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Special report:
Shell picks Potter
The economic effect of Shell Oil building a petrochemical plant on the former Horsehead site in Potter, and/or another company building a similar plant on the Aliquippa riverfront cannot be overstated.
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"An informed citizen is the only true repository of the American will."
      -- Thomas Jefferson
Hopewell declares disaster emergency
The Hopewell Township Commissioners unanimously agreed to approve a declaration of disaster emergency.

That gives Manager Jamie Yurcina and Solicitor Mike Jones the authority to:
Hire temporary workers
Rent equipment, regardless of cost
Purchase needed supplies

Jones said the hiring authority was granted should employees call off work because of the novel coronavirus now sweeping the nation.

The commissioners will continue to conduct phone meetings on their regular schedule.

Hopewell students return to classes Sept. 8
Hopewell Area School District students will begin classes Sept. 8 on a “yellow” schedule that involves a mix of classroom instruction and online learning at home.

In the yellow phase, students will be in school either Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday, plus every other Monday.

The school board voted July 20 on a revised school calendar, which can be found here. Classes end June 10, 2021.

The board also agreed to:

Extend the district’s cyber learning program to students in grades K-4, meaning that it is now available to all grade levels.

Eliminate the girls golf team (girls are eligible to play on the boys team) and the boys tennis team.

Center Township planning to raze,
replace its aging municipal center
It’s five decades old,
and has outlived its usefulness, Rachel DelTondo said.

The Center Township Municipal Building, which houses various township offices, a meeting room and the 
bvtoday photos
Center Township Police will move into the Just Like Home Daycare and Preschool Building.
police station, will be razed and replaced, said DelTondo, the township manager.

“This building is over 50 years old. The floors are bad. The roof is bad,” she said. “It’s time.”

A few years ago, the township secured a bond for building improvements, DelTondo said.

Finally, things are moving: The township’s zoning hearing board will consider a pair of variances when it meets Sept. 9.

One would be to allow construction of a new municipal center where the current one sits on Center Grange Road. The other would allow a new public works facility on Wilhelm Drive.

In an early construction phase, the Center Township Police Department would be moved into the Just Like Home Daycare and Preschool Building, adjacent to the municipal complex.

The costs associated with so massive an undertaking will become clearer when bids are solicited later this year, DelTondo said.

Pittsburgh-based PJ Dick has been retained as the project manager.