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Star-Courier The

M AI NLI NE newspapers

Northern Cambria Borough to search for new police chief

Vol. 125 No. 7

USPS 044-380

By Kristin Baudoux

of Mainline Newspapers

The Northern Cambria Borough Council made and passed a motion to begin the search for a new police chief at their meeting Monday, Feb. 8. The search is the result of the council officially accepting former police chief Jeffrey Kopsic’s letter of resignation as well as his separation agreement and general release effective Jan. 14. Kopsic’s resignation is spurred from an incident where he was charged with a misdemeanor for driving under the influence stemming from an incident that occurred Aug. 23 around 4 p.m. in Allegheny Township. On Sept. 1, mayor Lisa Mays suspended Kopsic as a result of the incident, and the council continued his suspension as of

Northern Cambria, Pa.

Sept. 14. In the meantime, officer Harry Reger was appointed as the borough’s officer in charge. Because of Kopsic’s resignation, the council discussed advertising to accept letters of application for the position. Council member Jason Whited inquired as to why the council would not promote Reger, who has been serving as officer in charge in the interim. “What is keeping us from doing the regular practice that we have been doing over the years?” Whited asked. Several council members stated that they wanted to have as many applicants as possible before making a final decision on the matter. “Why would you not want to see what is out there?” council member Shawn Veneskey asked. Council member James Rocco agreed with Veneskey.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

“We think it’s our responsibility to see what’s out there,” Rocco said. A resident in attendance defended Reger’s performance as officer in charge and asked why the council would pass over his qualifications. The council members agreed that Reger has done a good job in the position, but just wanted to find and interview all qualified candidates. The council members also said Reger is welcome to apply for the position as well. Council president Wilbur Kelly said that while he is in favor of promoting from within, he added that sometimes it helps to “open the doors” to extend employment opportunities to others. Kelly said that while the town has had some bad luck with its police officers, he noted that the borough has has more good

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Out for a spin

Ryan Greiner (front), Penny the dog and George Greiner head out for a spin on their snowmobile in Patton Feb. 6. Submitted photo

Patton Borough Council ponders 2021 paving projects

By Kristin Baudoux

of Mainline Newspapers

SEE CHIEF, PAGE 3A

New council member Pat Wood sworn-in

spring or early summer if it has been awarded a grant or lowinterest loan. The council also approved adding the park committee’s president and vice president onto the park’s bank account. This action allows these individuals to take deposits to and pick up receipts from the bank. The council also noted that the park committee has enacted a new policy for pavilion and gazebo bookings. Those booking pavilions will be required to pay a nonrefundable $50 deposit for rentals over $50. For rentals $50 and under, the fee will have to be paid in full at the time of booking.

To begin the Patton Borough Council’s Feb. 9 meeting, mayor Jonathan Welchko swore in new council member Pat Wood. Wood replaces the seat formerly held by Jordan Rydbom. Once Wood was sworn in, the topic of street paving was addressed. Last year, the council tabled any paving projects due to the pandemic. This year, the borough has encumbered county aid funds along with estimated liquid fuels funds from both the county and the state for paving projects. The

council estimates that it will have over $288,000 to spend on streets. About $30,000 of that allotment will be set aside for snow removal and salt, leaving about $250,000 to spend on paving projects and repair. Some of the roads on the list to be addressed include ones that are currently unpaved or partially paved, like Kerr Street, Russell Street, Moose Avenue, Edelweiss Street and the 500 block of Sixth Avenue. Borough business manager Donna Dunegan said that some of

By Kristin Baudoux

County will soon have an updated, more user-friendly website

the unpaved streets may need surveyed to make sure the correct area is paved. Another potential street to be paved is the 400 block of Flag Street near Moose Avenue. Dunegan said if the borough paves this area, they would have to make special arrangements with the post office so their trucks can get in and out of their lot. The final street listed is Third Avenue from Magee Avenue to the borough line. To get a better idea of what the

council can afford to pave this year, a motion was made to have a committee further study the proposed streets. Council president Mike Pompa and Wood will serve on the committee and provide further input at the next meeting. In other matters, the council received word that the PENNVEST application for the borough’s planned combined water line replacement project and streetscape project has been administratively accepted. The council should know by late

Commissioners approve website redevelopment proposal

of Mainline Newspapers

Cambria County will soon have an updated, more user-friendly website. During the Cambria County Commissioners meeting Feb. 11, the commissioners approved a proposal from digital.iway to redevelop the county website for an amount not to exceed $15,000. The proposal, selected from several proposals that the county received, includes the preliminary design, migration, implementation of the learning management system and training for the departments. Commissioner Scott Hunt said that because more people are going online using mobile devices, one of the major upgrades to the website is adapting it to better suit mobile devices. In addition, Hunt noted that

because of the pandemic, many people are trying to avoid or limit their time in public spaces. Hunt said the upgrades will allow more county services and public records to be available online. “If someone doesn’t want to come here in person, if applicable, they can do everything they need to do online,” Hunt said. In other matters, the commissioners also approved the subrecipient agreement with Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI) to provide job training for lowincome residents in the amount of

$40,799. These funds are provided through the county’s Community Development Block Grant funding. According to Renee Daly, executive director of the Cambria County Redevelopment Authority, these funds will be used to provide job training for four of the county’s low-income residents. “That will allow for four unemployed or under-employed residents in the county to get job training right now,” Daly said. Daly said the training is limited

to telecommunications and health care fields. The commissioners also heard an update from Cambria County Emergency Management Agency director Art Martynuska on the status of vaccine distribution in the county. He said the county’s COVID-19 task force has been meeting with vendors to try to bring more to the county. He said the quantity of vaccines the state is receiving has been increased, but the number of vaccines still remains relatively small to meet the demand. So far, about

180,000 vaccines are allotted to the state each week, however, Pennsylvania is home to roughly 12.8 million people. He also added that part of the state’s allotment of vaccines goes to the federal pharmacy in Philadelphia, which are then distributed to long-term care facilities throughout the state. “We have been talking to all of our partners, we have weekly meetings going on right now,” Martynuska said. “Once the vaccine hits the door, we’ll roll it out.”

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