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Movie Money Spurs Vandergrift Spending Ideas

By Rossilynne Skena and Dale Mann, VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
Monday, July 19, 2010

The borough received $15,000 for opening its streets in June to crews filming “I am Number IV,” an action-packed thriller.

Of the money received from DreamWorks, $5,400 has be allocated to parking meters. There are about 250 parking meters on the borough streets, and those meters need constant updates, council president Brian Carricato said.

The average parking meter costs about $110. Fifty new meters will be purchased and will go into circulation where meters are broken or missing.

Council will vote at its August meeting about how to spend the remaining $9,600.

Carricato would like to see the full sum of the money remaining go toward the recreation committee.

DreamWorks wants to see the money applied to something such as recreation, something the town can look back on in 10 years as an accomplishment, Carricato said.

Typically, he said, recreation is an area where budgets can be cut because other things are more essential.

“There’s not too many times that you do have the opportunity to invest back into your recreation department,” Carricato said.

Christine Wilson, a council member who serves as chairwoman of the budget committee, proposed another plan.

She too would like to see the $5,400 go toward meters, and then allocate $6,500 to codify the borough’s ordinances, which haven’t been updated since 1998. The remaining $3,100 would go to recreation.

Carricato said there’s money in the general fund to use for codifying ordinances.

“We have $42,000 from gas wells in the general fund that should be used for codifying the ordinances,” Carricato said, adding that two more gas wells, located near the Vandergrift Cemetery, will be starting up in the next few weeks.

Wilson said that $20,000 is put into the bank up front for each gas well, and that money is supposed to be used for emergencies.

“I don’t like dipping into that money that we’re putting into the bank for emergency-use only,” Wilson said.

The three operational gas wells brought in more than $25,519.30 for the borough between January and June 30, Borough Secretary Steve DelleDonne said. Wells are located behind the municipal garage, on the Ninth Street Alley above East Vandergrift and on hillside dropping into East Vandergrift, Carricato said.

Wilson disagreed with using any of the gas well funds. Carricato said the money from the gas wells is budgeted into the general fund as anticipated revenue.

Discussion of what to do next was tabled until the next meeting, Wilson said, at which point the recreation committee will bring proposals of how to use the funding.

Carricato and two others recreation committee will meet to discuss ideas, but as for what ideas they have, residents will be in suspense until council meets.

“We’ve already been brainstorming,” Carricato said.

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