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Dare Inquire Representatives Truth


Wednesday, January 26, 2000

Power substation is opposed

Dear Editor:
Wake up Springhill Township. We are going to become a dumping ground for what the rest of the county doesn't want. Fayette County government has no inclination to be the watch dog for the tax payers and voters. We already have a 100-foot plus cell tower; the OK was given for a 24-hour trucking distribution center that never transpired, and now the planned electrical substation located on the former ``shooting range.''

How very typical of Fayette County operations — sneak it in the back door then cram it down their throats kind of government. In any other area there would have been well-publicized meetings to inform residents about the possibility of this being in their backyards.

This is not a small project. This is a major industrial development that could be zoned heavy industrial in a very rural area.

The Herald-Standard noted that no one came to a meeting at the courthouse concerning this possible development. The reason is no one knew. These meetings are always held at a time when most tax-paying, employed citizens cannot attend.

The meeting to consider this exception will be held 10:15 a.m. today (Wednesday), in the third-floor commissioner's room at the courthouse. This is a huge project with industrial emissions, potential air pollution and massive oil tanks, not to mention an eyesore. There will be towers 75 feet tall.

The project, by the way, will bring zero permanent jobs to the area except for possibly two or three security positions since it is an unmanned station. This $40 million project will sit on 36 tax-free acres, called the Keystone Opportunity Zone. The residents of the township were led to believe that these areas were created to entice businesses to this region to create employment opportunities. This is poor use of the opportunity zone.

While Allegheny Power pays no taxes on this substation, our taxes will be increased, and it offers little to no chance of employment.

What kind of precedent will the county be setting to allow this kind of special exception in a rural area? What kind of further development will this entice? What about the present residents and the future real estate (values) in the area? Who wants to look at the countryside and see emission stacks and bellowing clouds of smoke?

For this kind of development to be dropped out of thin air into an unsuspecting rural area is an abomination.

What chance does a rural area have when only numbers count in fighting for our rights? It is a losing battle in Fayette County.

Where are our elected officials? Aren't they supposed to represent and keep informed their voting constituents? Or are they only there to please big business? What happened to the American way, where an individual has a voice that is heard?

Springhill Township is a potential hot seat for continued development — both good and bad. The residents need to stay informed and get involved. Paul M. Dunham Gans


At a special meeting to consider adoption of a preliminary budget for Fayette County, a segment of the meeting included a presentation by Fay-Penn Economic Development Council to the commissioners on the application and resolution for Fayette's inclusion in a regional KEYSTONE OPPORTUNITY ZONE (KOZ).