Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 29, 2002 · Page 1
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 1

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Tuesday, October 29, 2002
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Brian Eyerman is back in lUP's lineup. Page 13. 24 pages — 2 sections TUESDAY OCTOBER 29,2002 Vol. 99 — No. 68 Who's in the news There is good news today in ' The Indiana Gazette about the - following area people: Gwen Kunkle, Carol Berry, L. 'Elaine Grube, Roseanne Mollo, v Rebecca Hanzes, Gail L. r. Seevers, John Smelko, Letitia Peace. INSIDE Gas guzzlers Average fuel economy for 2003-model cars is down for the third consecutive year and now stands 6 percent below the " high point set 15 years ago. Page?. Unregistered Those who haven't voted for • five years are in danger of being purged from the election rolls. Pages. Deaths Obituaries on page 4 GRAFTON, Glenn L, 90, Slate Lick GUARDUCCI, Carolyn Galonis, 73, Brick, N.J., formerly of Indiana JONES, Catherine R., 65, Homer City ROWE, Ruth, 90, New Port Richey, Fla., formerly of Indiana SNYDER, Anna Jane, 60, Piano, Texas, formerly of Kittanning Forecast Tonight there is a chance of rain with a low of 38. Wednesday there is a 60-percent chance of rain with a high of 43. Page 2. Index Classifieds ......... . ............... 22-24 DearAbby ................. . .............. 10 Entertainment ........................ 19 Family .......................... . ........... 11 ;_<Lottery numbers ....................... 2 %Today in History ..................... 10 ^Sports ................................. 13-18 •Stocks ......................................... 2 •TV-Comics ............................... 20 -Viewpoint .................................. 6 Teddy "The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity Srid tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." '~ John W. Gardner, American government official -" Newspaper contents copyright © 2002 ; • Indiana Printing and Publishing Co., _ Indiana, Pa. Final Days...The Finery's Anniversary Sale Ends Saturday. Final Downtown Farmer's Market Wednesday ,4p.m.,Church Street Thanks For Your Business! Professional Installation Affordable Interiors Mohawk Carpet Sale Call (724)349^8821 Rose Inn Wednesday: Burger Special All Day! Sensa Foam.. .The "Weightless Sleep System". Now At Douds Of PI urn ville. (724)397-5511 Your Internet Services, www.yourinter.net, Buy Indiana County First, (724)4630105. www.indianagazette.com Snooker halls are reopening in the Afghan city of Kandahar. Page 9. 50 cents $36 million upgrade proposed Projects could mean tax increase of up to 8.8 mills By TIMOTHY SHOCK Gazette Staff Writer A $36 million proposal for Indiana Area School District renovations includes artificial turf for Fifth Street Field, a competition-size swimming pool and 1,500-seat gymnasium for the Indiana Area Senior High School, but the junior high school is first in line for more basic work. A new roof, new windows and a new exterior surface for the junior high school are some of the proposals in a feasibility study commissioned by the Indiana Area School District. The school board will hold a public hearing Dec. 9 on the proposed renovation and expansion for the junior Indiana School Distirct high school, which Eckles Architecture of New Castle said could cost about $16.3 million. The building was last renovated in the late 1970s, and it was the reason the board gave for commissioning the study. The architects propose eliminating the swimming pool at the junior high school and in its place adding an auxiliary gym, expanding the cafete-' ria and building classrooms on the second and third floors. But the senior high school got most of the attention at the school board's meeting Monday. Rumors have swirled recently about $10.2 million in proposed upgrades to the athletic facilities at the senior high school, and they were the main topic of a two-hour discussion at the board meeting. "This project, to me, with this price tag, sounds like an unreasonable burden for the people of this district," board member Cynthia Hatcher said. The board would have to raise the property tax by about 8.8 mills to pay for all of the work proposed in the feasibility study according to the district business manager, Don Gardner. Because each mill of taxes costs property owners about $15 on average, that would mean an average increase of $132 for property-tax bills. Continued on page 12 A rendering of the proposed stadium by HHSDR Architects shows Option 1, adjacent to the J.S. Byers Auditorium at the high school. School considering new track j Construction could cost as much as $700,000 By CHAUNCEY ROSS Gazette Staff Writer HOMER CITY — Plans for a regulation- size track and field facility for Homer-Center High School met mixed but mostly favorable response Monday evening at a public meeting at the school. A bare-bones facility — a fenced-in, six- lane track with pole-vault and high-jump pits and a shot-put area — and the needed grading and excavation would cost an estimated $500,000 to $600,000, the school board's president, James Costello, said. Encircle the track with a paved walkway, throw in some bleachers and make a soccer or football practice field inside the oval and "we're bantering around a number like $700,000," Costello said. To pay for it, the district might need to raise the property tax by 1 or 2 mills and tap the capital-reserve fund for some cash, according to Business Manager Beverly Gard- Homer-Center School Distirct ner. "This project would not qualify for state reimbursement," Gardner said. "We could pursue private contributions ... but I would not expect a windfall." After initial construction, the district should expect to spend $40,000 to $45,000 to replace the surface every seven to 11 years and to spend $3,000 to $5,000 to paint new lines on the track every three to five years, according to a consulting engineer. Greer Hayden, vice president of the HHSDR architectural and engineering firm of Sharon, Pa., displayed plans for putting the track at two locations on school grounds. A site labeled Option 1 shows the Continued on page 12 HOMER crry-,, BOROUGH/? 0 * A OPTION 1 Homer Center Jr./Sr. High School By the numbers • The most basic project would cost al least $500,000. • Taxes could rise by 1 or 2 mills. • The project is not eligible for state aid. The school board is considering two locations, north and south of the high school. MONDAY BEST Some of the winners named Monday night at the Halloween parade in downtown Indiana were, from left, Alexander Mauk, Indiana, scariest; Zachary Barnett, Homer City, most original; Laura Pearce, Indiana, funniest; and Lilly Smith, Indiana, best costume for somebody under 6 years old. Named best group, with a 1950s-style mall shop, were Saige, 2, Svdnee, 4, and Brian Bowditch, 8; Chase Imbriaco, 10;' Kaiden Johnson, 1; Kane Kama, 4; and Dempsey Johnson, 6. (Gazette photo by Thomas Slusser) Residents oppose new elementary school By JOHN COMO Gazette Staff Writer ELDERTON — Many residents of the Elderton attendance area in the Armstrong School District want the Elderton and KittanningTown- ship elementary schools to be left alone and the Elderton Junior-Senior High School to be renovated. But they learned Monday night that renovation of the junior high school could be placed on the back burner by a building project at the West Hills Elementary School in the Kittanning attendance area. More than 300 residents attended the school board's meeting Monday. The board listened to their opinions until after midnight. A majority of board members present said they favor renovating the West Hills school and constructing a new building on that property before renovating the school in Elderton. The estimated $12 million West Hills project would result in the Armstrong School District closing of the North Buffalo and East Franklin elementary schools. Also, sixth-grade students would be transferred from the Kittanning Middle School to West Hilis, which •would house classrooms for kindergarten through sixth grade. The projected cost to renovate the Elderton junior-senior high school ranges from $9.8 million to $12.7 million. Monday night, the board directed Hayes Large of Pittsburgh, the district's architect, to do a land survey of the West Hills property at a cost of $13,300. Voting for the survey were Karen L Bower, Joseph D. Close, Dr. Lawrence A. Barlosh and Timothy M. Ashe. D. Royce Smelter, Dr. lames Solak and Mary A. Smith voted against the survey. Board members Terry A. Rupp and Continued on page 4 White Town ship Copper Beech plan approved By MARY ANN SLATER Gazette Staff Writer Copper Beech Townhome Communities received final approval Monday for a new storm- water plan for its housing development behind the Regency Mall in White Township. The approval from the planning commission came 18 months after township officials first discovered problems with the developer's initial drainage plans. Those problems surfaced in April 2001, when runoff from the Copper Beech site carried mud . into a pond owned by Specialty Tires of America. The mud caused problems with production at the tire plant, and the company closed the factory for a week to be sure the system was clean again. Since that time, Copper Beech has been trying to come up with another plan acceptable to township officials. The final plan consists ofa large retention pond and a series of pipes that will carry water from the pond over some property belonging to Regency Mall and to a drainage system located along North Avenue. In granting tentative approval to the plan in September, commission members issued certain conditions that Copper Beech had to meet before final approval could be granted. Those conditions included a written guarantee that the new storm-water system would be properly maintained, a second guarantee that an independent inspector would supervise construction of the new system, and written documentation showing that Copper Beech has necessary rights of way to carry water over land belonging to nearby Regency Mall. White Township officials reviewed paperwork submitted by Copper Beech and said all the conditions seemed to have been met. At first, commission members were deadlocked on their vote on final approval. Members Robert Begg and Vaughn Davis voted yes, but George Lenz and Alvin Beatty voted no. Commission member Ed Onuscheck was absent. Davis questioned why fellow members Lenz and Beatty were voting against final approval when Copper Beech had met ail of the commission's conditions. Beatty, who voted for the tentative plan, said he changed his mind and didn't like parts of the proposal. Lenz noted he had opposed the tentative plan in September. At mat time, Lenz said he had concerns based on his experience with Copper Beech. In its initial storm-water plan, Copper Beech had indicated it had certain rights of way that it did not actually have. But Davis said he did not think Beatty's and Lenz's votes were fair. Copper Beech "met the conditions and now we are saying, 'That's not good enough,'" Davis said. In the end, Lenz said he would switch his vote in support of the storm-water plan. He said that since Copper Beech had met the commission's Continued on page 12 f

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