Supervisors say Burrell Township isn't pursuing discussions with Laurel Valley ambulance service
By Gina DelFavero
Published: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Addressing what was discussed at their August meeting, Burrell Township's supervisors last week said they have not continued any discussions about possibly bringing in Laurel Valley EMS to serve the township's emergency needs.
During public comments at the September meeting, township resident Emerson Holstein wanted to know why the township was even considering another ambulance service other than Citizens' Ambulance, which is the primary responder for the area.
Supervisor Larry Henry, who led the meeting in the absence of Chairman John Shields, said the township was just exploring other options and it has gone no further than that.
“I think there were a lot of concerns from the public” when they read about this, said Supervisor Tony Distefano. “We were approached by Laurel Valley about Burrell Township naming another company as ambulance service. We have no complaints with Citizens' or anything like that, but anytime somebody approaches and says, ‘We think we can do better,' we will listen. But that has gone nowhere. We agreed to talk to them, and that's where it ended.”
The supervisors agreed to begin circulating a petition in pursuit of extending public natural gas service to areas of Burrell Township, including Black Lick.
Anybody not already served by natural gas who is interested in having natural gas lines installed is asked to sign the petition.
“We've been approached numerous times over the years,” by people wanting to know why there is no natural gas service in the area, Distefano said. “With the price of oil, more and more people are interested in getting natural gas as a source of home heat.”
The petition is part of the procedure through Peoples Gas to request natural gas service, determining if it is feasible to bring lines into the township. The petition asks for the homeowner's address for mapping purposes only.
Distefano said signing the petition in no way obligates a homeowner to use the lines if they are installed.
The petition will be available at the Burrell Township office and will circulate through other local communities, possibly door-to-door by volunteers.
“This is a long process and this is the earliest step,” Distefano said.
The supervisors approved a change announced at the August meeting to eliminate two seats on the Burrell Township Recreation and Parks Board that were formerly designated to the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District.
After properly advertising the ordinance change, the revisions were OK'd to reduce the board seats from nine to seven, removing the school board's representation. The issue was brought up last month when Distefano pointed out that the school board no longer runs the summer youth program for which the board seats were originally provided.
The ordinance has been amended to read that there will be seven parks board members, all of whom will be appointed by the supervisors.
In other business, the supervisors:
• Approved Theo Ball Jr. and Thomas Shirley Jr. as fire police officers, joining Monroe Reese, fire police captain; James Joyce, fire police lieutenant; and fire police officer Charles Franco Sr. on the township's fire police roster;
• Received notice from Gannett Fleming, Inc. of a natural gas gathering pipeline being proposed by Mountain Gathering, LLC for Blacklick, Burrell and Center townships. In Burrell, the line would cross Route 119 north of Josephine. The letter stated the company's intention of submitting necessary applications to the state Department of Environmental Protection;
• Received word from the Indiana County Conservation District that stormwater discharge for the Blairsville Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses' new site has been authorized to discharge into a nearby unnamed tributary of the Conemaugh River. The proposed new site is along Newport Road.
• Announced that the Black Lick Volunteer Fire Department will hold one of its hoagie sales Oct. 5.
• Reported that budget meetings will begin the week of Oct. 7.
The township office will be closed Oct. 14 in observation of Columbus Day. The next regular township meeting will be held 7 p.m. Oct. 16.
Gina DelFavero is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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