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Final 3 reps named to new recreation commission

| Thursday, May 10, 2012, 1:11 a.m.

The Unity Township supervisors on Thursday completed the new board of directors that will steer recreation programs in the Greater Latrobe area.

The supervisors, the Greater Latrobe School Board and Latrobe City Council each approved separate resolutions last month to establish the Latrobe, Unity and Youngstown Parks and Recreation Commission.

Last night, the supervisors named two of their own, along with township recreation board Chairman Michael Ferguson, as the township's representatives on the nine-member board that was created to oversee the commission.

"We're very excited," said Supervisor Jake Blank, who will serve a three-year term on the new board. "I think it's a stellar board, and we are looking forward to getting started."

"The commission certainly has its work cut out," added Supervisor Michael O'Barto, who will serve a one-year term. "But I think it will be well worth it."

Ferguson -- who also served on the "peer-to-peer" committee that drafted the intergovernmental agreement to unite the recreation programs -- will serve a two-year term.

"I think he'll do a very good job," said Supervisor Tim Quinn. "He's very serious about recreation."

Earlier this week, Latrobe City Council named John Wandrisco, Bruce Jones and Deputy Mayor Neal Fenton as the city's representatives on the board.

Wandrisco and Jones serve on the board of Latrobe Parks and Recreation, which will be dissolved when the new commission takes over Jan. 1. Fenton had been active in efforts to merge the recreation programs.

The school board last month named school Director Susan Mains, district Athletic Director Steve LoCascio and Latrobe resident Patricia Fenton to the board.

Mains and Fenton, the deputy mayor's mother, also serve on the Latrobe Parks and Recreation board. LoCascio was a member of the peer-to-peer committee.

"I think it's a good board. It will be fair and equitable to the entire area, and I intend to see that it is," O'Barto said. "I wanted the one-year term because I want to see that the best interests of the people of Unity Township are kept in mind. But after it gets going, I don't think that political interests should be involved."

The new board will convene in January, Blank said. A comprehensive recreation plan is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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