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Burrell Township reviews plans for replacement of restaurants damaged by fire

| Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, 7:05 p.m.

Plans are in motion to rebuild on the site of the former Pizza Hut/KFC eatery that sustained major damage in a fire nearly a year ago in Burrell Township.

Just before their regular Feb. 19 meeting, the township supervisors received word that the township engineer had reviewed a plan for constructing a new dining facility at the location at Route 22 and Corporate Campus Drive — this time pairing Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants.

A request for subdivision plan approval, reviewed by Garvin Engineering and Municipal Management, includes a second sewer tap because the two eateries, though sharing a building, will require individual restroom facilities.

“So shortly, Pizza Hunt/Taco Bell should be breaking ground,” Supervisors Chairman Larry Henry said. “We're glad to see them rebuilding. It's pretty much going to be the same footprint as what was out there, with no significant changes to the ingress/egress.”

Eric Jones, co-owner of LGL Pizza Huts in Indiana, who owned the former restaurant, said the company hopes to break ground by the beginning of April, weather permitting, with an opening possible as soon as June 1.

According to Jones, the Pizza Hut will be roughly 2,300 square feet in size, while the Taco Bell will be slightly smaller, at 1,900 square feet. The Pizza Hut will feature a WingStreet unit, a sub-brand of the company that offers additional appetizer and salad options as well as an array of wings.

The Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants are both independently owned, Jones noted, and both will have a need for hiring when the time comes.

“We're excited about getting back into business in Blairsville,” he said.

The next step will be for the developer to gain the Burrell Township Sewer Authority's approval for the additional sewer tap.

The supervisors will be paid a $750 fee to cover costs associated with the project plan review. The previous building was demolished after being heavily damaged in a March 22 blaze, caused by a faulty exhaust fan in the men's restroom.

The supervisors received word from Indiana Insurance, one of its insurance providers, that the township has earned an $11,523.12 refund based on its good overall claims experience for the past three years.

As explained in a letter from the township's long-time insurance agent and Burrell Township native, Charles Houser Jr., Indiana Insurance partners with the Best Insurance Group and EMC Companies.

A safety dividend is offered through the Best Insurance Group, earning the public entities in the plan a share of the profits if they retain a good claims history, allowing the plan to remain profitable. Houser noted that more than $25,000 has been refunded to eight municipalities in Indiana County this year, with Burrell Township receiving the largest dividend.

The supervisors reported that the township's salt supply was in good shape. Supervisor John Shields noted the township had just received two loads of salt on Feb. 19.

“Fortunately, we had enough stockpiled before the bad weather. We kept up with it,” Henry said. “We never ran out.”

The township has not been as lucky in the hours budgeted for labor and other costs related to this harsh winter season.

“We haven't crunched the numbers exactly, but we're definitely over-budget on manpower and materials,” Henry said.

No significant issues have arisen with maintenance of the township equipment.

In other business, the supervisors:

• Approved agreements for Sunoco Logistics, which intends to complete repairs or replacements at gas line locations in the township. The company plans to cut into the pavement at Lintner and McKnight roads while digging on both sides of Villa Road near its intersection with McKnight;

• Announced they will open bids for spring road materials 1 p.m. March 13 in the municipal building;

• Announced the Black Lick Volunteer Fire Department will hold sub sales April 5, May 3, July 12, Aug. 2, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4.

The supervisors will next meet at 7 p.m. March 19.

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

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