Lawrence County's new clock tower should be installed in September.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Public bus service to Lawrence County's outlying areas will continue.
The New Castle Transit Authority had threatened to end its runs to various stops, including Ellwood City, Bessemer, North Beaver, New Wilmington and West Pittsburg, if the county didn't pay its annual $10,000 fee for the service.
Commissioners Ed Fosnaught and Roger DeCarbo agreed to hand over the money but said they are unsure where it will come from in the county budget. They agreed to let Chief County Clerk Charleen Micco determine where to find the bus service funds.
Commissioner Brian Burick was absent at Tuesday's meeting.
"Money is tight, but I would prefer to use money for services people use outside the courthouse," Fosnaught said.
This is the third year the county has supported a countywide bus system, said Leonard Lastoria, NCTA director.
It's been helpful to the Amish and the elderly, he said.
"The [Amish] Dutch are very supportive of the bus system," he said. "That's their only way to travel other than horse and buggy, and they can do things [on a bus] that most of us take for granted like buying ice cream and taking it home before it melts."
Used by seniors
Senior citizens who no longer drive also use the bus system, he said. He noted that seniors ride free. The state reimburses the transit authority for their patronage through money derived from the state's lottery system.
In other business, commissioners hired Linton Industries of New Castle to help install the new courthouse clock tower. The company will be paid $27,125.
Commissioners are paying for the tower with money they received from a $5 million bond issue in 2000. The bond issue also paid for the countywide reassessment and a 911 addressing project.
The courthouse has been without a clock tower since the 1950s when it was removed because it was crumbling. Tec-Fab Inc. of Kentucky is building the new clock tower and is expected to send it up for installation sometime in September, Fosnaught said.