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SALTSBURG: Designation as 'Trail Town' could open doors for tourism

by on April 08, 2014 10:55 AM

Saltsburg Borough has been chosen as the next “Trail Town,” an economic development and community revitalization initiative.

According to TrailTown.org, the program works to ensure that trail communities and businesses along the Great Allegheny Passage maximize the economic potential of the trail.

The program offers communities grant programs for signage, bike racks and preservation planning among other things. According to a press release, services available through Trail Town include business assistance and development, economic research, marketing, community connections, real estate development and small business loans.

The borough is one of two western Pennsylvania towns chosen for the program. Ebensburg was also chosen.

Council Vice President Kathy Muir, who attended a meeting last month regarding the initiative, reported that a study had been done on the community that answered questions such as if there were enough signage for tourists and community members to know exactly where trails are; and what the trails need in order to bring tourists to Saltsburg.

“They see this as a nice, little quaint town that has potential,” Muir said.

“There’s different funding that they’ll be able to bring (to the borough) with it.”

In addition, she said, the program will do presentations with local businesses to educate them on things like the history of the town as well as the trails so that when tourists arrive, they’ll be able to provide accurate information.

“We have restaurants here, we have big things — it’s something that we need to look into.”

A kickoff event for the program will be held at 6 p.m. April 29 in the Saltsburg Borough building. Business owners, trail builders and users, municipal officials as well as tourism groups are encouraged to attend. Attendees will learn more about how their community can become a Trail Town.

Following the event, an assessment done by Trail Town will help identify Saltsburg’s priorities and needs.

As far as the trails go, there was a preliminary injunction March 13 that ordered the opening of a trail head that was blocked at the beginning of the West Penn Trail. Borough council President P.J. Hruska reminded residents that the trail head is now open, despite there being a locked gate at the trail’s entrance.

The borough will go back to court to resolve this matter.

Four pet waste disposal stations will be purchased by the borough council to be placed at the playground at Canal and High streets, at Canal Park, at North Park and possibly near the library.

They will dispense plastic bags used to pick up pet waste that can be disposed of in the nearest garbage can. The borough will purchase these stations at a cost not to exceed $700.

Spring Clean Up Days in Saltsburg Borough will be held April 18 for those residents of High Street and below and April 25 for residents above High Street.

Construction materials, chemicals and hazardous materials, tires, paint, Freon, TV sets and computer equipment will not be picked up.

In other action, council:

• Rejected bids from Hanson Aggregates and Highway LLC for coal patch and stone.

• Requested a CD in the amount of $20,000 for two years at a rate of 0.55 percent.

• Submitted an application for county aid for liquid fuels for more than $7083.81 to repair Basin and Cathedral streets and purchase road material.

• Received a donation from S&T Bank for $150 to plant flowers in the community.

• Reported that the Saltsburg Lions Club will hold its annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 19 at North Park.



Ellen Matis is the digital media coordinator and a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. She is the person behind the Gazette's social media. A 2012 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ellen has a degree in journalism and public relations. Follow her on Twitter, @EllenMatis, or email her at ematis@indianagazette.net.
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