$1.8M emergency operating center at Arnold Palmer airport gets OK
The longtime dream of a regional emergency operating center at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity is a step closer to reality.
The Unity Township Planning Commission this week gave its preliminary approval to the $1.8 million project.
The Westmoreland County Airport Authority plans to build the 10,000-square-foot building at the southern end of the airport, with access from the main entrance to the property, said Dwayne Pickels, the authority's administrative assistant.
The building will serve as training center for local emergency responders and a backup center for the Public Safety building on Donohoe Road in Hempfield, said Dan Stevens, spokesman for the Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety.
The secure facility will house some of the $7 million in emergency equipment scattered across the county in storage, Stevens said. The county's mobile emergency center also would be housed there.
“It's going to be a huge asset for the county and for the township,” Stevens said, adding it will be especially useful in cases of emergencies, such as floods, in eastern Westmoreland.
“It will raise the emergency preparedness of the region,” he said.
Plans for a regional emergency operating center at the airport have been discussed for 25 years, Pickels said. An earlier version would have put the emergency center close to the intersection of routes 30 and 981.
The airport authority board is expected to award contracts for the building at its Tuesday meeting. The authority opened bids in September and likely will award contracts pending the township's approval of the project, Pickels said.
Construction could begin by the end of the year, and the building could be completed within 12 months, Stevens said.
The airport authority's stormwater management plan and a wildlife management plan still must be approved, Pickels said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is assessing wildlife hazards, particularly any that could be caused by birds attracted to a retention pond on the property, he said.
The Federal Aviation Administration also is reviewing the plan, Pickels said.
The county has money earmarked for building the center, Stevens said, including a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and additional funds from private sources.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reachedat 724-836-5252 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Project to tear down former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital on schedule, Excela says
- Norwin band director is finding lots of success in return to his alma mater
- Jeannette company’s miniature steam engines coveted for decades
- Westmoreland County furloughs weights and measurements director
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- United Way surplus funds benefit 9 nonprofits in Westmoreland County
- Penn Township man who shot friend gets probation
- Mt. Pleasant man charged with unlawful restraint
- Youngwood fire department reaches out to homeless family
- Hempfield leaders kill zoning request for townhomes
- Arbitration decides Westmoreland court workers’ pact