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Ford City's sidewalks less scary now that project's done

| Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011

FORD CITY -- Community leaders in Ford City have taken extra steps to help make trick-or-treating a safe and enjoyable experience for all the little witches, goblins, monsters and superheroes on Wednesday.

They've made the town's sidewalks, along Fourth, Fifth and parts of Sixth avenues, which were left unsafe by an unfinished sewage project, not so scary anymore.

"The (sewage authority) board was frustrated the project was not done," said sewage authority vice president Zoltar Kupas. "We didn't want anyone to get hurt. We offered our help."

After authority president Terry Tokarek took the board's concerns to council at a public meeting last week, the two groups called for a special idea session.

Last night, members of the authority, town council and the mayor, Ford City High School LEO Club, crime watch, fire department and police department came up with a plan.

Tokarek said he wanted to block off those avenues and have residents there give out treats at a central place.

But the group decided to proceed with going door-to-door for treats with plenty of volunteers along the way.

Ray Klukan, council vice president and member of the town's volunteer fire department who headed the effort, said the biggest change was moving the time for trick-or-treat to 5 to 7 p.m. rather than 6 to 8 p.m.

"That gives us more daylight," he said.

In addition, LEO Club kids will be spread along the avenues with flashlights, and firefighters and police officers will be out in greater numbers.

"If we can get 50 LEO kids, along with the firefighters with the big flashlights, stationed out along the project area, that would be great," said Klukan.

The most dangerous sections of the sidewalks would be marked with orange cones the night before, he said. He recommends that residents turn on their porch lights and that parents carry flashlights.

"If we get enough volunteers, it should be pretty safe," added Kupas.

Anyone wanting to help should meet at the fire station with a flashlight at 4:30 p.m.

"We'll try to be out there as much as we can in those (unsafe) areas," said Klukan.

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