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Four years after the process began to get funding for White Township’s S&T Bank Arena, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has given its final blessing to renovations it funded to the 1,000-seat arena in the township’s recreation complex.

Township Recreation Director Ryan Shaffer said during a special Board of Supervisors meeting Friday morning that an inspector for DCNR signed off on the work there.

It opens the door to the final 10 percent portion of a $399,000 Community Conservation Partnership Program grant awarded to the township in October 2018.

It also is a further sign of recovery from restrictions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Township officials said the work on the arena was completed last fall, but a final DCNR inspection could not take place until recently because personnel from that agency were not allowed to visit venues such as the township arena along East Pike.

Ironically, Shaffer said, DCNR no longer is funding projects of the size of S&T Bank Arena, that the ceiling for such grants now is $300,000.

Meanwhile, the township recreation manager said, 18 restaurants are committed to taking advantage of an offer to post free advertising for a year in the arena’s ice and turf rinks “and there are others coming in quickly.”

He credited the effort made by Jessica Prushnok, office manager for the arena that hosts hundreds of events, to bring in those restaurants for free displays and ties to the recreation complex’s social media links.

Shaffer also thanked Creps United Publications, which is providing the 4-by-8 banners produced for $35 by its Hi-Tech Color subsidiary.

Friday’s meeting started off with discussions about funding with state Sen. Joe Pittman, R-Indiana; the Indiana County Board of Commissioners; and Byron G. Stauffer Jr., executive director of the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development.

It also touched upon an issue that has been discussed at recent board meetings, public relations for the township.

A township newsletter was posted last week on the whitetownship.org website.

Such newsletters could be issued on a regular basis by the holder of a new full-time position approved Friday.

Supervisor Rich Gallo made the motion to establish a community development position, while Supervisor Sandi Gillette seconded it.

In answer to a question from Supervisor Gene Gemmell, township Manager Milt Lady said such an individual could gather information from township departments, conduct social media posts and provide marketing for the recreation complex.

Another possible job would be writing grant applications.

The board gave the idea unanimous approval.