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Crowd Questions W.O. Feral Cat Ordinance

February 23, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

A large crowd attended Monday’s White Oak borough council meeting to raise concerns over an recently enacted feral cat ordinance.

More than two dozen people, some of whom had to stand for lack of chairs, attended to discuss the impact of the ordinance, enacted by council in December.

The ordinance requires cat owners to vaccinate their own anials against rabies, as well as to have their cats neutered or spayed and tipped. The ordinance also makes it unlawful to continue feeding or keeping feral cats if it causes a nuisance to neighbors.

Several people on Monday questioned whether the ordinance was legal or could withstand a court challenge.

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WOAA Work Complete, Other Plans Move Forward

February 11, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

Improvements at White Oak Athletic Association are complete, pending the receipt of certain documents.

At Monday’s council work session, borough engineer Ken Hillman said White Oak’s next big project is tackling repairs to the municipal building on Lincoln Way.

“We’ve completed specification plans for the roof, electrical and HVAC systems at the borough building. Our street paving project has been sent out to bid, and those bids are due Feb. 23,” Hillman said.

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Furry Friends Essential During COVID Pandemic

January 31, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

Cici is a pitbull mix awaiting adoption at White Oak Animal Safe Haven.

When Laura Massie joined the White Oak Animal Safe Haven 10 years ago, she knew her love for animals could make a positive difference in the community.

“I came in as a board member, volunteering, and just loving animals,” said Massie, who now serves as vice president of the non-profit’s board. “I’ve been vice president for three years, and a board member and volunteer for 10.”

Created on Sept. 21, 2003 by Ina Jean Marton, the shelter was born out of a desire to help animals as well as the wider community.

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New Post-Pandemic Rules at W.O. Pool

January 26, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: Announcements, White Oak News

White Oak’s Heritage Hill Pool is expected to open this year.

The pool didn’t open in 2020, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant that lifeguards could not be trained and necessary repairs could not be completed.

The city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County also did not open their pools last year.

Councilwoman Julie Opferman said last week that although pool season is still months away, it’s on council’s radar.

However, she said, Heritage Hill Pool will implement a new system of pricing and passes this year.

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W.O. Plans Infrastructure Improvements in ’21

January 25, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak Borough is planning to pave all or part of more than a dozen streets this summer as it tackles infrastructure improvements.

At last week’s meeting, Manager John Palyo presented a list of streets targeted for repaving, including Andrew Drive, Main Street, Maple Drive, Laurel Lane, Circle Drive, Midway Drive, Stepanik Road, Chesapeake Street, Longvue Drive, Glass Street, Terrace Drive and Sunset Drive.

The borough is also targeting four properties for demolition, including two properties on O’Neil Boulevard and one each on New Jersey Street and Capitol Street, Palyo said.

In other business, Councilman George Dillinger, who chairs the finance committee, encouraged other members of council to be mindful of the $7.2 million bond that the borough issued in 2019 for infrastructure projects.

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Source of Gas Odor Undetermined

January 06, 2021 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, North Versailles Twp. News, White Oak News

A strong odor reported by residents of McKeesport, North Versailles Twp. and White Oak on Tuesday night was not a natural gas leak, a spokesman said.

Allegheny County emergency personnel said firefighters were dispatched to several locations along Route 48 just after 7 p.m. after 9-1-1 callers said they smelled natural gas.

But Barry Kukovich, spokesman for Peoples Gas, said there were no gas leaks or any service problems reported in Route 48 corridor on Tuesday night.

Natural gas is odorless, and the “gas smell” actually comes from a chemical called methyl mercaptan, which is designed to help customers detect a leak.

Kukovich said that it’s possible that a truck carrying mercaptan, or a similar chemical, passed through the area on Tuesday night, but the smell was not related to Peoples Gas.


W.O. OK’s Hens, Nixes Feeding Stray Cats

January 01, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak borough has joined other municipalities like North Versailles Twp. and will allow residents to keep chickens at their homes.

Ordinance 2020-29, approved in December by borough council, allows White Oak residents to keep hens, but not roosters, at their own single-family dwelling if it includes at least one-half acre of property.

No more than four hens or chicks may be kept at any residence, and owners must provide a safe, stationary, enclosed, roofed coop, at least 30 feet away from any building on an adjacent lot, according to the ordinance.

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Tax Increase in New Year for W.O. Residents

January 01, 2021 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

White Oak council has enacted a property tax increase to close a nearly $1 million budget gap.

At the Dec. 28 meeting, council by 6-0 vote adopted the 2021 budget and set property taxes at 8.00 mills. Councilman Louis Bender was absent.

The tax rate for 2020 was 6.41 mills on each dollar of assessed valuation, said Councilman George Dillinger, chair of the finance committee, said. The increase amounts to roughly 25 percent.

Each mill represents $1 in taxes on each $1,000 of assessment. A homeowner with a house and land valued at $100,000 can expect their property taxes to increase $159.

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W.O. Boosts Holidays With Decorating Contest

December 30, 2020 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

Sherry Brakeall’s home was named the “Best Traditional” entry in White Oak’s first home decorating contest. Organizers are hoping it becomes an annual event. (Submitted photo)

White Oak’s parks and recreation committee made some Christmas magic and boosted the holiday spirit with the borough’s first home decorating contest.

Organizers are hopeful that they’ve created a new tradition.

“I’d like to thank everyone who made our inaugural year possible,” said Councilwoman Julie Opferman, who chairs the parks and recreation committee. “It gave us the Christmas joy we’ve been missing this year.”

A total of 40 houses registered for the contest. Participants could enter in one of three categories:

• “Best Traditional” for classic and elegant displays,
• “Clark Griswold,” named after the character in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” for the most extravagant light displays, or
• “Buddy the Elf” for the most festive display, i.e., themes and inflatables.

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Merger Unites W.O. Bakery, Beloved Pizza Shop

December 15, 2020 |

By Sarah Turnbull | Posted in: White Oak News

The Macey family couldn’t imagine White Oak without Veltre’s Pizza. So in July, when owner Vince Veltre announced his retirement after 37 years in the business, they resolved to do something about it.

Veltre’s of White Oak re-opened Monday as Patti’s La Cucina, operated by the Maceys, who opened Patti’s Pasticceria on Lincoln Way in 2011.

“We’ve always been Vince’s customers,” Andrew Macey, son of Patti’s La Cucina owner, Patti Macey, said. “He’s been a mentor to us.

“We can’t imagine White Oak without Veltre’s,” he said. “He’s done so much for the community — and we need some normalcy during COVID.”

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