Export burnishing its image with trail opening, downtown projects | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Export burnishing its image with trail opening, downtown projects

Patrick Varine
1757112_web1_ms-ExportOnTheRise-101019
Export Borough officials and its historical society have undertaken projects to improve the downtown in recent years. Washington Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas had what he considered a good problem when he stopped by the Export Borough council meeting on Tuesday night.

“It’s really great to pull into Export and not be able to find a place to park,” Kopas said.

With a freshly paved Washington Avenue alongside the recently opened fourth phase of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail, the tiny borough of about 900 residents has been burnishing its image for several years through grant-funded improvements and community projects spearheaded by local scouts, and people are taking notice.

“Our small hamlets and towns are very important to us, and yours is humming,” Kopas said. “The more activity we can bring to our small towns, the better they all become.”

One way to bring that activity is the trail itself, which now connects Monroeville, Murrysville and Export, with Delmont next on the agenda.

For Michelle Gilson, owner of the Export Deli on Washington Avenue, the trail’s arrival in town has meant a hopping summer, even before it officially opened on Aug. 17.

“Usually summer is our slow time, and it’s been booming,” Gilson said. “We’ve seen lots of people coming off the trail, especially during the day. That surprised me. I was figuring it would be more nights and weekends.”

At Export council’s meeting Monday night, upcoming project proposals included new vintage-style signage for the borough’s fire department and the relocation of a military memorial from the former American Legion to a more central downtown spot. Much of the funding for those projects will come from places like the Junior Hall Trust and the Export Historical Society.

Kopas praised the efforts of both the borough and its partners.

“It’s a big county,” he said. “There’s 65 municipalities and the more you can draw attention to the good work you’re doing, the better off you’ll be.”

For Gilson, that will mean learning new names.

“We’re a small-town business and I usually know almost everyone who comes in,” she said. “But we’ve had lots of new faces.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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.