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									                             A Bi-Weekly Update on
                        Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

             November 21, 2007  Volume 6  Issue 16 

Tech 2000 Woodworks Expanding at Jeannette Industrial Park
       The Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation‟s Board of
Directors Tom Balya, Tom Ceraso, and Phil Light recently approved a 10-year lease
agreement between the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland and
Tech 2000 Woodworks, Inc. The new lease agreement will add an additional 11,398
square feet to its existing 28,065 square feet of space in the Jeannette Industrial Park.
       Tech 2000 Woodworks manufactures and installs custom wood products for
commercial, institutional and high-end residential projects. Additional product lines and
increased employment in the City of Jeannette are anticipated as a result of its planned
       The company has grown from 6 to 27 employees over seven years.
       For more information, please contact Joe Sisley at 724-830-3061.

Local Government Academy Hosting Newly Elected Officials Courses
       The Local Government Academy has announced dates and locations for the 2007-
2008 Newly Elected Officials Course. The course began Saturday, November 17, at the
Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh and offers several registration options, including a
Westmoreland County satellite, to accommodate the training of newly elected officials
throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.
                                            Held every other year following the General
                                    Election, the course is designed to promote “good
        In This Issue:
                                    government” by preparing newly elected officials to
 Waterfowl Season . . ..Page 2      deal with both the technical and policy-making
                                    aspects of leading at the local level. The course
 First-Time Homebuyer               addresses the tasks of governing in a number of
 Workshop . . . . . . . . . .Page 3 conveniently    scheduled,     comprehensive       and
                                    informative sessions. These sessions include: the
 GreenForge . . . . . . . . Page 4  legislative process; scope of municipal powers;
                                    working with the media; understanding finances and
 Proclamations . . . . . . Page 6   the budget; personnel law; public safety; public
                                    personal administration; infrastructure; planning,
      Send us your feedback         zoning, and development; and leadership and ethics.
             E-mail:                        “We encourage all newly elected officials in
                                    Westmoreland       County       and      southwestern
Window to Westmoreland                                               November 21, 2007

Pennsylvania to attend the course to help in the transition from candidate to elected
official,” says Susan Hockenberry, Executive Director of the Local Government
Academy. “Our graduates consistently report that the class has helped them get their
terms of office started off right – with much greater effectiveness than on-the-job
        More than 600 officials in southwestern Pennsylvania have participated in this
award-winning programming throughout its 20-plus year history. This year brings the
most widely offered set of courses to date with sessions scheduled in locations in
Greensburg, Southpointe, Cranberry, and Pittsburgh. Numerous academic, government,
and nonprofit institutions assist Local Government Academy deliver the Newly Elected
Officials Course. Corporate donors, or Advocates for Good Government, provide further
financial and technical support.
        According to Hockenberry, “This collaboration is essential because it assures our
programs are responsive to community needs and interests.”
        With a combination of evening and Saturday sessions, the course is designed to
accommodate even the most demanding of schedules. Westmoreland County satellite
sessions will be held at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. These sessions are
sponsored by Westmoreland County and hosted by the Smart Growth Partnership.
        Local Government Academy (LGA) is a collaborative effort of business,
government, education and civic leaders promoting excellence in government through
education. As a nonprofit organization specializing in programs for municipal elected
officials and employees promoting economic development and revitalization,
environmental quality and intergovernmental cooperation, Local Government Academy
has been in existence for 24 years, and serves the 10 county region of Southwestern
        Visit the Academy‟s Web site at or contact
the Local Government Academy at 412-237-3171 for more details.

Resident Waterfowl Hunting Season Underway at County Parks
        Hunting for resident waterfowl will be permitted at Westmoreland County‟s
Chestnut Ridge Park, Bridgeport Dam Park and designated hunting areas at all the
County Parks during all season dates as approved by the Pennsylvania Game
Commission.        Westmoreland County‟s Mammoth Park, Twin Lakes Park and
Northmoreland Park will allow migratory waterfowl hunting in designated hunting areas
utilizing restricted dates and times. All Federal Law, Parks Regulations, and the
Pennsylvania Game Commission Rules and Regulations will be followed.
        Special hunting dates and times have been set for Twin Lakes Park, Mammoth
Park, Cedar Creek and Northmoreland Park. Due to walkers at the lakefronts, hunting
will only be permitted from one half hour before dawn to 9:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and
Thursdays at Twin Lakes Park, and Monday and Wednesday at both Mammoth and
Northmoreland Parks throughout the regulated hunting season beginning on Thursday
November 15. The lakefront areas of the parks will be posted and all attempts will be
made to keep them closed to the non-hunting public at these times.
        Goose season will run during these restricted dates and times from November 15
through February 15; duck season from November 15 through January 15.

Window to Westmoreland                                             November 21, 2007

       Hunters are permitted to set decoys, retrieve the bagged game with dogs or
personal non-motorized watercraft. The county is not responsible to retrieve downed
game and requires that the hunter retrieve all birds.
       For further information on hunting in the Westmoreland County Parks, call 724-

WHO Hosting First-Time Homebuyer Workshop
        Westmoreland Human Opportunities, Inc. (WHO), in conjunction with the
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, will be holding a free first-time homebuyer
workshop for Westmoreland County residents on Saturday, December 8.
        In today‟s unstable housing market, the class will focus on the proper steps of
getting ready for homeownership. Topics during the class will include: Underwriting and
Credit, Finance, Pre-Approval Process, Shopping for a Home, Apply for a Mortgage
Loan, the Closing Process, Predatory Lending and Foreclosure Prevention.
        The class will be from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on December 8 at WHO‟s office
building on 226 South Maple Avenue in Greensburg. Refreshments will be available.
        Registration is required by December 3. To register, call 724-834-1260
(extension 150).
        Westmoreland Human Opportunities, Inc. is Westmoreland County‟s Community
Action Agency.
        For more information about WHO services, visit or call 724-

Westmoreland Farm Preservation Head Named VP of State Association
        Betty Reefer, Westmoreland County Agricultural Land Preservation Program
Director, was elected by the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Association (PFPA)
members to serve a two-year term as vice-president of the non-profit statewide
association of conservation easement professionals. Ms. Reefer was a coordinator in
helping form the statewide association in 1995 and has served as past president and
secretary of the organization. She has been Westmoreland County‟s Agricultural Land
Preservation program director since 1992.
        The Westmoreland County Agricultural Land Preservation Program, under the
direction of the Agricultural Land Preservation Board appointed by the County
Commissioners, leads the way in farmland preservation in southwestern Pennsylvania.
With more farms and farmland protected than any other county in southwestern part of
the state, the program has protected more than 8,640 acres on 62 farms in the county,
providing landowners with an opportunity to preserve their farmland for future
generations through the sale of an Agricultural Conservation Easement.
        PFPA is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the interests of agricultural land
preservation in Pennsylvania. The organization‟s purpose is to develop the skills and
resources of the organization's members, promote the common interests of those engaged
in farmland preservation and to facilitate communication and education among farmland
preservation professionals in the public, private and government sectors. PFPA works
closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture‟s Bureau of Farmland
Preservation to provide comment on farmland preservation legislation, regulations,
guidelines and issues related to agriculture.

Window to Westmoreland                                                 November 21, 2007

        Agricultural conservation easements prevent the development or improvement of
the land for any purpose other than agricultural production. All easements purchased
through the program are perpetual. In addition to the purchase of easements, the program
is designed to accept the donation of conservation easements.
        Today, Pennsylvania leads the nation in the total number of farms and total acres
preserved for agriculture. As of October 2007, 3,348 farms that encompass 372,676
acres are protected by conservation easements. Pennsylvania, as a matter of public
policy, is preserving farmland at a speed greater than any other state.
        The Agricultural Conservation Easement program was developed to strengthen
Pennsylvania‟s agricultural economy and protect prime farmland. Currently, 52 counties
in Pennsylvania are working to protect farmland from conversion to non-agricultural
        For more information, contact Betty Reefer, Program Director, Westmoreland
County Agricultural Land Preservation, at 724-837-8971 or visit

Innovative Porous Concrete Used at GreenForge
         It‟s not smooth. It‟s not always grey. And it doesn‟t even look totally solid.
         Yet the material poured for new walkways and parking spaces at the GreenForge
building November 7 really was concrete – but in a formula few around here have ever
seen before.
         “It‟s designed to be porous,” explained Westmoreland Conservation District
Landscape Architect/Stormwater Technician Kathy Hamilton.
         That means that any rain that falls on it will run right through it and into the
ground, instead of just running off of the surface, like traditional concrete. It also means
that ice is less likely to form on it because snow melt also will travel straight down
through the porous concrete, rather than laying on top of it where it can freeze.
         Porous concrete‟s ability to infiltrate water has many benefits.
         “When water infiltrates into the ground, it helps to replenish the groundwater,
which many people with wells rely on for their water supply,” Hamilton explained.
“Infiltration also reduces the amount of water being added to the storm sewer system –
and every step we take in this direction helps to hold down the need to build new
         Porous concrete begins with the standard „concrete mix‟ ingredients – aggregate,
cement and water – but leaves out the sand, resulting in a thick, chunky material that
looks much like Rice Krispy treats.
         Unlike traditional concrete, which flows nicely into the form and then gives
finishers time to float, screed and broom it, the porous concrete mix is so thick and stiff
that it doesn‟t pour, and has to be coaxed off the truck with a shovel. It also sets up so
quickly that it has to be immediately flattened in place with a large roller.
         Because porous concrete also cannot be reinforced with rebar or wire mesh (they
would rust from the frequent contact with water), it has to be designed to a slightly
thicker standard than traditional concrete to handle comparable weight loads.
         Some 25 cubic yards of porous concrete were poured at the GreenForge building
on Donohoe Road in Hempfield Township to create seven parking spaces and several
adjacent walkways.

Window to Westmoreland                                                 November 21, 2007

        Another 33 cubic yards of traditional concrete also were poured the day before for
applications where the porous material won‟t work: a handicapped access walkway
(which requires a smooth surface) and a curved walkway (porous material cannot be
shaped to accommodate curves).
        Both the porous and the traditional concrete were provided by Stone & Company
of Greensburg. Contractor for the project is J. Bazella Concrete Construction of
        The GreenForge building is a model demonstration of green building practices
and alternative energy applications. Originally built in the 1980s, this former commercial
building had stood vacant for three years before the Westmoreland Conservation District
and a group of partners began the work of bringing it back to usable space.
        The building now houses a variety of conservation and rural development
organizations and features a number of innovative conservation practices, including a
9,000-square-foot roof covered with living plants, a geothermal heating and cooling
system, a solar array that produces an average of 11,000 watt hours of power a day,
native landscaping, and other innovative conservation measures.
        This porous concrete project is one of a number of innovative stormwater-
management demonstrations being incorporated into GreenForge. Others include the use
of permeable pavers to create 17 parking spaces, and both a bioinfiltration swale and a
forebay/rock waterway/detention pond combination to control runoff from the building‟s
roof and surrounding driveway, respectively.
        These comprehensive, innovative stormwater-management demonstrations at
GreenForge were identified by the Westmoreland County Commissioners last fall as one
of 21 separate conservation projects to be funded under the state‟s Growing Greener II
County Environmental Initiative.
        For more information about GreenForge of the Westmoreland Conservation
District, contact Greg Phillips at 724-837-5271 or visit

Old Hanna’s Town: At the Center of the Storm, 1768–1790
        The Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly's decision to establish Westmoreland
County on February 26, 1773 was not unexpected. However, the decision to place the
new county‟s court “at the house of Robert Hanna” at Miers Spring, rather than at
Pittsburgh, hit the western frontier of Pennsylvania like a thunderbolt. An appointed
commission, as well as Arthur St. Clair, had recommended Pittsburgh as the best
location. What happened?
        Potential answers were presented during “At the Center of the Storm: Old
Hanna‟s Town and the Westward Movement, 1768 –1790”, presented by James Steeley
on November 6 at the Westmoreland County Historical Society.
        Mr. Steeley discussed new evidence that explains how high stakes political
maneuvering and land speculation by a powerful people, on both sides of the Atlantic
Ocean, positioned Robert Hanna's small settlement as the hub of government and law on
the fringe of the colony. The controversial decision would place old Hanna's Town at the
center of a turbulent political firestorm for the remainder of its brief existence as a town
and county seat.
        Mr. Steeley is a retired chair of the history department at Hempfield High School
and former executive director of the WCHS. He was a recipient of a 2005 Arthur St.

Window to Westmoreland                                                November 21, 2007

Clair Historic Preservation Award for history education. He has conducted extensive
research on the issues surrounding early government on the southwestern Pennsylvania
        For more information aboput this lecture, Hanna‟s Town or the Westmorelaned
County Historical Society, call the Society at 724-836-1800 or visit

Seton Hill University Featured on PBS “Nightly Business Report”
        Westmoreland County‟s Seton Hill University was recently featured on PBS‟
“Nightly Business Report”, as part of a four-part special report on the business of college
football. Seton Hill‟s segment aired locally November 13 on the WQED TV.
        The special featured Seton Hill students and student-athletes, Griffins fans
attending the October 6th Homecoming game at Offutt Field in Greensburg., Seton Hill
President JoAnne Boyle, Seton Hill Executive Director of Athletics and Head Football
Coach Chris Snyder, and Seton Hill Vice President for Advancement and Marketing
Christine Mueseler.
        “Nightly Business Report” is an Emmy award-winning half-hour nightly program
that combines business and economic news, extensive financial market coverage, in-
depth analysis, corporate profiles, features, and commentaries by noted economists and
business experts. “Nightly Business Report” became familiar with Seton Hill following
the University's appearance in a July 2006 feature in the New York Times on how small
colleges use football to boost enrollments.
        Seton Hill‟s football program was founded in 2005, and the Griffins are
completing their third year of play. Seton Hill is a provisional member of the NCAA,
Division II, and a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
(WVIAC). The football Griffins play their home games at Offutt Field in downtown
        Seton Hill University, founded by the Sisters of Charity, is a coeducational
Catholic liberal arts university in Greensburg. Chartered in 1918, Seton Hill offers more
than 30 undergraduate programs and nine graduate programs, including an MBA.
        For more information on Seton Hill, visit or call 800-826-

County Offices Closed November 22-23
        The Westmoreland County Courthouse and associated county offices will be
closed Thursday, November 22, and Friday, November 23, in celebration of the
Thanksgiving holiday.
        Certain 24-hour operations will remain open, of course, including the County
Prison, Westmoreland Manor and 911 Center.
        All county offices will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, November 26.
        The Window to Westmoreland staff extends its wishes for a safe and happy
Thanksgiving to all of our readers.

(Editor’s Note: The following proclamation was approved at the November 15
Commissioners’ Public Meeting.)

Window to Westmoreland                                                   November 21, 2007

National Adoption Month, November 2007
       Whereas, National Adoption Week was first proclaimed in Massachusetts in
1976, and the number of states declaring a special week to recognize adoption gradually
increased, leading to the inception of National Adoption Month in 1990; and
       Whereas, according to the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, of the
approximately 542,000 children currently in foster care, more than 126,000 children are
waiting for permanent families; and
       Whereas, Westmoreland County currently has 209 children in foster care. Forty
percent of children in foster care return to their parent or legal guardian, thirty percent are
adopted, twenty-five percent are placed in other planned permanent living arrangements,
and five percent are placed with relatives; and
       Whereas, through adoption Americans can forever change not only a child's life
but also their own. By providing children in need with the opportunity to grow and
succeed through adoption, we can help them become confident, compassionate and
successful members of society; and
       Whereas, on Friday, November 16, 2007 Westmoreland County will hold
ceremonies to finalize 18 adoptions that will create 13 new families.
       Therefore, we the Commissioners of Westmoreland County, Tom Balya, Tom
Ceraso and Phil Light do hereby proclaim November 2007 as National Adoption Month
and November 16, 2007, as National Adoption Day in Westmoreland County.
       In Witness Thereof, we have hereunto set our hands and cause the Seal of the
County to be affixed this 15TH day of November 2007.

Window to Westmoreland                                         November 21, 2007

               Window to Westmoreland
     Volume 6  Issue 16  November 21, 2007
    A bi-weekly update on Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

                     Westmoreland County Courthouse
                      2 North Main Street, Suite 101
                     Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601

                               Ted Kopas
     Becca Baker, Cheri Cavanaugh, Wayne Johnson, Karen Jurkovic,
           Jennifer Kemerer, Anita Lengvarsky, Joanna Moyar,
                        Kelly Pellis, Betty Reefer

                           We welcome your feedback.
                      Please send comments or suggestions to
               Ted Kopas, Chief of Staff for Chairman Tom Balya,
        via e-mail at or call 724-830-3123.


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