Commissioners’ Work Session Puts Focus On Train Derailment Aftermath & Regionalization Efforts

(Matt Drzik/Beaver County Radio)

The March 15 work session of the Beaver County Commissioners acknowledged that the way of Beaver County life is changing, both in ways that hope to be known and ways that still seem unclear.

One major push for many municipalities in the coming months is the regionalization of several local departments (police and fire) to create a single, larger department that would cover the areas of Conway, Baden, and Freedom. District Attorney David Lozier spoke about how the regionalization transition is going well, but that a roadblock has emerged due to the DCED’s time allotment for grant funding not happening yet.

Baden Borough Public Safety Chairman Mike Stuban (standing) addresses the Beaver County Commissioners at their March 15 work session.

Lozier, along with new regional safety chairperson Mike Stuban, approached the Commissioners for a $69,000 grant to pay for services to help along the process of the new department’s establishment. “We’re not going to drain the County Commissioners or ask for anything we don’t need,” Stuban said. “We wouldn’t be here, except we want to push this and get it started, and to look into the expansions.”

While the future for the regionalized department has set plans, the future for those in Beaver County within several miles of East Palestine seems less concrete. The day before the work session, the Commissioners attended a public hearing at the Darlington Township Fire Department, where many members of the State House showed up with questions and concerns on how to deal with the potential disaster of a train derailment in their area.

For Commissioner Tony Amadio, one of the biggest issues for Beaver County moving forward is the negative perception that many citizens have towards the state of water, air, or food in the area over the next several months. “People have to be able to understand that their water is clean, and that the meat that’s eating the grain off the land is clean until we find out otherwise,” Amadio pleaded. “And we have to make sure [of that] so that our Farmers’ Markets and local produce sell!”

“If everything is good, and people have the perception that it’s not good–or they don’t trust what they’re hearing–then people aren’t going to buy those foods,” he added. “And we’ve got to make sure to put the understanding out that everything’s good.”

The next work session is scheduled for March 22 at 10:00 AM.

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