Memorial idea approved

Scouts plan to honor fallen emergency responders

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Two local Eagle Scout candidates can begin planning a memorial for the front of the Blair County Court­house to honor fallen firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

Commissioners agreed Tuesday at their weekly meeting that Timothy Green and Ian Smilnak can move forward with their proposed project to help each qualify for the rank of Eagle Scout.

Both teenagers told commissioners that they have discussed plans for fundraisers and solicitations to cover the project costs.

Their goal, they said, is to build the memorial near the rear of the courthouse’s patio which fronts Allegheny Street. It is to consist of a flagpole, a bell and two headstones, one in recognition of Blair County’s fallen firefighters and another in recognition of county’s emergency medical services personnel.

Scout Leader David Woleslagle of the Chief Logan District of Penns Woods Council said the proposed memorial is expected to be about the same size as the police officers’ memorial that was created in the front of the courthouse.

“I think it’s a good idea to go along with the police officers’ memorial,” Com­mis­sioner Ted Beam Jr. said.

Green’s father, Robert, a civil engineer, also told commissioners he would be involved in the project with an installation date to be determined. That date will be considered as the county edges toward repairs and maintenance work on the 1999 section of the court. If the memorial is built first, it might need to be removed for the work.

Commissioners Chair­man Bruce Erb suggested involving county Director of Public Works Rocky Greenland and Keller Engineers in plans for the timing of the projects.

“I’m 100 percent behind it conceptually,” Erb told the scouts.

Erb also asked about future maintenance and Smilnak advised that it should be limited because the memorial will depend on solar lights.

Commissioner Terry Tomassetti also rendered his support in favor of the proposed project.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.