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Hazardous buildings again top Portage Borough agenda Vol. 114 No. 10

USPS 439-000

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

The topic of buildings once again dominated the discussion of the Portage Borough council. The March 5 meeting opened with a public hearing for property at 933 Sonman Ave. owned by Mark Greenawalt and Rebecca Windsor. The hearing was to determine if the structure should be declared hazardous.

Portage, Pa.

The engineer’s report and findings, as well as hearing notices for co-owner Windsor, were returned by the United States Postal Service as undeliverable. Greenawalt is currently incarcerated in a state correctional institution. Greenawalt did respond in writing to the engineer’s report. The borough’s engineer, Gary Wisor of Stiffler-McGraw, inspected the property on Aug.

Storybook characters

Thursday, March 8, 2018

31, 2017. Wisor testified that both the exterior and interior are more than 50 percent deteriorated. During Wisor’s inspection, he noted the roof has been leaking and evidence of water damage to interior structures. He also noted that the exterior siding was stripped from the building and the interior wall paneling and plumbing fixtures were previously removed from the house.

Portage Area Elementary third-grade students Brynn Burkett, Jada Irvin, and Riley Learn dress as characters from their favorite books in honor of Read Across America Day March 2. Submitted photo.

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Wisor’s testimony included a statement that a number of windows have been removed or broken out, exposing the interior to the weather. Wisor stated the interior first floor is filled with abandoned materials, such as clothing and toys. After considering Wisor’s testimony and report, the council voted 7-0 to declare the structure at 933 Sonman Ave. hazardous per criteria set out in the

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borough ordinance, and approved the engineer’s recommendation that the building should be demolished. The owners will have 30 days to comply with the demolition order. Once the 30 days have passed, the borough will begin further legal proceedings against the owners to force compliance.


Dr. Suess’ birthday

Portage Area Elementary School first-graders Nina Allison (left), Jacob Werfel, Nova Zuvers, and Anneka Gribbin celebrated Read Across America Day March 2 by dressing as their favorite book characters. Submitted photo.

Wreaths Across America expands to Portage cemeteries By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

Each year millions of Americans come together to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and their families, and teach the next generation about the value of freedom. This is part of the mission of Wreaths Across America. On Dec. 16, 2017, nearly 200

volunteers placed 160 wreaths on veterans’ graves at Prospect Cemetery in Portage. This year, the Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, Clara Barton Tent 64 of Ebensburg will expand the Portage wreath ceremony to the St. Mary’s (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Cemetery and Sacred Heart Cemetery that adjoin Prospect Cemetery on

Portage Municipal Authority wins award

By Ron Portash

of Mainline Newspapers

The Portage Municipal Authority has been selected to receive a prestigious AreaWide Optimization Program (AWOP) Award for the 11th consecutive year. AWOP is a national filter plant optimization effort among multiple states, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), and water plants. AWOP recognizes outstanding efforts toward optimizing filter plant turbidity performance with a prestigious

AWOP Award. The top performing water filtration plants that submitted turbidity data received an AWOP Award. According to the EPA, “the Area-Wide Optimization Program provides tools and approaches for drinking water systems to meet water quality optimization goals and provide an increased — and sustainable — level of public health protection to their consumers.” A number of years ago, the Cambria County Conservation District provided data loggers to the water authorities in the county to help isolate and idenSEE AWARD, PAGE 9A

Cemetery Road. In 2017, more than 1.5 million wreaths were placed on headstones at 1,422 cemeteries around the country. As each wreath is laid, the veteran’s name is said aloud so their name, service, and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Each year a theme is chosen to help supporters focus on the message and to reach out to the communities for support. This year’s

Dr. Seuss story hour

theme is “Be their witness.” This theme was drawn from the award-winning 2009 movie “Taking Chance” based on the Iraq War experience of U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, who escorted the body of fallen 19-year-old Marine PFC Chance Phelps back to his hometown in Dubois, Wyo. SEE CERMETERIES, PAGE 4A

Portage Public Library celebrated Dr. Suess’ birthday a little early on Feb. 28. The children at story hour wore red and white hats as Kathy Hough reads Dr. Suess’ “The Cat in the Hat.” Photo by Ron Portash.

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