Celebrating the a rts
Penn Cambria Middle School students were recognized for their artistic acheivements at the district’s school board meeting held May 16. The students had participated in either the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art’s “Artists of the 21st Century” show or Ebensburg’s Art in Bloom. Students recognized include (front row, from left) Autumn Yeoman, Makenna Lee, Sienna Nagle, Avery LeMaster; (back row) Vance Plazek, Warren Remington, Logan Skebeck, Aiden Braatz and Rocco Gaida. Absent from photo are Corynn Bollman, Emelia Mardula, Lily Gergely and Gannon Matcho.
Loretto Boro talks EPA rule, concerns raised
By Breanna Berkebile of Mainline Newspapers
A revised Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead and copper rule has been at the center of numerous conversations amongst local government officials, and the Loretto Borough Council was no stranger to this discussion.
During its May 8 meeting, the council spoke with water operator Kenneth Streilein about the rule and began future preparations.
“You have to identify all of the service lines from the main into the house: what type of material those pipes are made of and whether there is any lead or was any lead,” said Streilein. “We’ll have to figure out how we’re going to identify all of the lines.”
He said that, once all of their lines are accounted for, someone from the EPA will tell them what needs to be done – if anything needs to be done.
According to borough mayor Dave Eckenrode, most of their lines connecting the curb stop to the home are copper. A few are plastic, but regardless, he said that they shouldn’t have many issues in that regard. There was, however, one concern that Eckenrode had.
“Did they mention anything about the brass valves?” he asked.
Penn Cambria approves proposed budget
By Kristin Baudoux of Mainline Newspapers
The Penn Cambria School Board members approved their proposed 2023-24 budget at their meeting May 16.
For Cambria County residents, the proposed budget includes a millage increase from 57.51 mills to 60.85 mills. Residents in Blair County will see an increase in millage as well from 7.84 mills to 8.12 mills.
The remaining taxes are to remain the same for the 202324 year. The board approved reenacting the per capita tax of $5 upon every person 18 and older who resides in the district. The board also re-enacted the Act 511 taxes as follows: a real estate transfer tax of .5 percent, an earned income tax of .5 percent, a flat occupation tax of $5 and the local services tax of $5.
The board also approved the homestead and farmstead exclusion real estate tax assessment reductions for the next school year, under the provisions of the Homestead Property Exclusion Program Act (part of Act 50 of 1998) and the Taxpayer Relief Act (Act 1 of 2006).
The board members then approved a multi-county school
“That’s what our main concern is going to be…the old-style brass valves have lead in them.”
Streilein responded, saying that nothing was said of brass valves, but he doesn’t think they’ll be a problem.
“Their issue is not with lead goosenecks or lead connections inside the house,” said Streilein.
“So, I don’t think brass valves will be an issue.”
If they do find lead in any of their lines, Streilein said that they’ll have to be replaced, and, most likely, at the borough’s or municipal authority’s expense.
There is money set aside through Pennvest, but he suggested waiting for their results before taking action.
“If there’s only one or two lines that end up needing replaced, it’s probably not worth the hassle,” said Streilein.
Moving on, Eckenrode addressed an incident that occurred the weekend before the May 8 meeting.
“The [St. Michael] School had a run. They blocked off our streets and never told us,” explained Eckenrode.
As the conversation continued, there was some confusion amongst the council, with council member Zach Farabaugh pointing
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Photo by Kristin Baudoux.
Christiana Koytek was one of several Penn Cambria High School students who participated in the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art’s “Artists of the 21st Century” show. She was recognized for her talents at the Penn Cambria School Board meeting May 16. Other students recognized include Sophia Cannonie, Kathryn Della, Jenna LaGesse, Kaylee Mento and Aliya O’Donnell.
SEE BUDGET, PAGE 7A SEE RULE, PAGE
Photo by Kristin Baudoux.