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Unity planners vote for more restrooms at airport

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 7:36 p.m.

Unity planning commission approved plans for additional restrooms at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport as officials there expect more passengers.

Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority, said when board members last updated its master plan in 2001, projecting 20 years into the future, they expected 110,000 to 150,000 passengers per year.

With the addition of Spirit Airlines as a commercial carrier in 2011, the airport is expecting 300,000 to 400,000 passengers this year, Monzo said.

“Half a million isn't out of the question,” he said.

The additional restrooms are necessary to accommodate all those passengers, which now queue up at the facilities shortly before flights depart or after they arrive, he said.

The restrooms are planned for near the end of the ticket counter in the terminal building.

Monzo said if enough federal grant money is allocated, a seven-space executive parking lot will be added during the restroom construction, just outside the addition.

Two sewage tap-ins have been purchased from Unity Township Municipal Authority for the addition, Monzo said.

The commission approved preliminary plans for the measure with a 3-0-1 vote, then final plans with a 2-1-1 vote.

Monzo, who is on the Unity board, too, abstained from both votes, while Frank Novotny voted against the final plans.

Novotny said he had no objections to the construction but wanted to give the commission members absent from the meeting a chance to review the plans.

In other business, the board approved construction on two storage buildings owned by board member Tim Schultheis.

Across the street from each other on the 24-acre Schultheis Electric property on Seventh Avenue in Lloydsville, one plan will add a 7,700-square-foot addition to an existing storage building, and the other is the addition of an 11,000-square-foot building.

Novotny similarly voted for preliminary plans but against final plans, while Schultheis abstained from the votes.

All three projects will be heard before supervisors at their Sept. 12 meeting.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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