NEW CASTLE Ex-rep is slated to lobby for city

City officials plan to pass a proclamation honoring a city native who died in the Sept. 11 attacks.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- It appears former U.S. Rep. Ron Klink is going to work for the city.
Klink met with council Tuesday to discuss his proposal to act as a lobbyist for the city. The three council members present -- Rick DeBlasio, Patricia May and Christine Sands -- said they liked the idea.
Councilmen John Russo and Mark Elisco were absent.
Council is expected to formalize the agreement Thursday.
Proposal: Klink's firm, Bucephalus LLC, would be paid $20,000 from the city's Enterprise Zone grant through the end of the year. He would help secure state and federal grants, help promote city businesses and work to bring new companies to the area.
Klink said he would also work closely with U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart, D-4th.
"It would be foolish for both of us if we don't work together to be successful," he said. "There are so many demands on a congressperson's time. What we become is like an extra person on her staff devoted to just New Castle."
Klink left Congress in 2001 after an unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate.
Enterprise zone: Council also is expected to formalize an agreement with five nearby townships to create a regional enterprise zone.
The state designation gives each municipality the opportunity to go after state money that can be used for low-interest loans for new and expanding businesses.
Taylor, North Beaver, Shenango, Union and Neshannock townships have agreed to be part of the expanded zone.
The city had its own enterprise zone since the early 1990s, but in June, state officials informed it they are now permitting only regional zones.
The Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation will handle the administrative duties for the townships. City Administrator John DiMuccio will continue to handle the city's end of the enterprise zone.
The municipalities are expected to meet May 19 to iron out some differences; then, they will formally apply for a $50,000 grant to get the new zone started, DiMuccio said.
Died at trade center: City officials have also agreed to pass a proclamation honoring Ludwig Piccaro, a New Castle native who died Sept. 11 in one of the World Trade Center buildings.
Melinda Parenti, city clerk, said a memorial is planned for 2 p.m. June 15 at Christ Lutheran Church on West Washington Street in Piccaro's honor. City officials are being asked to attend and present his family with a proclamation.
A flagpole, bought by Piccaro family friend Bill Houk, will be dedicated in his honor at the church that day.

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