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Tarentum plans to take advantage of mall

| Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2004

TARENTUM -- Councilman Bill Rossey said he'll try to get another meeting together after the new year with borough business owners and nonprofit organizations to discuss what can be done to help the community benefit from the Pittsburgh Mills mega-mall being built in Frazer.

Rossey called an initial meeting he held in September a success and said he'd like to share ideas he has with those that business owners may have formulated since that meeting.

The mall will be opening in about seven months and it expected to have a profound effect on the Valley.

It's being built along Route 28 minutes from the expressway's Tarentum exit.

It's projected that a lot of people coming to the mall have never been to the area. Mills officials expect 60 percent of the mall's customers to come from more than 20 miles away.

Rossey has yet to set a date, but he said the meeting will be advertised.

He said there are simple things that can be done to try to clean up and beautify Tarentum, and there's been about $5,000 set aside to buy new street signs.

"We'll try to take it one street at a time," he said.

Rossey also initiated an effort for seven "Welcome to Tarentum" signs, which have been up for several months, and a number of welcoming banners. There are still about 35 banners that have yet to be erected.

"We need to just try to start sprucing things up a little better," Rossey said.

He said there's additional money in the budget to pave and repair more roads, hire more summer help and buy a new street sweeper.

Rossey wants to present those plans at the meeting as well as listen to the plans of local business owners.

He'd like to include other groups into the meeting including the Allegheny Valley Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Executive Director Mary Bowlin said she'd be happy to work with Tarentum officials. She said the organization has set up a planning team of its own that has held several meetings.

"We sent a survey to a lot of businesses in the area," Bowlin said. "We're hoping to get some information to determine what kind of programs we can promote."

A number of the surveys have yet to be returned, she said. But she expects that they will provide the committee with a lot of useful information.

"I think there will be a lot of opportunity to hold some educational programming," Bowlin said.

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