BLAIRSVILLE — The Borough of Blairsville is talking with two companies about providing bulk fuel tanks, carrying 500 gallons each, that could provide a supply of gasoline and diesel in the event of a shortage.
Borough Superintendent Michael Baker told Blairsville Council on Tuesday evening that he had received costs from two suppliers, Export Fuel and Glassmere, of the four contacted about the idea.
Baker said there were no issues with insurance or the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regarding the tanks, which could be stationed at the municipal authority’s sewage treatment plant. of Blairsville.
Police Chief Louis Sacco said the Homer City Borough had such tanks when he worked there. He also said the tanks are welded into a tub to prevent fuel spillage.
Policing-related issues covered much of the discussion at Tuesday’s monthly council meeting.
Sacco said the Blairsville Borough Police Department is discussing with the US Department of Agriculture a grant of up to $50,000 that could cover 55% of the cost of one or more new police vehicles.
Sacco told council that USDA region rural development specialist Keith Lehman said $50,000 was the maximum the borough could claim.
The 45% that would remain to be covered could come from a loan taken out by the borough or from a loan from the USDA, as was recently the case in Clymer where borough officials secured a $46,000 grant. $ and a $34,800 loan from the US Department of Agriculture that went towards the purchase of two vehicles from Tri-Star Auto Group.
Sacco said he was waiting for numbers from Tri-Star Auto Group that could be connected to a request from the Borough of Blairsville.
Meanwhile, the BBPD is looking to improve its communications and the way it handles complaints and affidavits.
Sacco said state Sen. Joe Pittman, R-Indiana, agreed with municipal officials in Indiana County as well as the county’s emergency management agency about a grant of communication.
Blairsville’s police chief wants funding for new radios, saying “a lot of the radios we have in this department are outdated”, and data mobiles that could be installed in police vehicles.
These mobiles would be linked to the Indiana County Emergency Management Agency’s computer-aided dispatch system.
This system could in turn be linked to a system provided by Informant Technologies, which would be similar to the systems used in the City of Altoona and Blair County.
Sacco is also seeking access to CrimeStar Records Management, which would help his department save time processing documents.
He said the cost would be $1,300. The council approved its financing from the borough’s general fund.
The Blairsville police chief also said he received four LifeVac units, valued at $80 to $90, from an anonymous donor that are capable of suctioning objects stuck in a person’s airways.
He warned that extra time might be needed to tend to revelers at upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but said any overtime would be covered by the Indiana County DUI task force.
He said background checks have been run on two possible part-time officers, one of whom is experienced and currently working elsewhere, the other less experienced.
And Sacco said he hoped to hear some news next month about getting a body camera for his department.
In his report, Mayor Ronald Evanko discussed House Bill 606, which a Pennsylvania Radar Coalition says would promote responsible use of radar and provide protections for motorists.
Among its provisions, the coalition said, a municipality must pass an ordinance authorizing its use, have at least four official signs within 500 feet of its borders on four or more highways entering the municipality indicating that the radar is in use, have local law enforcement officers complete a mandatory training course and operate the radar from a fixed point inside or directly beside a clearly identified and easily accessible law enforcement vehicle visible to motorists.
The coalition includes the Association of Pennsylvania State Boroughs, the Association of Pennsylvania State Mayors, the Association of Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police, and the State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police .
HB 606 was presented by State Representative Greg Rothman, R-Cumberland County, with 27 co-sponsors, including Representatives Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, Brian Smith, R-Punxsutawney, Carrie Lewis DelRosso, R- Springdale, Jim Rigby, R-Johnstown, and Mike Armanini, R-DuBois.
It was referred to the House Transportation Committee in February 2021 and since March 2021 has been assigned to the House Appropriations Committee.
There was also a discussion about parking permits. A resident expressed concern about neighbors parking multiple vehicles along her street, making it difficult to get to her parents’ house.
Baker and Sacco said Blairsville could rely on the Indiana Borough’s parking ordinance for a permit order for Blairsville. Evanko said Greensburg and Latrobe also have parking permits.
In other business Tuesday, Council Deputy Speaker Albert Dettorre reported on a busy month for the Blairsville Volunteer Fire Department, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary, including a reversal during a recent weather-related accident.
“We need more men and women to get involved in this,” he said of the need for volunteers.
He said the volunteer firefighters were getting a “big turnout” for their weekly Lenten fish fries, which ran from 4-7 p.m. Friday and featured baked fish, halushki, corn, salad cabbage and a bun, or a fish sandwich with fries and coleslaw.
Dettorre also said 29 people are involved in Blairsville Fire Department river rescue activities.