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Light The Night!

Mark your calendars for WHITE FRIDAY! Yes, after your early morning rise to get those deals, you will need and want some good old-fashioned Holiday Spirit!  You will get that and so much more at the annual Etna Light the Night celebration.  This tradition in Etna started back in the early 1980’s – yes, the 1980’s! We are supposedly, the second oldest Light the Night celebration outside of the City of Pittsburgh!

And it’s back with many of the familiar festivities!  But look for more this year!  Blue Hazel Studios, 13 Freeport Street (the former bowling alley), will be doing character readings of The Night Before Christmas throughout the evening beginning at 7 pm!  Bring the kids down to listen to this classic!  Etna Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) is providing free copies of the book to all who stop down!  Molly’s Trolleys will be back bringing Santa and Mrs. Claus to their spot on Walnut Street, right next to the live reindeer pen!  They will also be providing free rides down Butler Street to Christmas Corner!  Make sure you stop in at Calvert Presbyterian Church on High Street to check out the Balloon Artist and sign a card sent from Etna to a soldier overseas!  Make your way sometime that evening to First Congregational Church for some good old-fashioned hot chocolate to warm up! Our local girl scout troop will be stationed on Butler Street where your child can fill out a Letter to Santa and mail it right there on Butler Street Etna straight to the North Pole!   Get your FREE souvenir of the evening by getting your family or friends gathered at the Photo Booth for a free photograph – wear your Santa hat!  There are children’s games at the corner of High and Butler Streets!  And of course, our FABULOUS Volunteer Firemen will be hosting their Open House at Fugh Hall starting at 7:30 p.m.  Our American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will be there with Christmas Cards for soldiers for you to sign! All in anticipation of the grand finale of the evening, our Zambelli fireworks display at Dougherty Veteran’s Field at 9:00 p.m.

Council News

Etna Riverfront Park Update

We are thrilled to announce that in mid-August, the Borough, at a local PUC hearing (Public Utility Commission) affirmed that the railroad crossing to the proposed riverfront park area was a public crossing and not a private crossing as was indicated.  This GREAT news means the Borough no longer has to build a flyover across the railroad tracks, which had been estimated at a little over three million dollars.  We are working now on new design plans for the Park and with grant funders to realign grants for the proposed park and trail.

Etna was successful in securing an Active Allegheny Grant in the amount of $23,259.00 from the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority.  This grant is the outcome of joint discussions with Shaler Township and residents from the Township interested in making use of the Etna Riverfront Park area and access to that Park.  In partnership with the Township, who is supporting the project and grant with a match of a little over nine thousand dollars, proposals will be received from firms to design safe bike and pedestrian access from Kiwanis Park in Shaler through Etna Borough to a parking area in Etna for Park and Trail use.  This will include sharrows, way finder signs and the design of a designated parking area near the park on lower Bridge Street.

We are thrilled to report that Etna was awarded a $669,800.00 Green Revitalization of our Waterways (GROW) grant from the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority as reimbursement towards the Phase II construction just completed on our Green Streetscape.  This grant, along with our previous GROW Grant of $118,000.00 will allow the Borough to move forward with another phase of the Green Streetscape.  Phase III, will include the area from the former funeral home to High Street!  This will help Etna continue its efforts to remove stormwater from the combined sewer system in our community and to continue to help reduce overflows into Pine Creek and the Allegheny River.

Etna was also awarded a $60,050.00 Growing Greener grant from the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection for the designing and engineering for an additional phase of the Green Streetscape program!     

The Borough and the EEDC have been working together on raising funds for a great new gateway sign coming south on Route 8 at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Route 8.  EEDC secured a $5,000 PNC Foundation grant to put towards this new welcoming sign to our community!

150th Birthday Update

Don’t worry, if you have signed up for this Committee we haven’t scheduled our first meeting yet! We are gearing up for early 2017 to begin that planning process!  In anticipation of the upcoming event, the Public Works Department noticed that our Bell Monument in the Municipal Building parking lot was in need of some attention.  This monument was constructed as part of the 125th birthday celebration and the structure was in need of some work.  You may have noticed the bricks have been removed so that work can be done on the interior of the structure.  There are sixteen blank bricks on the monument that the Borough is auctioning off as an initial fund raiser for the upcoming 2018 celebration!  This will be a silent auction with a minimum bid of $100.00.  You can have engraved up to three lines per brick.  The sixteen highest bids will be awarded a brick on the monument.  All bricks will be replaced on the monument after the rehab of the interior is completed. Bids will be received up until DECEMBER 1, 2017.  Contact the Borough Office for a form if you wish to submit a sealed bid for one (or more) of the blank monument bricks!   A follow-up fund raiser will be the sale of bricks for the sidewalk area in front of the monument early next year. So, if you don’t win a bid or want to wait, you will still have an opportunity to purchase a brick for the sidewalk seating area at a later date.

Public Safety Department News

Police Department News

The Cops vs Kids basketball game was held on August 26. It was a resounding thrashing with the Kids winning the game with a score of 72 to 20. Thanks to all the Etna kids and the police officers from Indiana, Reserve and Shaler Townships, Aspinwall, Millvale and Sharpsburg Boroughs, Allegheny County and of course our great Etna officers who participated that day! We extend thanks to the volunteers from the Pride of Etna Committee, our businesses who donated prizes and our local churches who helped make this annual event possible.

The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office created a program called PROJECT D.U.M.P. This program is for the Disposal of Unused Medications Properly. You can call 412-459-5000 and schedule an appointment for an Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office Evidence Technician to pick up the unwanted prescription medications at your home.  This is a great way to safely and easily get these medications out of your home and remove temptation to other people in the home or visiting.  It also prevents you from dumping them down the drain which can affect our waterways or tossing them into the trash and into a landfill.

On September 15, Shaler Area School District organized an event called “Thank A Police Officer Day”. This has become an annual event and our local departments in the School District were all invited.  We extend our gratitude to the School District, the teachers and all the kids who made this such a special event for all the officers.

On November 11, our country pays tribute to the countless veterans who have served in defense of our freedom.  This Veterans Day, the Etna Police Department would like to take an opportunity to recognize one of them, Etna Police Officer Benjamin Straw, who served as a Military Police Officer with the Marines in Afghanistan. We are proud of his sacrifices in service to our country and are honored to have him as member of our Police Department.

All dogs, aged 3 months or older, MUST be licensed by January 1st of each year. Licenses are issued by the Allegheny County Treasurer. Residents who fail to purchase a yearly County license(s) for their dog(s) are violating Pennsylvania Law. The fine is $300 for each unlicensed dog. ALL dogs must be kept under control and are not allowed to run at large. The best way to control your dog is with a leash. Dogs are personal property and owners are responsible for damages caused by their dog. If your dog has to take care of business, make sure you clean it up and if you don’t, you would be violating Borough ordinance 1298 Section 1 (B) iii. The fine for this is $600. The Borough has 53 cameras throughout our community that are recording,
not including private owners who also have camera systems.   Don’t be one of the dog owners caught on video not cleaning up after your dog.

Fire Department News

In the past eight months, the Etna Volunteer Fire Department has taken in more than 10 new members and an additional 5 junior members.  As volunteerism is declining all over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, fire departments are scrambling for ways to attract new volunteers.  Your fire department has managed to fight that trend and maintain high volunteer numbers.  Boasting a roster of more than 40 active firefighters, 7 junior members and 20 members in various other classifications, Etna has one of the strongest departments in our area.  This dynamic influx of membership is largely due to financial support from Etna Borough.  

During the first three months of 2016, Etna firefighters logged an impressive 500 hours of firefighter training.  During that time, they also planned an eight week long fish fry, cash bash and one week-long street fair.  In that same period of 2017, members logged more than 2000 hours of training—an increase of training by a 4 to 1 ratio.  Notably in 2017, there were more volunteers contributing to those accumulated hours but it was also because of time that had become available.  Time that would have otherwise been committed to events completely unrelated to your safety.  The Fire Department is committed to the safety of Etna Borough (and surrounding) residents’ lives and property.  This is an awesome responsibility and one that they take seriously. They are glad to be able to focus their attention on training, emergency preparedness and response to emergency situations

Please continue to support the Etna Volunteer Fire Department as they devote their time and energy to your safety and security.

EMS News

As of February 1, 2017, Shaler Area EMS is designated as the primary provider of 911 emergency ambulance services in Etna.  To reduce the financial burden of an unexpected ambulance trip, Shaler EMS offers a Subscription Program.  This program allows Etna residents to protect themselves from a potentially expensive ambulance bill.  It works by paying a small fee to Shaler Area EMS once a year to become a subscriber.  Subscribers gain unlimited protection from all costs associated with medically necessary emergency ambulance service.  This means that no matter how many times you or someone in your family may need emergency service; it will be at no cost to you.  In addition, most communities in the North Hills honor your Shaler Area EMS Subscription, so you are protected even when you are outside Etna.
The fees are $35 for an Individual Subscription, $50 for a Family Subscription, and $70 for a Family Plus Subscription.  The Subscription Year starts on April 1st and ends on March 31st.  This year’s subscription information was mailed in the first week of March.  If you did not receive yours, please contact us at 412-487-6590 or visit our website at

In addition to responding to emergency calls, Shaler EMS offers several programs aimed at reducing the risk of injury.  One example is our free child car seat inspections. Shaler Area EMS has a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician on staff to ensure that your child’s car seat is installed according to the manufacturer’s standards.  You can schedule a checkup by calling Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Another example is our Matter of Balance education program.  This is an award-winning seminar that emphasizes practical strategies to avoid and manage falls while increasing activity levels.  To find out more please contact Maria Bardakos at 412-487-6590.

Borough News


An Application for Commercial Registration and Zoning Compliance must be completed by any new business interests before opening such business to insure it is in compliance with Etna zoning ordinances.

Owners of rental properties must keep an updated Property Registration Form on file at the Borough Office at all times.  

We request that you contact Waste Management’s At Your Door Service to schedule a FREE pickup of your old TV at 1-800-449-7587 or
or Email:

There is a push for a new sense of pride in Etna that started in the central business district last summer where the property owners were notified, in a friendly manner, of maintenance code violations which needed addressed.

We are going to continue this initiative with a new focus for the summer of 2018.  While traveling around the borough it became apparent that there are many garages in dilapidated condition.  The garage owners will receive a friendly letter outlining the maintenance code violations which need attention.  This letter is a prelude to a formal violation letter which will be issued to those who do not take it upon themselves to abate their violations.  Your cooperation in improving the aesthetics of the borough is greatly appreciated.

Public Works News

The Public works crew makes every attempt to keep the roads clear during snow events.  To assist them with this task, there are a few things you can do to make this process more efficient.  Please park as close to the curb as possible, and observe any no parking areas marked in yellow. The trucks, when equipped with plows, are difficult to safely navigate the many narrow, hilly streets within our community so if you could keep your side mirrors turned in, that would be a big help to them.  Also, when shoveling your sidewalk, it is best to shovel the snow away from the street.  It is not necessary to shovel the entire width of your sidewalk, a 24” cleared path is all that is required.  Remember, the snow must be cleared from your sidewalk within 24 hours of the end of the event.  Thank you in advance for your patience as they make every attempt to clear all roads as quickly as possible.

Harrisburg News

From the office of State Representative Dom Costa:

Governor Wolf has extended the 2016 Property Tax Rent Rebate until December 31, 2017. Home owners or renters that have not filed may be eligible for a rebate if their annual income does not exceed $35,000 as a homeowner or $15,000 as a renter. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people who are 100% disabled, ages 18 and older. Applications are available at our office.

Dom’s office is often called about how to be added to the DO NOT CALL LIST. It is recommended that you call the National Registry at 1-888-382-1222 and the State Registry at 1-888-777-3406. You may need to register more than once if you enter a contest or sign-up for a promotion as this cancels your Do Not Call registration with that business. There are exceptions to the Do Not Call law as it allows politicians, charitable organizations, and entities with whom there is a business relationship to be able to place calls to your phone number. However, consumers can revoke or cancel the business relationship by requesting placement on the business' internal Do Not Call List. It is recommended that all adults in a household individually register under Do Not Call, even though they will be listing the same home phone number.

For more information on the items listed above or for assistance with any state related issue please call my office at 412-361-2040.

School District News

Shaler Area School District is proud to announce the name of their new primary school, “Scott Primary School” for the facility being built on Scott Avenue, formerly the site of the Roger’s Primary School.  Scott Primary will be a two-story, 82,779 square foot facility that will accommodate between 460 and 600 students in kindergarten to third grade.  The school is designed to house each grade level in its own neighborhood of classrooms and special education rooms and includes additional parking capacity, enhanced security features, a separate cafeteria, library and gymnasium and STEAM room.  The School District music department will host its annual Winter Concert Series during December and January.  Please check the District website, in late November for the full schedule.

Reminders From Your Borough Office

Property Owners, ordinance 1091 requires occupancy registration on an annual basis as well as when tenants move in and out of properties. If the property is vacant, we need to know that as well. Accurate occupant information is vital in utility billing and can help you when your properties are vacant as charges are obviously different for vacant properties, but only if timely notification is received by the Borough.

Sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall or ice storms per borough ordinance.

Garbage cans must not be placed out prior to 6:00 p.m. or dusk the night before trash pickup and must be taken back in by midnight the following day.

Pets must be kept on a leash when being cheap prom dress walked and cleaned up after..

Dumping yard waste (fall leaves, etc.) into any of the streams or storm runs located within the community is illegal. Litter tossed on to the local roads can end up in our combined sewer system and cause serious problems to downstream neighbors. Anyone caught draining oil and other liquids from their vehicle into a storm drain will be prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows.

Etna Borough Council Meetings, third Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. If you need transportation, please call the Etna Borough Office one week prior to the meeting.

Etna Economic Development Corporation Meetings, second Tuesday each month, 7:00 p.m., Municipal Building.

Etna Planning Commission Meetings, every fourth Thursday, 7:00 p.m., Municipal Building, call in advance for meeting confirmation.

Pride Of Etna Committee Meetings, second Thursday each month, Municipal Building.

EMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH - Zumba Exercise Classes, Tuesday and Thursdays, $3.00, 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.

Calvert Memorial Food Pantry

The Bread of Life Pantry hours for Calvert Memorial United Presbyterian Church are as follows:

First Wednesday of the month, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Second Wednesday of the month, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Third Wednesday of the month, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

If there are any questions regarding this information, you can contact the Food Bank at 412-

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