ShareThis Page

Saltsburg endorses plan for canal district, looks to hold tax line

| Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, 1:54 p.m.

Saltsburg Borough Council Monday night passed a tentative budget that will hold taxes at 11.2 mills for 2014, with a mill remaining at an estimated $3,500.

Council expects to have $661,550 in revenues and $627,210.68 in expenses, with a net income on the year of $34,339.32. Tentative revenues include: general account, $308,000; sewage account, $250,900; UDAG account, $50,000; road fund account, $49,050; community center account, $3,600. Projected expenses are: general account, $307,410.68; sewage account, $236,400; UDAG account, $50,000; road fund account, $30,000; community center account, $3,400.

Council President P.J. Hruska said the budget for 2014 “is very cut and dry” and doesn't include any major improvement projects for the borough.

Altman's Feed Mill was again a topic of brief discussion as council agreed to support a community group's proposal to help revitalize the town's Canal district in which the former mill is located.

Council endorsed the Canal Park District Master Development Strategy Proposal, which was brought to the board by Townspeople, Inc., a community grassroots group lead by actor and local community history advocate David Conrad. Conrad, a graduate of The Kiski School, helped establish Townspeople, Inc., which purchased and is currently rehabilitating the W.R. McIlwain Store and Warehouse, known locally as the mule barn.

As part of the proposal, Townspeople, Inc. is now turning its interest to several other buildings in the Canal district, including the mill, the old Martin's Restaurant building on Point Street, and the Saltsburg House, the former hotel that most recently served as a hardware store. That building was purchased last month at auction by Conrad.

Ultimately, Townspeople, Inc. would like to bring in an architect and economic planner to determine how to best utilize those buildings, according to Townspeople, Inc. board member Jack Maguire.

“This is just the first step,” Maguire said of the proposal. He said purchasing the mill isn't the main thrust of the plan, “But it's a piece of it that's very critical to the downtown area.”

A number of issues with the condition of the mill that have arisen over the last few years has resulted in several citations to the building's current owners for violating the borough's building ordinance.

Backing the Canal district proposal is something council members agreed could be a step in a positive direction for the future of the historic structure.

“Dave Conrad and the other people involved in this (proposed) acquisition are extremely positive and they only have the best thoughts and interests in mind for Saltsburg,” said Hruska.

Council hopes to soon have Conrad or another Townspeople, Inc. representative to speak at one of its meetings to talk in more detail about the intent of the proposal and what it means for the future of the historic structure.

In other business, borough council:

• Passed resolutions appointing Berkheimer as tax hearing officer and exclusive LST tax collector for 2014;

• Announced that Light Up Night in the borough will be held 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 7, and closed down Point Street from the post office to Washington Street? and Water Street in front of River's Edge;

• Sponsored four Christmas trees at $25 per tree for the borough's Light Up Night. Council will decorate one tree and will give the other three trees to other organizations to decorate;

• Gave Regis and Nancy Georges approval to apply for a liquor license for their restaurant, The Olde Salt;

• Announced that the comfort station will be closed down for the season after the Light Up Night festivities.

Gina DelFavero is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2915 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.