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BLAIRSVILLE — Calling for consistency in the size of the boards and authorities that run borough business, the six-member Blairsville Borough council advanced an ordinance that would cut the nine-member Parks and Recreation Department to five members.

Under the ordinance, the board would shrink by four seats through attrition as the next four directors whose terms expire would leave the board.

Those would be Rich Shoemaker, whose term ends Jan. 1, 2021; Glen Sheffler and Curt Ramsden, whose terms run out Jan 1, 2022, and either Pat Emanuel or Bill Leinhart, whose terms end Jan. 1, 2023.

Modeling the composition of the board after others established by ordinance, at least four of the seats would be reserved for borough residents and a fifth could be held by a business owner in the borough.

The board now has eight members and one vacant seat.

Council voted 5 to 1 to advertise the ordinance for public review. Ron Evanko was opposed.

Council would next vote for adoption of the ordinance in October.

In other business, council elected Evanko to serve as vice president, succeeding Paul Fodor, who resigned from council in May. Councilman Ab Dettorre was named president pro tem, succeeding Evanko in that post.

Borough Manager/Secretary/Treasurer Tim Evans said 2021 budget preparation would begin in the next few weeks.

Evans said the borough’s application for a grant from the state for construction of sidewalks along North Walnut Street from Market Street to the railroad overpass.

“We are looking at some ways to tweak that application, we talked with Rep. (James) Struzzi, and we want to go back in again. Those applications are due Nov. 6,” Evans said. “Let’s see if we can get funded in this round. We just got a letter: They said the amount of money they had to give out was small and the amount of applications they received was 10 times that much. It’s pretty competitive.”

Police and Fire Committee Chairman Dettorre said the Young Men’s Volunteer Fire Department would hold a fundraising fish dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Station 120 fire station.

Staff Writer/Web Editor

Chauncey Ross represents the Gazette at the county courthouse; Indiana Area and Homer-Center schools; Blairsville, Homer City, Clymer, Center and Burrell; and is something of an Open Records, Right to Know and Sunshine Law advocate in the newsroom.