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Shuster visits Mercersburg

April 29, 2002

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

Borough officials in Mercersburg learned Friday that a much-needed replacement of a stretch of public water line can be accomplished thanks to a $240,000 federal grant announced by U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster.

Borough officials in Mercersburg were unaware that the money was coming.

Mercersburg was the final stop in a daylong visit to Franklin County that began Friday morning at Letterkenny Army Depot north of Chambersburg, Pa.

Shuster, R-9th, toured the base with fellow Congressman Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania's 3rd District. Shuster said he took Weldon to the base because he is chairman of the House Armed Services procurement subcommittee.

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He said he wanted Weldon's ideas on how to strengthen the facility to better protect it against the next phase of the Base Realignment and Closure Act that determines which military bases should be closed to save money.

Afterward, Shuster met with Franklin County firefighters and emergency services personnel at the Franklin Fire House.

The Mercersburg grant will pay to replace the water line under Grandview Avenue. Borough officials said the line is old and breaks often.

Shuster said the money would come to the borough quickly.

"Everything fell into place," he said.

Borough officials took the opportunity to lobby Shuster for a traffic light at the intersection of Routes 16 and 75 in the west end of town. The intersection is considered dangerous and is so hard to maneuver that Borough Police Chief Larry Thomas has to stand in the middle of it in the afternoon to direct school buses through, officials said.

Shuster held out little hope for help from his office, saying it was a state responsibility.

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