Kittanning, PennsylvaniaLocal Weather Alerts
There are currently no active weather alerts.

Category: Local News

Manor to Address Street and LERTA Requests

A pair of public hearings will be held before tomorrow night’s Manor Township supervisors’ regular meeting. (KP File Photo)

by Jonathan Weaver

Before Manor Township supervisors hear December’s business tomorrow night, two public hearings will be held.

The first, starting at 6:30PM, will be a public hearing regarding the right-of-way on Quay Street.

According to Manor Township Joint Municipal Authority Manager April Winklmann’s request before supervisors in August to abandon the roadway, half of the road would go to the Manor Township Joint Municipal Authority and half would go to the owner of 110 Railroad Dr.

The dead-end street also carries a 20-foot right-of-way.

The other property owner reportedly parks his vehicle on an unfinished portion of the roadway.

At the August meeting, Authority Chair Grant Kanish outlined the Authority’s planned usage.

“Our plan on the south side of the maintenance garage is to move our pipe yard, which is currently in the way of the construction,” Kanish said. “The more room we have, the better it would be for us.”

A pre-construction meeting was held at the beginning of November.

The second hearing – regarding a residential and business Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) designation – will begin about 15 minutes later.

Supervisors each received a draft resolution before last month’s meeting, and didn’t have any changes for Solicitor Andrew Sacco.

Supervisor Paul Rearick opened up discussion on the matter a few months ago.

“I feel it would stimulate growth in the township,” Rearick said in October. “I’m in favor of doing it township-wide, and to include commercial and residential properties – anybody who wants to do some improvement to their home.”

Unless there are objections from residents, Rearick hinted at approving the designation at the 7PM regular meeting.

The tax abatement designation would also have to be approved by Armstrong School District school board directors.

Parker City, areas of Rayburn Township, a portion of the Northpointe Industrial Park and the Parks Bend Farms Industrial Park in Leechburg are all other examples of LERTA properties in Armstrong County.

LERTA programs differ from a Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) – like the ones found in the Manor Township Business Park along Route 66 and in the area surrounding the new Armstrong Junior-Senior High School on Buffington Road.

According to the County Industrial Development Council, KOZ areas offer completely-abated taxes for up to 10 years, allowing businesses to invest more into their own operations.

But, according to State legislation passed in 1977, a LERTA program allows for tax abatements to those starting new construction or making building improvements for up to 10 years on a graduating basis (such as an added 10 percent each year depending on the ordinance approved).

Weekend Mission Trip Inspires Grace Christian Students

How many pecks of potatoes can one school pic? Ask Grace Christian School students…. they have the answer.

by Jonathan Weaver

A group of students and parishioners from West Kittanning were counting their blessings during the Thanksgiving break after a November mission trip.

About 30 Grace Christian School students and Grace Brethren Church parishioners volunteered at the 2nd Annual Harvest Festival in eastern North Carolina picking potatoes.

The picking was held at First Fruits Farm – which produced more than 100,000 pounds of sweet potatoes toward local hunger relief efforts in 2014.

Not only is this 8th Grader Jessica Buchanan’s first semester at Grace Christian, but it was her first mission trip.

“I like helping people – this was important to me,” Buchanan said. “(It taught me) to be thankful in all circumstances.

“I think it was the poorest part in North Carolina, so there are a lot of homeless people there.”

The Apollo student already had a pair of gloves to take, but felt guilty she wasn’t able to help more. The school T-shirts and boots ended up not helping very much.

“We did a lot of preparation for it; however, we weren’t exactly that well-prepared for the rain,” Buchanan laughed. “It rained and started thundering – I was covered in mud and water.”

Buchanan went on the trip with her mother, Sally – the Youth Director at Apollo Free Methodist Church.

10th Grader Cole Fiscus, of Cowansville, has picked potatoes on his family farm before, but never like they do in North Carolina.

“They plow them up and I just usually go out and take them,” Fiscus said. “And their soil is a lot sandier, so it hurts. It’s real-gritty.

“It was easier before it rained.”

Students Chancey Lamison and Justice Houston were in a group with four other boys that didn’t mind the rain – even when they were sprayed by the two-wheel-drive vehicles.

“We went swimming in a pond in the middle of the field,” Lamison said.

Principal Darlene Edwards laughed off the pond swimming and said the mission trip was memorable.

“We had a good time – I’d go back in a wink,” Edwards said.

The farm is owned by former National Football League Center Jason Brown.

“They give 100 percent of what they grow – I was under the impression their first cleaning they give to food banks, but they give it all,” Edwards said. “Their goal was to pick 200,000 pounds.”

While Principal Edwards is unaware of the final totals picked during the Harvest Festival, she said the group did fill a semi – and that students were covered “from head-to-foot” in mud.

The more-than $1,000 collected during last semester’s “Penny Wars” helped support the trip.