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Study recommends one chief for two Frazer fire stations

| Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2004

FRAZER -- The township's two volunteer fire departments do a good job but an independent review of the departments recommends they consolidate under a single chief.

At their last meeting, township supervisors said they will review a state Department of Community and Economic Development study that suggests, among other things, the single chief system for the township. The review calls for maintaining two fire stations, each with its own staff and equipment.

Other suggestions include a formal recruitment and retention program, planning for future expansion and getting new equipment and smaller vehicles to handle the expected increase in calls with the Pittsburgh Mills mall moving onto about 340 acres off Butler-Logan Road.

"(The township and fire departments) face a mounting predicament in dealing with rapid expansion and a definite facility need that is beyond present capabilities," said Allen Clark, a peer consultant with the state, who participated in the study.

"Mutual aid is essential because of the size of the community," Clark said.

It's important to maintain two stations because the township roads do not allow for a rapid response from a single location, Clark said.

The two departments appear to be doing "an acceptable, if not exemplary job with older equipment, small staffing, and inadequate funding," Clark said.

In other business:

  • Supervisors approved a standard compensation of $7,000 for the tax collector, instead of offering 5 percent on total collections. The previous system averaged about $3,500.

  • Supervisors approved transferring a liquor license from Rankin Borough to the township so LongHorn Steakhouse, owned by Rare Hospitality International, Inc. can move into the Mills mall. Rare Hospitality owns eight restaurants in the state.

  • The township's reorganization meeting is Jan. 3 at 6 p.m with the regular meeting to follow.

  • Nancy Willis was approved to replace planning commission member Byron Wiles because he is moving out of the township. Willis' term will expire Dec. 31, 2007.

  • William Harkiewicz will replace Scott Robinson on the zoning hearing board. The term expires Dec. 31, 2007.

  • Supervisors approved a zoning change that will allow Mills to create four and a half parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of gross leasable area, rather than five. Another change is allowing spaces that will be used for employees to be 8 1/2 x 18 feet rather than 9 x 18 because drivers wouldn't be pulling in and out of them as frequently.

    Additional Information:

    Road to reopen

    Tawny Run Road, which has been closed because of construction at the Pittsburgh Mills mall site, is expected to open by Dec. 31.

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