Tyrone Borough Leaves IRC, Discusses Gerrymandering at April Meeting

Council also announced that borough police will begin wearing body cameras


Devin Henninger

Representatives of Alblemarle and Kunzler receiving their certificates. Chicago Rivet is absent.

After months of discussion, the Tyrone Borough voted unanimously to leave the Intermunicipal Relations Committee for Recycling in Blair County PA (IRC).

“While the borough is mandated to recycle, we are not mandated to be a member of the IRC,” stated Borough Manager Ardean Latchford. “I am confident we will be able to offer our residents the same, if not better, service. This will not change how recycling is done in the borough.”

The remaining members of the IRC are Altoona, Logan Township and Hollidaysburg.

We felt that we didn’t need to be a member of an organization that really didn’t do a whole lot for us”

— Councilman Bob Dollar

Officials representing the remaining municipalities were upset with Tyrone’s decision to leave the IRC.

“We’re disappointed from a number of perspectives,” said IRC Executive Director John Frederick.

The IRC costs each member community $55,000 to belong.

Tyrone Councilman Bob Dollar said “We felt that we didn’t need to be a member of an organization that really didn’t do a whole lot for us,” adding that Tyrone, with just 5,000 people, shouldn’t pay as much as Altoona with 46,000, or Logan Township with 12,000.

In other business, Steven Elfelt, a representative for Fair Districts PA,  spoke to council about Gerrymandering in Pennsylvania.  Gerrymandering is the manipulation of boundaries of an electoral district to favor one political party over another.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently forced the state to change the state’s congressional district borders due to what it called extreme partisan Gerrymandering.

Elfelt described Gerrymandering as an “existential issue” saying that because of it, Pennsylvania currently is “not a representative democracy.”

Elfelt described Fair Districts PA’s agenda to end gerrymandering as a “Restoration of Democracy.” 

Fair Districts PA calls for a non-partisan citizen commission to draw lines for congressional districts instead of politicians.

“Instead of having incumbent politicians behind closed doors..ordinary citizens should do it in the public eye,” said Elfelt, “the people have to draw the lines in the districts.”

A public meeting to discuss Gerrymandering in will be held at the Tyrone-Snyder Public Library on May 1, 2018, and 7 pm. A speaker will be there to provide more information to those who are interested.

In other news, the Tyrone’s Police Department started using body cameras as of Thursday, April 12th.

Albemarle Chemical, Chicago Rivet, Kunzler & Company were presented with Certificates of Compliance via the EPA regulations.

“It’s our pleasure to protect the community as our kids live here and our families live here,” an Albemarle representative said after receiving the award.

Central PA Humane Society notified the Borough that their animal control officers will no longer offer evening, weekend, or holiday pickup.With new Animal Control Officer Hours of Mon-Fri 8-16:30. Along with that will come $45 fee.

“Senior Fish Day” will occur on May 11th at Reservoir Park.  Fishing is open to seniors age 65+, raffles and prizes will be awarded.

“Strolls through Reservoir Park” will occur on June 13th, with lunch included for senior citizens.

TACO’s Fish Rodeo is scheduled for Saturday, April 28 at Reservoir Park in Tyrone from 8-11 A.M. Boys and girls age 1-15 are eligible to enter. Trophies will be awarded for largest fish and most total inches within each age group.