INDIANA BOROUGH: Ribbon-cutting set for downtown plaza
January 15, 2014 10:59 AM
by RANDY WELLS
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Indiana Regional Medical Center is planning a March 1 ribbon-cutting ceremony for Indiana’s new IRMC Park, in the first block of North Seventh Street.

Indiana council Tuesday approved plans for the event, with activities — including ice sculpting — starting at 11:30 a.m. There will also be music, free snacks and a brief ceremony to formally open the park.

“We wanted to have an event with the ribbon cutting,” said Laura Jeffrey,of IRMC’s public relations office. “We wanted to make it family oriented” and the ice sculpting coincided with the winter season.

The 40-inch-high carvings will be sculpted in the park and some may be on display for a few days in front of downtown businesses if the business owners provide liability insurance, under council’s approval.

Completed last fall as part of the borough’s continuing Indiana Economic Development project, the outdoor people-gathering space has tables and benches, decorative lights, new trees and brick pavers in the new sidewalks. Utility wires that had been strung on poles have been moved under ground. Still to come is an “IRMC Park” sign that will be attached to the arched entranceway to North Seventh Street at Philadelphia Street.

The park is expected to become the venue for several of the borough’s annual outdoor events and for concerts and similar gatherings.

Indiana Regional Medical Center in 2007 purchased the naming rights to the pedestrian plaza with a $200,000 donation over five years from the hospital’s marketing bud-get.

Council, as a partner of the land-use planning initiative known as the Indiana Community University District, is looking at the possibility of extending the Hoodlebug Trail through the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus and downtown Indiana to White Township’s recreation complex along East Pike.

Councilman Peter Broad told council a $2.2 million federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant is available to extend the trail, but a $145,000 match would be required.

The other partners of the ICUD are IUP, White Township and Indiana County.

Council may take action on the trail proposal at its February meeting.

Council on Monday also approved the promotion of borough Patrolman First Class Michael Raglani to the rank of corporal. Raglani will become the Indiana police department’s third corporal and fill a vacancy for that rank created by the death of Cpl. Wesley Hite last July.

Council approved taking out a $500,000 tax anticipation loan from First Commonwealth Bank. The loan will provide cash for the borough to meet expenses and pay bills until tax revenue starts coming in this spring.

Borough Manager William Sutton said the borough probably will not need all of the $500,000, and tax anticipation loans typically are repaid by the end of the first quarter of the year.

Council is looking for a few borough residents who are willing to volunteer some of their time and talents by serving on various boards and commissions. Vacancies exist on the borough’s Shade Tree Commission and the Code Enforcement Board of Appeals. Another volunteer is also needed to be a council appointee to the Indiana Free Library board of directors. Anyone willing to serve in any of those capacities should contact Sutton at the borough administration offices.

And at the suggestion of Councilman Gerald Smith, council approved the creation of an ad hoc committee that will look for ways to improve communications between council and borough residents, and ways to keep residents better informed about such things as vacancies on commissions and dates for leaf pickups and Christmas tree collections.

Smith will chair the temporary ad hoc committee and members John Hartman, Donald Lancaster and Julie Adcock agreed to help.

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