Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NORTH NEWS BRIEFS [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NORTH NEWS BRIEFS [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

BUTLER

Father Marinaro Skateboard Park in Butler will open Saturday despite the city's budget crunch.

Three AmeriCorps volunteers will run the park, said city Councilman Charles Savannah, director of the city's parks and recreation.

The 16,000-square-foot park will be open from 1 to 9 p.m. Bikes will be permitted from 1 to 5 p.m. All park users must wear helmets, and those younger than 18 must have a parent present to sign a release waiver.

Savannah said the city would lease the snack bar stand this year.

* * *

Butler Mayor Leonard Pintell is drafting a plan to create a sports, entertainment and exhibition authority similar to the one in Pittsburgh.

After Gov. Ed Rendell visited the city Monday to announce $1.86 million in state funds for the renovation of Pullman Park, Pintell said the need for an authority is vital to the development of the city's West End.

Pintell said an authority could seek additional funding from bond issues and through state and federal money that the city cannot.

City solicitor Jim Coulter said the authority would be similar to those in Pittsburgh and Scranton but would be more of a recreation authority, based on Butler being a third-class city.

MARS AREA SCHOOLS

The school board on Tuesday voted to investigate the cost of installing artificial turf on the high school football field.

A group of seven district booster clubs, led by Shawn Cannon and Mark Sirney of the Mars Quarterback Club, asked the board early this month to look into the issue because of recent price drops. At that time, they presented an estimate based on Moon Area School District's costs that suggested a cost of $666,500 with $2,000 a year for maintenance. The amount would represent a modest price advantage over natural turf over 10 years.

The vote on Tuesday resulted from Cannon and Sirney's offer to investigate the matter on their own to gauge the community's willingness to contribute to such a project.

The measure passed 8-1, with Sue Madeja opposed.

* * *

A district project to build baseball, softball, and soccer fields on property it bought last year is in limbo following a rejection by Middlesex of a requested variance. …

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