Westmoreland briefs

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North Huntingdon

The township's aging traffic signal system will be updated.

Township commissioners last week agreed to partner with the Southwest Regional Commission Regional Traffic Signal Program and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in a federally funded project that will update 17 signals, mostly along Route 30 stretching from North Versailles to West Hempfield.

Two traffic signals within the one-mile Irwin commercial corridor that bisects township sections of Route 30 are not included. But the commission may seek the borough's participation in the program.

A federal grant administered by the commission will account for 80 percent of the $350,000 cost and the township's bill will be about $65,000, interim manager Michael Turley said.

Commissioners added the traffic signal program to the capital projects list for 2009. Now, "the board may have to rethink a couple of projects that are earmarked in the budget and put them off until next year," Mr. Turley said.

Commissioners applied for the grant last October at the urging of township police.


"Teeing off for T," the inaugural Thomas J. "T" Walsh Memorial Golf Outing to benefit The Western Pennsylvania Cancer Institute at West Penn Hospital, is set for July 25 at Rolling Fields Golf Club in Murrysville.

Thomas Walsh died Feb. 3, of complications of acute myelogenous leukemia at age 56. His son, WPXI-TV Sports Anchor/Reporter Rich Walsh, said the goal of "Teeing off for T" is to honor his father's memory while helping others who are faced with a hematological malignancy.

Rich Walsh is hosting the event along with his brother, Greg Walsh, and Blase Santoriello, who co-owned Rolling Fields with Thomas Walsh.

Funds raised will be used to purchase specialized furnishings for patients who require inpatient stays at West Penn's Bone Marrow Transplant, Hematology and Oncology Unit, and their families.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., and the shotgun scramble begins at noon. Dinner, program, prizes, raffle and auction begin at 6 p.m.

Registration is required by July 7. For more information, call 412-578-4355 or e-mail bscanlon@wpahs.org.

Franklin Regional

The Franklin Regional school board has approved a one mill increase for the 2009-2010 school year's budget.

By a vote of 7-2, the board last month approved the $47 million budget that will bump property tax rates from 81.88 mills to 82.88 mills for next year.

A mill equals about $333,000 for the district.

The board May 18 had approved a preliminary budget that included a 2 mill tax hike, but board members decided that the equivalent of one mill could be taken from the district's budgetary reserve.

The district currently has about $5 million in that fund, said board member Roberta Cook.

Mrs. Cook said the average taxpayer in the district will see their bill increase by about $33 for next year, and each household stands to see about $123 taken off the tax bill from money generated in gaming.

Mrs. Cook said she voted for the one mill increase because of the uncertain economy.

Last year the district's budget was about $44.5 million.


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