Developmental Health Program board. David Norris, of Indiana, was appointed for a term to expire Dec. 31, 2015 and Karen Brunetto, also of Indiana, was re-appointed for a term to expire on the same date.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913 or

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