KEYSTONE CLIPS Tax-free PC week announced

It's another tax-free week, Aug. 5 to 12, for people wanting to by home computers or related equipment in Pennsylvania, said state Rep. Chris Sainato of New Castle, D-9th.
State officials have agreed to forgo the state's 6 percent sales tax in time for school buying. Other qualified purchases include Internet access, such as WebTV and all of the computer equipment.
Another tax-free PC week is set for Feb. 17 to Feb. 24, 2002, Sainato said. State officials have previously offered two sales tax holidays for the purchase of home computers and related equipment.
Sainato said he recently introduced legislation that would create two sales tax holidays for small purchases, less than $2,500, made by individuals. That bill is now pending in the House Finance Committee.
Environmental grants: Two Lawrence County communities will receive money from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Wayne Township will be awarded $455 and Pulaski Township will receive $1,005, said state Rep. Frank LaGrotta of Ellwood City, D-10th. In both municipalities, the grants will be used to reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost of enforcing the state's sewage provisions.
LaGrotta said the grants are available through the department's Sewage Facilities Enforcement Grant Program, created in 1996.
Public hearing: The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission wants public input at a hearing about a proposed rate increase by the Pennsylvania American Water Co., which provides drinking water to the Lawrence County area. The hearing will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Government Center Building, 124 W. Diamond St., Butler, Pa.
In April, the company filed a request with the PUC to increase its water service rates by $38.7 million or 12.4 percent. If approved as filed, the average residential customer's bill would increase by $4.06 a month, or about 13 cents a day. The increase is scheduled to take effect in January 2002.
Underage drinking: Pennsylvania residents who are aware of underage drinking, but don't want to get directly involved with the situation can call the state's toll free number -- (888) Under-21.
Callers can anonymously report suspicious parties or businesses that may be selling alcohol to minors illegally. The hotline is administered by the Pennsylvania State Police, Liquor Control Board and Pennsylvanians Against Underage Drinking.
Honored: Hermitage City commissioners honored Louis Mastrian, former superintendent at Hermitage School District, on Wednesday for his contributions to the school district and the city.
Mastrian, who worked in education 37 years, served as superintendent for eight years until he retired June 30.
"Because of his service our community today is a better place," said Sylvia Stull, vice president of the board of commissioners.
XContributors: Laure Cioffe of The Vindicator New Castle Bureau and correspondent Virginia Ross.

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