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Grant to help set up 'health care district' in Greensburg

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 11:11 p.m.

Greensburg City Council approved acceptance of a $30,000 state grant on Monday to help set up a "health care district" around Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital.

During a meeting last night, council endorsed receipt of the funds from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Council wants to spark development around the city hospital and make that development easier to do by setting up the district.

Experts will look at parking, pedestrian walkways, roads and other items.

In addition, the "health care district" designation would shorten the zoning process for any development Excela does near its facility.

The city's share in setting up the district will be $5,000. Greensburg Community Development Corp. is chipping in $10,000 of the total $120,000 cost.

City officials hope to make up the funding difference through grants and foundation money.

In another matter, during the fall election campaign, candidates for Greensburg mayor and council professed the need to revise the city's building-code requirements.

Last night, Councilman Randy Finfrock, director of administration, development and public operations, told council he wants to begin reviewing those building restrictions.

Finfrock said he hopes to start the review at council's June 5 meeting.

"We've been kind of doing this in fits and starts," he said, adding he wanted to announce intentions now so the work gets done.

Council accepted the retirement of police Sgt. Gerald Stofko, a 20-year member of the department, effective May 26.

The panel further endorsed buying a chassis for Greensburg Fire Department Hose Company No. 8's salvage truck. City officials are making the $75,662 purchase through the state's COSTARS purchasing program and will fund it through the city's fire improvement fund.

The equipment is specialized, Councilman Bill Eger said, making use of a second-hand chassis nearly impossible.

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