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Norwin training center possible for first responders

Joe Napsha
| Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 9:00 p.m.

North Huntingdon officials may form a committee to determine whether to build safety training center for the township's police, fire and Rescue 8 emergency personnel.

Commissioner Darryl Bertani proposed the formation of the committee ā€” comprised of police, fire and emergency personnel, along with the township officials ā€” at a meeting last week.

He suggested that the field next to the township's public works building off Route 30 would be a good location for the enter.

Commissioner Richard Gray recommended that before a committee is formed, the township's firefighters association should send a formal letter indicating whether it wants a training center and what it would do with it. The association serves as a facilitator for activities of North Huntingdon's seven volunteer fire departments and canteen unit.

Bertani agreed.

By having a training center in the township, North Huntingdon's fire departments would not have to travel to the Westmoreland County Community College's safety training center in South Huntingdon, Bertani said.

ā€œIt keeps the resources in the township,ā€ he said.

The township previously had a fire tower on Sandy Hill Road, but Bertani said that was in a remote location where it was vandalized and fell into disrepair.

Bertani said he was approached about the idea by some of the township's fire chiefs.

Gray said it was likely that some township money would be used to build such a training center.

In business related to the police department, the commissioners awarded a $79,542 contract to Day Chevrolet of Monroeville for the purchase of three police vehicles.

Commissioner David Herold said the township could wait about five months and get 2017 models.

In another matter, Commissioner Michael Faccenda Jr. proposed hiring two public works employees, but withdrew the suggestion in the face of strong criticism.

Commissioner Zachary Haigis said there was not any money set aside in the budget to hire more workers in the public works department and the new board that took office this year did not reopen the budget.

Richard Albert, public works director, said he did not request the additional employees and only learned of the proposal shortly before the meeting.

Herold said the proposal was discussed in an executive session.

Faccenda said after the meeting that additional employees are needed for the public works department, especially in light of the increase in the road paving program this year.

Albert said after the meeting he had sought more workers for this road department, but that was rejected during budget deliberations with the commissioners when it was proposed that a strategic plan be developed.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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