Greensburg seeks more than $500K in gaming revenue for City Hall repairs, vehicles

Sep. 19—Greensburg is hoping to tap into state gambling revenue to fund improvements to City Hall and to add new police and public works vehicles.

City officials also have expressed interest in seeking state funding that could be used to include green technology in an update of the roof on the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department's No. 2 Company station.

City council approved three applications last week for competitive grants from the state Commonwealth Financing Authority's Local Share Account — money generated through gambling revenue from venues including Live Casino Pittsburgh in Hempfield.

In order of priority, the city is applying for:

—$305,000 toward improvements to City Hall and other city-owned buildings;

—$125,000 for two replacement police vehicles;

—About $163,000 for public works equipment, including a new front loader and an additional box for collecting fall leaf waste left at the curb by residents.

"It will be really competitive," Councilman Randy Finfrock said of the demand for the grants. "Maybe we'll get lucky and get all three."

Among issues that need to be addressed at City Hall, he said, is a leaky solarium-type roof above a first-floor conference room. Other sections of roof are due for preventive maintenance, while some exterior mortar needs repointing at City Hall and some other city buildings.

"The concrete is starting to dissolve and disintegrate," Finfrock said.

Greensburg normally plans to replace one of its police vehicles each year, but Finfrock is hopeful it will be able to advance that schedule, to purchase two cruisers before the 2025 models arrive.

"In 2025, the police car models are changing," he said. That means the city no longer will be able to transfer such equipment as the cage and light bar from an older model to a new replacement vehicle.

"We're going to try to get ahead of our police car rotation," he said.

The new front-loader would be used to load salt onto city trucks for winter road maintenance.

The fate of the grants may not be known as the 2024 city budget process gets underway.

"We're going to put something in the budget," Finfrock said. "If the grant comes in, that will free up money to use for something else."

Finfrock has suggested applying for a larger grant that could be used to install a new roof capable of generating solar power at the No. 2 fire station on North Pennsylvania Avenue.

"We have to replace a rather substantial roof at the fire station, and we're hoping for a grant to do that," he said. "Currently, there's a lot of grant opportunities for green technology. If we decided to make the roof solar, we could increase our chances."

Greensburg fire Chief Tom Bell, who also is the city's public works director, said a consultant suggested a project budget of $500,000 to replace the fire station roof with a more durable metal version. He said such a roof could come with fasteners ready-made for attaching solar panels.

Adding a solar roof to the fire hall could result in a budget windfall, according to Finfrock.

"Not only could we take the fire hall off the grid, we could generate 337% of the normal electric bill there and sell electricity back to the power company," he said.

Councilman Gregory Mertz suggested it could add to the hall's value as a shelter in the event of a storm-related power outage in the community.

"It will have its own power," Finfrock said.

More costly truck

Greensburg will spend about $6,000 more than it had hoped for on a 2023 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Council approved purchasing the vehicle from Tri-Star Motors of Blairsville for about $37,500 after discovering that a different, lower-priced vehicle of the same model it agreed to buy from the dealership a month earlier was no longer available.

The new vehicle will replace a truck the city uses to service parking meters.

"Vehicles have been tough to come by," Finfrock said.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff by email at or via Twitter .