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M A I NLI NE newspapers

Vol. 115 No. 16

 USPS 326-480

Cresson, Pa.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

email: (814) 472-4110

Gallitzin says farewell to old Victoria Theatre Since 1898

Newsstand Price 75¢

36 Pages

Dilapidated former landmark brought down over weekend By Justin Eger

of Mainline Newspapers

From the first swipe of the excavator’s mighty metallic jaws to the fall of the final bricks, it took less than 12 hours for the once-majestic Victoria Theatre in Gallitzin to be made into nothing but rubble. While the physical labor took just a day, the efforts behind the April 13 demolition were in the works for years. “It was a long time coming,” said Gallitzin Borough Council President Roger Renninger as he watched the demolition proceed early Saturday morning. “It’s a sad day, in a way, but something had to be done.”

Though the most recent attempts to bring down the dilapidated building date back to July of last year, Gallitzin has been involved in ongoing efforts to have something done about the aging nuisance property for over a decade now. Gallitzin Borough pursued a court case against the Victoria Theater and its owner, Jeff Sprouse, back in 2002. An ultimate ruling was issued around 2004, and at the time, the presiding judge noted that, “I can’t make him [Sprouse] make it look beautiful; I can only make it safe.” That was apparently accomplished, with a rough

Concerned residents question Cresson council’s decisions A crew from Earthmovers Unlimited works to bring down the Victoria Theatre in Gallitzin on Sunday, April 13. The crew completed the demolition in about 12 hours. Photo by Justin Eger.

By Justin Eger

of Mainline Newspapers

Drawing what was perhaps their largest crowd in some time, members of Cresson Borough Council were confronted by several concerned residents, who offered several questions pertaining to how the elected officials conduct business. From police coverage

to executive sessions to how members of borough council conduct business outside of the building, there were many questions, and even a few answers, as the April 8 evening meeting began. The opening salvo was fired against the borough by resident Ken Anderson, who came to the meeting advocating on behalf of the emergency services of the region, describ-

School board questions sewer reassessment

ing himself as a supporter of ambulance personnel, firefighters, and more importantly to the evening, police officers. Citing the borough’s own just-completed audit, Anderson noted that the borough has a nearly half-million dollar surplus in the bank, and yet “the police are driving around in an old, beat-up police car.” “We have this surplus money, and we went


ahead and bought two new trucks for the road crew, and paid cash,” Anderson said. “We could have bought them one car with some of that money.” Anderson added that, with the extra money, it’s frustrating to know that the police department cannot provide full-time coverage. He SEE CRESSON, PAGE 3A

By Justin Eger

of Mainline Newspapers

Addressing Penn Cambria’s Board of Education on the night of April 9, representatives of the Lilly Borough Sewer Authority proposed a rate increase that would more than double what the school district currently pays for sewer services at the Penn Cambria Primary School. Needless to say, board members were frustrated by the sewer authority’s decision, and moreso aggravated by the fact that they had to, as superintendent Mary Beth Whited put it, “read about it in the newspaper.” Lilly Borough Sewer Authority Chairman Chuck Spaid spoke on behalf of the authority, and began by providing a formula that the borough uses to evaluate customers, including the school district. That formula presents the notion that the district should be evaluated at a rate of seven EDUs, or Equivalent Dwelling Units, which is how the authority determines its

Washington Township may sell local property


By Justin Eger

of Mainline Newspapers

After securing several parcels of property over the last few years, the Washington Township supervisors considered just how they might recoup their investment as they met on the evening of April 3. Looking to perhaps sell two of

the four properties that the township owns in the Scanlon Hill area of the municipality, the supervisors discussed their rationale for acquiring the land in the first place, and how their original intentions are no longer feasible. Over the last few years, the township was about to obtain the rights to four dilapidated buildings, all on Scanlon Hill. Two other properties were demolished with the help of the Cambria County Redevelopment Authority, which wanted to assist the township in combating blight. One more property was donated SEE PROPERTY, PAGE 5A

Gone fishin’

There’s nothing better to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon than go fishing. Cresson-area residents (from left) John Nagle, Scott Stasik and Kenny Moore heeded this advice and spent their day fishing at Lake Rowena in Ebensburg. Stasik shows off the only catch thus far, but the group anticipated reeling in more before the day’s end. Photo by Ian Wissinger.

Mainliner 04-18-2013