Burrell Township looks to gauge interest in natural gas service extension

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 9:15 p.m.

Burrell Township's supervisors have renewed a plea for any township residents who would like to obtain natural gas service to express their interest in writing.

The supervisors last month announced they would accept signatures on a petition to help determine if there is enough interest in gas service to make it feasible for an area provider to extend lines into unserved areas of the township.

“We've not had a lot of response so far,” Chairman John Shield reported at the supervisors' regular Oct. 16 meeting.

A petition is available in the township office for those who would like to demonstrate their interest in obtaining natural gas. The supervisors have also said they'd like to hear from any residents who would like to help circulate copies of the petition.

They stressed that signing the petition doesn't obligate a resident to ultimately accept natural gas service.

Supervisor Larry  Henry explained the board members have been discussing possible expansion of service with Peoples Gas and were asked by the utility to help gauge the level of interest in extending gas lines in the township.

Save for a few private wells, the supervisors noted residents in the northern part of the township currently lack access to natural gas.

Shields urged those who would like to remedy their lack of gas service to “call the office or stop in and show that you may be interested.”

Responding to a question from the audience, the supervisors indicated there has been no further discussion or action concerning a recent proposal by New Florence's Laurel Valley Ambulance Service to station an ambulance unit in the township.

“It's a dead issue as far as I'm concerned,” said Supervisor Tony Distefano.

Indiana-based Citizens' Ambulance Service, which operates a station in Blairsville, has long provided primary response to incidents in the township that require emergency medical services.

The supervisors approved an updated version of the township's emergency promulgation plan. Distefano noted one of the notable changes is inclusion of the township's new emergency management coordinator, Gary Miller, who has succeeded the late Chuck Lydic in the post.

In correspondence, the supervisors received notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection of a planned well drilling operation in the area. The notice is required by state regulations concerning water supply protection.

The supervisors said the notice refers to drilling of a Marcellus gas well planned in neighboring Center Township.

The Burrell board also received a request from Rosebud Mining Company to receive electronic notice of any public hearing that may be held concerning proposed township zoning measures that could affect the company's mining sites in the township.

The township office will be closed on the following dates: Election Day, Nov. 5; Veterans Day, Nov. 11; and Thanksgiving, Nov. 28.

The next meeting of the supervisors will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 20.

Jeff Himler is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2910 or jhimler@tribweb.com.

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