Tyrone Borough Endorses Anti-Gerrymandering Resolution and Approves Streetscape Project

Council also discussed building code violations and a statue proposal by a TAHS senior


Tyrone Borough Council

At their regular monthly meeting on May 14, the Tyrone Borough Council endorsed a resolution on gerrymandering presented by Fair Districts PA, discussed possible safety regulations for business, approved a contract for a streetscape project, and discussed a statue project started by a Tyroen senior.

Steven Elfelt of Fair Districts PA presented a resolution to council asking for a citizens group to replace lawmakers in drawing the congressional maps in the state. The resolution proposes that a panel of citizens draw electoral maps in the public eye, where there can be public input.

Elfelt described how on April 16th in Harrisburg, Fair Districts had a packed house waiting to hear people speak on both the left and right wing of the political spectrum. 

According to Elfelt, 258 municipalities, approximately 50% of the state population, lives in a municipality that has endorsed the resolution.

“[Senator] Eichelberger and [Representative] Ward are not yet on board with Fair Districts,” Elfelt said, but State Representative McGinness of Altoona does support the idea. 

“Our first hurdle is whenever legislature goes to summer recess. If we do not pass our bill in the house and senate before the summer recess we are sunk until 2031,” Elfelt said.

Council voted 5-2 in favor of a resolution presented by Elfelt.

“I support the resolution,” said Councilman David Snyder. “We need to limit or eliminate gerrymandering.”

“I have no problems with it, can only be a plus for us,” added Mayor Latchford. 

Councilmen Terry Richardson and Charlie Mills both voted no on the proposal. 

Council also voted on an $805,000 contract to Gordon L. Delozier Inc. of Hollidays­burg to construct Phase 1 of its streetscape project.

The work on sidewalks, curbs, and streetlights from Logan Avenue from Alley J to 11th Street will begin in early June.

Another discussion that was brought forth at the Borough Meeting is possible new safety regulations for businesses in the Tyrone Borough.

According to Borough Code Enforcement Officer Marvin Frazell, a recent walk through in the borough revealed many code violations, including blocked fire exits, issues with smoke detectors and missing fire extinguishers.

“We have to take this serious because how can we say let’s do business downtown, but not make it safe,” said Frazell.

“We need to bring these building up to code. It’s paramount,”  added Councilman Snyder.

“There should be a long notice with what we are expecting to find when we walk in,” Vice President of the Council Bob Dollar said.

Also during the council meeting, Tyrone Area High School Senior Katelyn Richards, approached council with an idea for a statue of military K9’s by replacing old fountain in the city park with the statue. Richards also reported that she still needs to raise about $3,000 for the statue.

In other news at the council meeting:

  • The council approved members of the Tyrone Fire Police which includes 1st Lt. Dave McGlynn.
  • Council approved the sale of the old tasers of the Tyrone Police Department to the Blair County Constables.
  • Councilman Thad Graham was appointed to the Personnel Committee.
  • A possible reduction to the cost of flood insurance may be put in place after the Army Corps of Engineers moved back flood zones in Tyrone.
  • Five bicycles currently held in storage by the Tyrone Police will be donated to Helping Hands in Tyrone.
  • Tyrone Borough Council voted to move Borough bank accounts from First National Bank to Reliance Bank. This transition is expected to save over $100,000.