SNPJ

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SNPJ - 8.N.P.J. 11, 13-A With more letters than...
8.N.P.J. 11, 13-A With more letters than people, town has plenty to boast on By METER MATTIACB SLOVENSKA NARODNA BODPORNA JEDNOTA, Pa - Don't ask Mayor Pat Cbjaro how to uy the name tiny town. He can't pronounce it either. never pronounce it. fwybody and their btfSther just goes by 'SAP..!.' They all know wr!|re we are," Chiaro says. %5venska Narodna Pod porriu Jednola - which roexns Slovene National B«tttfit Society - is tucked a\t*a>y about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh amid wooded bills and Unfa green pastures near the Ohio border. It used to be Herman Serjak's vegetable farm. One of the nation's smallest municipalities with one of its longest names, S.N.P.J. counts just 11 residents, residents, no children, one pay telephone, one mail box and 500 acres - including the lake and the abandoned strip mine. The Slovene National Benefit Society, a 78-year- old insurance company and ******************* s #i 5 # -; ^ ..or*lo.lon»onond _ -*^* Richard «Avril*odrigu«. * ************************ •onu Nov. 11,1982 W«lflift7lbs.14oz. H^fh»j)9'/, inch«. P*OUD PARf NTS . GRAMDPAMfNTSt H.O. t Lor«to Johnson and fraternal group, own* the town and rune it as a summer summer camp aad recreation center. Slovenians come from what is cow Yugoslavia. S.N.P.J. offers visitors 60 housing units, mostly redwood redwood shacks scattered in a former pasture, a 17 acre lake for boating and fishing, tennis courts, a swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, a recreation building, a small restaurant, picnic- grounds and a 160-foot water tower. S.N.P.J. is a town born in part out of the need for a liquor license. The Chicago-based society society bought Serjak's property property in 1963 for a recreation center, but found it couldn't legally sell drinks as part of North Beaver Township, a dry Lawrence County community. In July 1977, S.N.P.J. petitioned a county court to secede and formed its own municipality, thus free to sell alcohol to its guests at Slovenian festivals, pinks and parties. "This way," Chiaro says, "it makes everything legal." S.N.P.J. doesa't have the problems of most towns. Its annual municipal budget is about $350, mostly (or telephone telephone calls and postage. Surrounding North Beaver collects S.N.P.J.'s taxes in return for regular municipal police, fire and road services. Housewife Claire Jergel is S.N.P.J.'s council president. president. Her council is made up of her two sons, Timothy, 26, an office equipment salesman, and Alvin, 33, = musician. Municipal officials officials are not pa id. Chiaro, 42, a retired potato chip distributor, was elected mayor last November November by a 10-0 vote. Chiaro graciously abstained. An Italian-American in a Slovenian town, Chiaro nevertheless nevertheless had no political opposition. "Nobody wanted the job," Chiaro says. "We never have any political troubles. We mostly agree." ON ANY BL4CK & DECKER POWER TOOL IN STOCK UNTIL CHRISTMAS! V? ST ° W ^ VAY •Drill DUST BUSTER Recr 21.99 •Sander/Polisher Now -Circular Saw Pe « 3695 n 1T 95 •Jia Saw Now O I / Jig oaw *>ft«i«; •Router £v MON. THRU FRI. 7:M - S*« _ SAT. 7:M - NOON r* MERRY MULES tAY.nXLUMItfttt But, like nuiy bigger municipalities, the wheels of government eaa turn slowly in S.N.P.J. "It's like any other government government We have a lot of reports to make out to the state and federal governments. governments. We can have a lot of red tape," Chiaro says. The mayor spends about one day of week toiling over federal and state paperwork that means little to his little town. "We don't get any grants or any of that stuff," Chiaro says. "Of course, we don't ask for them either." But before Chiaro was sworn in. S.N.P.J. sought federal aid to tin an abandoned abandoned 4*-aere strip mine behind the recreation center, according to Borough Solicitor John Seltzer, a New Castle attorney attorney who lives outside town. The application is pending, he says. S.N.P.J. officials, citing their town's sustained westerly breezes averaging 10 miles per hour, last year asked the state to be considered considered for an experimental windmiJi to generate electricity. electricity. The state turned them down, Seltzer says. "We felt it would have been a real good attraction to bring more people in," Seltzer says. Officials say about 40,000 people visit S.N.P.J. each summer, but the town all but closes down in the wintertime. wintertime. S.N.P.J.'s first police chief. Art Daellebaugh. a security guard at a nearby factory, drives his own car through town whenever he has time. Declaring that law and order will prevail in S.X.P.J., Chief Daellebaugh recently posted a photocopied notice in the recreation hall warning that all state traffic laws will be strictly enforced. Chiaro says the police chief was sworn in just tkrae months ago because residents residents felt a little insecure, mainly about occasional couples breaking into the shacks for late-night romance. The mayor shrugs off reports reports of S.N.P.J.'s only suspected suspected crime, the alleged theft of some tomato sticks to build a fire. YOU Wf CAN TV StrCWbeny 935-2869 411 Laurel-La Wl HAVE awost INCtWMNC BUGS, & CUfS, • • • SOAP GIFT

Clipped from
  1. The Galveston Daily News,
  2. 11 Dec 1982, Sat,
  3. Page 13

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