Around the North
Zelienople, O'Hara and Butler County are among 131 municipalities and counties that will share $17.8 million in recycling grants from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Zelienople will receive $248,994 under the 53rd round of grants since the start of the Pennsylvania Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act of 1988, also known as Act 101. Under Act 101, municipalities with more than 10,000 residents and those with population densities greater than 300 persons per square mile are required to recycle.
O'Hara will receive $45,270, and Butler County will receive $64,168.
Currently, 440 of the state's 2,700 municipalities are required to recycle and provide curbside collection programs.
Council members voted unanimously Feb. 12 to reduce the property tax rate from 9 to 8.5 mills. Al Atkinson was absent.
The change was possible because the borough's assessed property value increased from $77,689,530 to an estimated $88,193,816. The borough was required to reduce millage so that it did not exceed the 5 percent ceiling on real estate tax revenues during a reassessment year. That requirement applies only to the first year after new reassessment values are implemented.
• At a special election Feb. 5, council members elected James Machajewski Jr. as president to fill the post vacated by Paula Grimpe, who stepped down for personal reasons. Mr. Machajewski was elected on a 5-2 vote over fellow councilman John Kelly.
Mr. Kelly was elected vice president.
In the vote for president, Mr. Machajewski was supported by Ms. Grimpe, Mr. Atkinson, Jack Varley, Brian Wolovich and himself. Mr. Kelly received votes from William Stout and himself.
• Jim Tunstall Jr. was reappointed fire chief for a two-year term. Council also approved these appointments: Jean Domico, Mary Catherine Sikora, Kim Zurcher and Mr. Stout to the planning commission; Mr. Kelly and Tina Walker to one-year terms as representatives to the Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone; and Mr. Wolovich to the Tree Committee.
• Tyler Machajewski, a junior at Shaler Area High School, was appointed junior council member.
"Tyler's appointment will be slightly longer than future appointments to the position due to the fact that the school year is currently half over," said Mr. Machajewski, who is council president and Tyler's father.
Commissioners have approved a short-term plan to repair the intersection of Arlington Street and Pittview Avenue through an emergency grant with Allegheny County Department of Economic Development.
At the Feb. 11 meeting, $14,400 was awarded to stabilize the road so a long-term strategy can be devised.
"The road needs a reconstruction that is comprehensive in nature," township manager Robert Kipp said. "It will be a project done in phases as the budget between manpower and materials will exceed $500,000."
Some of the reconstruction will consist of drainage structures and retaining walls and the rebuilding and strengthening of sanitary sewer and water lines.
• Police Officer James Etherington was promoted to sergeant. He replaces Dan Giebel, who retired from the police force.