Indiana, PA - Indiana County

WHITE TOWNSHIP: Stricter rules for gun show urged

by MARGARET HARPER mharper@indianagazette.net on July 11, 2013 10:55 AM

A concerned resident asked for stricter regulations regarding where firearms are allowed during gun shows at the White Township Recreation Complex, calling for restrictions on guns in shared public areas of the venue at Wednesday’s meeting.

While ice skating with his grandson this winter at the arena, Bob Lambert said he was surprised and confused when the boy pointed out people were openly carrying weapons in common areas. This raised concerns with him about accidental discharge, and the gun show was held in the aftermath of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., when the topic of guns was extremely sensitive.

Working with recreation director Ryan Shaffer, Lambert developed proposed solutions, presented to the supervisors Wednesday. Lambert proposed making the north rink and common areas weapons-free, and placing constables on patrol to ensure compliance. He also requested a different entrance for gun show participants, and appropriate signs directing participants to the correct entrance area. He also suggested that a constable be stationed at the main entrance during skating hours.

Despite his calls for regulations, Lambert emphasized he believes guns have a place in society, and that his comments had no connection to gun ownership or gun control.

Rodney Allshouse, president of the Indiana County Bow and Gun Club, which holds the show, said in all the years they have held the show there has never been an accidental discharge.

He “can concede to concerns in the common area” but said the price of an additional constable — the group already employs one at night for security — would be about $1,000 and would be a drain on funding for the gun show.

As for using another entrance, because the show is always the first week of February, weather could be a concern with cold temperatures and potential snow. Lambert suggested placing an infrared heating system at the entrance used by gun show participants at a cost of about $500.

The supervisors decided to study the issue before making any recommendations.

In other business, the supervisors:

• Will deed a slope easement owned by the township back to property owners in another move that advances a hotel/auto dealership project at Lenz Road and Route 422 by Delaney LLC.

Developers want to regrade a portion of the easement for the plan. Affected property owners — the Delaneys and township supervisor George Lenz, who owns adjacent property — will receive their portions of the easement pending review by the township’s engineer that the area is stable.

Lenz abstained from the vote.

• Awarded a contract to Scottdale Builders, of Scottdale, for construction of a new maintenance building at the township’s recreation complex. The bid is for a wood structure pole barn at a cost of $104,120 or metal structure for $93,710. The awarding of the contract is contingent upon review. Solicitor Mike Delaney expressed concern that the price of the bid “raises a red flag” because it was considerably lower than the others.

Other bids were:

• Warren Peter Construction, Indiana, wood pole barn, $163,969, with alternate deductions of $10,757 for full wood posts and $21,520 for removal of some insulation

• King Construction, Indiana, wood pole barn, $150,000; deductions of $8,360 and $14,500; and a $119,545 bid for the metal structure Vince Building Company, Greensburg, wood pole barn, $180,000; and deductions of $6,000 and $13,000

• M.D. Sleppy, Penn Run, metal structure, $125,355

Also related to the maintenance building, the township will pay $17,540 to Sides Run Construction, of Clymer, for a new metal roof at a storage building owned by the township along Route 110. It is the township’s intent to sell the building once the new maintenance building is constructed at the recreation complex. The cost of the new roof will add value and be recuperated in the sales price, Delaney said.

• Announced that the township will receive Act 13 impact fees, collected from fees for unconventional natural gas wells, in the amount of $27,308.03.

• Will host a public meeting regarding PennDOT plans for the Airport Road bridge replacement project on July 25 from 4 to 5 p.m. for public officials and 5:30 to 7 p.m. for the public. Project plans will be on display.

• Reviewed a letter to be sent to property owners seeking permission for volunteers from the Evergreen Conservancy and the PA Senior Environmental Corps to access property during an volunteer cleanup effort of stream areas. Affected areas included runs along Hickory Lane and Shelly Drive.

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July 11, 2013 10:50 AM
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