Route 31 Road Construction

It began May 8 and has a very long way to go!! When you exit the PA Turnpike at Donegal be prepared to experience delays! The project begins just above the turnpike exit and continues down to the turn to Route 711 at Sarnelli’s. In a months time much has been done with much more to come! Please pack your patience and watch out for the workers!

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National Flood Insurance EXPIRES Sept 30!

The last time the National Flood Insurance was allowed to expire approximately 40,000 transactions, a MONTH didn’t happen!! WHY? Because if your property is in a flood zone area AND you don’t have flood insurance, NO bank will finance it! Being active in our local, state, and national Realtor Associations has allowed Abe to meet face to face with elected representatives in DC and Harrisburg to explain WHY it is critical to ensure it doesn’t expire again! Check out the information slides!  

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Nemacolin 5 Alarm Chili Cook-off June 13, 2015

Nemacolin Chili Cookoff

Compete in the Restaurant Division of Nemacolin’s annual Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-off

Have you been told that your restaurant has the BEST chili? PROVE IT by registering for the Restaurant Division at Nemacolin’s 6th Annual Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-Off! Winner will receive Bragging Rights, an Award Plaque and a One-Night Nemacolin Stay with $150 in Resort Spending Credits. For more information, contact Ashli Mazer-Workman by email or by phone at 724-329-6387.

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Trillium Time!

For those of you who follow our BLOG you know how much we love the Indian Creek Valley (ICV) Bike and Hike Trail. Most of you will easily find it because it is located across from the Somerset Trust Bank on County Line Road (Please, only use their parking when they are closed). Although there are multiple sections with each one having its own unique characteristics, including FLOWERS! One of our personal favorites is the Trillium and this weekend they will be blooming for all to see! Check out the ICV website!

 

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ATV CLUB

It is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive, “Where can we ride our ATV’s?” Here’s one option, the Indian Creek Valley ATV Club. Easily found by staying on 711 to White, maybe 8 miles from Sarnelli’s, then look for the sign on the right (if you come to Indian Head you passed it).  They offer year round riding for ATV’s and UTV’s on over 30 miles of “safe and groomed trails.” There’s a mix of elevation and difficulty to challenge any rider. Their website offers more details, check it out and safe riding!

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SB 76 MOVED OUT OF FINANCE!!

SB 76 Picture

It is time for more discussion! SB 76 the NO more school property tax was voted and passed In the Senate Finance Committee 6-5! We were there TODAY. Now it goes to Approbations Committee to see it they will pass it to the floor. Wags and I along with many of our REALTOR friends filled the rooms (yes they had to open up a second hearing room there were so many of us because we were having our State Organization meeting the same day!!) with high hopes! Check out RealReform76 for more information, find your Senator, and to share your story!  Basically, Philadelphia and that area and the teachers union are the greatest opponents, while every retired person with property and Realtor in the state should be for it. Here’s how the finance committee voted:

Yes –
Senator Blake, Democratic chair (D-Lackawanna)
Senator Browne (R-Lehigh)
Senator Brubaker, Republican chair (R-Lancaster)
Senator Eichelberger (R-Blair)
Senator Scarnati (R-Clearfield)
Senator Wozniak (D-Cambria)

No –
Senator Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
Senator Hutchinson (R-Venango)
Senator Smith (D-Allegheny)
Senator Teplitz (D-Dauphin)
Senator Vance (R-Cumberland)

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Senate Finance Committe to VOTE on SB 76 TOMORROW!!

NO TAX SHOULD EVER BE ABLE  TO TAKE AWAY YOUR HOME! Check out RealReform76.com for the details on this bill. It was just scheduled to come up for a vote in the Senate Finance committee TOMORROW! Let your senator know that it is time for school property tax reform!! Tell them you support SB 76 and expect them to do the same! School property taxes are making our seniors homeless! One of our elderly neighbors recently shared they can only pay their school property taxes for another 4 years and then they are out of money!

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

BSHH coming signWe are sure you know that there are very few companies that are permitted to use the trusted name of Berkshire Hathaway! Well coming very soon Prudential Preferred Realty will be Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty!! New name, new colors, new affiliation! Stay tuned for more details!

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Donegal Interchange and Route 31 Proposed Construction

Full Project

We are getting closer to a huge construction project from the PA Donegal Turnpike Interchange to the Rt 31 intersection of Rt 711. The featured picture shows 3 miles of the proposed project that will involve adding lanes and stop lights. Our local Mountain Laurel Chamber of Commerce offered a meeting with PennDot representatives Liberty Hill  and engineers PRIOR to the public meetings that will be happening this spring.  While there are are several options on the table they are awaiting clearances from the EPA.  Construction is tentatively slated for 2016-2018 and the work will be out for bids.

There will be strip takes and some total displacements that will occur. This is considered a  capacity adding and safety project. There were 19 different pages presented for the 3 miles of road changes. Route 31 by the the actual turnpike exchange is going to be moved so that a “flowing T” can be constructed. Stay tuned for more details!Turnpike InerchangeRt 31 & Rt 711

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Lights, Camera, Action!

We are always excited to share good news about the Laurel Highlands! Cami Dibattista reported in the Tribune-Review that filming has been done for a 30 minute segment for PBS “Fringe Benefits” in 2014. Check out the story to see if your favorite destination was highlighted! Television series explores the Laurel Highlands

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Real Estate in Pittsburgh Improving

With over 92% of Laurel Highlands homeowners living within 2 hours of the resorts the health of the real estate market follows the real estate market in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties. It is good news to see the numbers in the Pittsburgh market moving the right direction as this market will follow soon. Now is the time to buy in the Laurel Highlands as low interest rates make the dream of a second home even more affordable. Contact us if you would like to buy or sell a home in this area.
April Market Report

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Discover your footprint!

For those of you who haven’t heard Abe is in a Masters degree program for real estate. This class is all about Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, “LEED” and sustainable development, in other words being green, saving our world and reducing our foot prints! One of her first homework assignments was to measure her ecological footprint.  Take the interactive short test (maybe 5 minutes great for kids too) and see the impact YOU are having on the planet!! She’ll share how many earths we’ll need if everyone lives like her, if you share your number!

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WINE BAR OPENS

It’s a first for our area! The Wine Bar, (used to be the Brass Duck in Stahlstown) opens their doors tomorrow! Their regular hours will be Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 5 pm to midnight. Enjoy wine by the glass, bottle, beer, or spirts! A light menu offers enough for a light dinner and of course there are desserts! Check out their web page for more details and ENJOY! Address 4147 Main St, Stahlstown, PA 15687 phone 724-593-WINE (9463)

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Fiscal Cliff and Real Estate

Our National REALTOR Association has shared what impact the fiscal cliff vote has for real estate! Including capital gains and tax extenders! To read the full details click here!

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Sanitation Systems

Here’s a story from Wired magazine about a new system for sanitation that the Gates Foundation has funded for undeveloped countries. We believe it could be of help here someday! The challenge was to design a toilet that didn’t use piped water, sewer, or electrical connections that cost under five cents a day to operate! The winner, California Institute for Technology.

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Nemacolin Ski Lodge Burns Down

Sunday evening Nemacolin Ski Lodge completely burned down. The fire started about 8:00 and was reported by an employee in the building who got out. There were no injuries to the staff. Nearly every fire department in Fayette County responded to the fire alarm. Here is a link to a report and video by Pittsburgh Channel 4 WTAE.

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Laurel Highlands CLI Newsletter Vol 3 No 7

Events

Imgrund to lead bureau
Lauren Imgrund was recently selected to head the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation at DCNR.

Lauren has helped to steer the Laurel Highlands CLI since its inception as DCNR’s “lead internal partner” and she also served as coordinator of all seven CLI’s across the state.

While we will miss her hands-on leadership in the Laurel Highlands CLI, she will continue to support our efforts as burea director and we are confident that she will do an outstanding job.
PEC is proud to be the lead external partner in the CLI. Please see PEC at:

www.pecpa.org

Follow-up Links
DCNR’s CLI page.
PEC’s Laurel Highlands CLI page.
Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.

Laurel Highlands CLI
Vol. 3 No. 7

Conservation Coalition Conference Nov. 7
A broad-ranging program will be featured in the third conference of the Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, at Powdermill Nature Reserve, 1847 Route 381, near Rector.

The coalition was created last year by grass-roots conservation and environmental groups in Fayette, Westmoreland, Somerset and Cambria Counties to support funding for conservation efforts, provide information about key issues and to network.
Conference presentations
The Conservation Coalition conference will have four featured presentations.

At 9:30 a.m., John Wenzel, Director for Biodiversity and Ecosystems at Powdermill, will exlain Powdermill’s traditional research on birds and its explanding mission into areas such as biodiversity.

At 10:45 a.m., Davitt Woodwell, vice president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, will provide a broad update on the Marcellus industry and issues, including the status of a proposed impact fee.

At 12:45 p.m., Dr. Tim Kelsey, professor of Agricultural Economics at Penn State University, will talk about the values of open space and conservation, including ways of assessing land-use options.

At 2:15, Michelle Chapkis of Women for a Healthy Environment, wil talk about potential health impacts of various environmental issues, including Marcellus shale.

There will also be a brief presentation on the economic impacts of State Parks in the Laurel Highlands and Statewide, as well as a wrap-up discusion for feedback from participants at 3:15 p.m.

Directions to Powermill
Powdermill Nature Reserve is centrally located within the Laurel Highlands along Route 381 between Route 30 and Route 31.

From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 711 in Ligonier, take route 711 south 3.3 miles to the Rector/Darlington intersection; see signs for Powdermill and Linn Run State Park. Turn left toward Rector and go 1 mile. At the bottom of the hill, before going over the bridge, turn right onto Route 381 South. Follow Route 381 South for 3.3 miles to the Nature Reserve headquarters.

From the PA Turnpike exit in Donegal, take Route 31 east for 2.7 miles. Turn left onto Route 381 North. Follow Route 381 North for 6.4 miles to the Nature Reserve headquarters.

Information on Powdermill: http://www.carnegiemnh.org/visit/index.html.

Conference registration
The cost for the Laurel Highlands Conservation Coalition conference will be $20, which will cover lunch, morning coffee, and water and soda for breaks. Registration deadline will be Saturday, Oct. 29.
Registration information will be included in an e-mail that will be sent soon and posted at www.pecpa.org/Laurel_Highlands/.

Stony whitewater progress
Stonycreek River whitewater releases planned next summer cleared a big hurdle when recent tests showed very little vibration of a valve stem inside the dam.

Cambria Somerset Authority, owner of the Quemahoning Lake, completed $59,000 in repairs to a 100-year old valve stem that assists with the release of water from a new valve.

The valve now can release up to 500 cubic feet of water per second, which boaters say will create outstanding whitewater conditions in the Stony.
Fun Events
Links to information on many of these and other events are located on the web site of Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau at http://www.laurelhighlands.org/Event:

Autumnfest at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, HallowBoo! at Idlewild, Haunted Hayloft Rides, Haunted Hollow and similar events, Oct. 22-23.

Haunted History Hayride, Bushy Run Battlefield, Oct. 22.

Halloween at the Johnstown Children’s Discovery Center, Oct. 23.

Third annual Yough Defense Fund Fundraiser will be held Nov. 17 at Falls City Pub in Ohiopyle; watch for details.

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Fall Foliage Peak is Here NOW in the Laurel Highlands PA

Repost from the Somerset Daily American.
Article written by Ralph Couey

7:10 p.m. EDT, October 14, 2011
After 11 long months of waiting, October, my favorite month, has finally arrived.

I’ve written a lot about my love of autumn, maybe too much. But I can’t help myself. I love forests, but when the chlorophyll is withdrawn from the leaves and their natural colors reveal themselves, a dormant part of myself comes alive.

It is the month I actually make time to spend in the woods, camera in hand, or winding along the roads through these mountains trying to capture forever these all-too-ephemeral days.

We are so very fortunate to be in an area that rarely disappoints us leaf hunters. Vermont and New Hampshire may boast and brag, but the Laurel Highlands is truly a fall foliage paradise.

We live in what is called “Fall Zone 2” a…well…tree-shaped area of Pennsylvania. The roots and trunk start in the east in Pike, Monroe, and Northampton counties and runs west as far as Centre County where it “branches” northwest to Erie and southwest to Fulton, engulfing the rest of the western half of Pennsylvania. As far as I can determine according to several authoritative websites, the peak of these counties should arrive this weekend.

The warm summer and abundant (in some cases over-abundant) rainfall, along with the prompt arrival of cool weather has provided the set-up for what I’m told should be one of the most spectacular years in recent memory.

The great thing about living in the Laurel Highlands is that you don’t have to go far at all for spectacular vistas. For some, all that will be required is a glance outside the kitchen window.

I’ve found a few favorite places to go to absorb Fall’s karma. One of my favorites is the drive (or ride for us motorcyclists) along Route 381 from US 30 running south past Ohiopyle to the National Pike, US 40. Another favorite is the heavily forested Route 31 between Bakersville and Laurelville. For a short jaunt, I take Trent Road south from Route 31, through Laurel Hill State Park, to the Copper Kettle Highway/County Line Road past Seven Springs to Champion.

Another great drive is Route 271 from Westmont over Laurel Mountain to Ligonier, then going west on 30 through the Loyalhanna Gorge. It’s so pretty, I have to do it twice. Mt. Davis Road around High Point Lake provides some beautiful vistas as does Route 56 through the Conemaugh River Gorge northwest of Johnstown. There’s also US 219 from Somerset through Berlin and Meyersdale, leading to the Maryland border.

Route 30, the Lincoln Highway, is highly recommended, essentially running from the Loyalhanna Gorge all the way to Gettysburg. An area I found last year is along Old Forbes Road, starting just east of Stoystown and going to Ridge Road, which takes you back to the Lincoln Highway.

These are few of my favorites, but I’m sure everyone reading this has found their very own autumn nirvana, which is one of the many benefits to living around here. The challenge, of course is to do this safely, ensuring I don’t drive off the road or into the oncoming lane while rubbernecking at the leaves.

You don’t even have to be in a car, for that matter. The Laurel Highlands has an abundance of forest trails, including the 70-mile-long Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, for both casual strollers and hard-core hikers that will take you through the hills amongst the glowing trees. There, of course, you get to enjoy that unique fall aroma of the leaves, and that soul-satisfying experience of swishing through them while walking along.

I particularly enjoy the two-mile path that leads to the Allegheny Portage Tunnel near Mineral Point. You walk in the darkness of that 900-foot tunnel and suddenly a hillside lit up in reds and golds appears at your feet. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Words are my tools, my toys, my playground. But even after years of effort, I have been unable to fully articulate the miraculous joy that I feel on an autumn day. The bright sunlight, cool air, and the glorious colors in the trees combine to create in me an inexpressible happiness.

This is a busy time of year, especially for families. But try to find the time in that short span of time when the leaves are peaking to take a drive, take a ride, or take a walk somewhere. It’ll be a memory you’ll treasure forever.

Oh, and don’t forget your camera!

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Nemacolin Resort gets Casino License

It was reported today by the Tribune Review that Nemacolin Resort in Fayette County was selected for the last $5 Million slots license. This license will allow up to 600 slot machines and 28 table games. For the complete story go to

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_732257.html

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Holiday Help!

Are you overwhelmed with your holiday to do list? Rustic Red is a service provided through Rustic Lodge Furniture on Rt 31. You pass their store in Donegal as you head up to either Hidden Valley or Seven Springs. Just look to your left as you pass the pie shop on the right.

They provide holiday decorating, party and event planning, gift wrapping, specialty gift baskets and catering! You can reach them by phone at 412-721-9038 or e-mail rusticred.red@gmail.com .

Now you can cross off several to dos from your Holiday list! Imagine walking into your place with the wreaths hung, twinkling lights strung, candles on the mantle, centerpieces with candy canes, presents wrapped, gift baskets ready to be delivered, and food on the way!

Maybe this service should be on your wish list!! Enjoy the season!!

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2010 Millage Rates

July is when all of the boroughs and townships publicize their new millage rates. These rates are used along with the assessed value of your property to determine what amount of county, township/boro, and school taxes that you will pay.

Here are the new rates for all of the areas in the counties we do business 2010 Fayette Millage, 2010 Somerset Millage, and 2010 Westmoreland Millage. Each county uses a different formula for calculating the assessed value of your property. Millage for Hidden Valley (Jefferson Township) went from 48.95 to 50.26  and Seven Springs (Middlecreek Township) saw a slight decrease in mills going from 32.11 to 31.97.

Here’s an example of the difference! If your property has an assessed value of $75,000 and you are in Hidden Valley your total tax bill (county, township and school) would be $3,769.50. At Seven Springs your tax bill would come to $2,397.75  This is just one of the variables that should be considered when deciding between the two resorts!

Amenities, facilities, association fees, services, these are a few that should be at the top of your list. Then there is location, price, size, ect granted most times you will have to compromise! The best advice we can give you is make a wish list of what is important to and hold out for at least for the top three items! REMEMBER ALWAYS work with a REALTOR offering designated agency!

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WHY You Should Use the RSS Feed!

We try to keep our readers more informed on the current happenings in the Laurel Highlands which includes Hidden Valley and Seven Springs Resorts. Now you are able to set up an RSS feed from our BLOG into your reader. That way you don’t have to search for our updates they come to when we post something new.

Many of you have a dazed look on your face! RSS feed! What’s that?! More technology?? Here’s a short YouTube video from commoncraft explaining what an RSS feed is and how it works!

Ok, now that you have a better understanding of how this will keep you updated on a more timely manner go get your reader! Then open up Laurel Highlands Local, look in the right column and scroll down until you come to the RSS Subscription box.

Click on the RSS symbol and it will ask if you want to subscribe and what folder you want the post to be delivered to. I have one in my e mail folders. That way you will get the latest on what’s happening in the Laurel Highlands, or from any other Blog or news source that you want to hear from!

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Pennsylvania Tourism Facts

The 49 Tourism Promotion Agencies representing all 67 counties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have an incredible informational piece that outlines how vital tourism is to Pennsylvania’s bottom line. I’m reciting some facts just in case you don’t have time to open the link!

“Did you know that Tourism ranks as the second largest industry in Pennsylvania! How about, that our state is the 4th most visited state in the country! In 2007, visitors generated a total of $2.8 billion in state and municipal tax revenues (a little more than 10% of the total General Fund Expenditures in 2007-08).

Due to the major tax revenues generated by tourism industry in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, each one of our 4.9 million households benefits with $575 in tax savings. Put another way, if not for tourism industry, each household would have to pay $575 in additional taxes to maintain the current level of state services.”

In deed, we as REALTORS focusing our business on Hidden Valley, Seven Springs, and the immediate area in the Laurel Highlands are extremely biased in our support for the tourism industry. “We urge Gov. Rendell and our legislators to maintain FY 2009-10 Tourism Promotion Assistance funding at $8 million – funding that has already been contracted and awarded.

Without this support of a key state industry, the second round of cuts included in the Governor’s FY 2009-10 budget revisions would leave PA’s total tourism promotion expenditures at 65% below FY 2008-09.”

Here is the link that shares how YOUR VOICE can make a difference! Through a call, letter, or  e-mail YOU can help to keep tourism a viable factor in our economy!

  • Write a letter or E-mail to your state senators and representatives
  • Sample letter to a legislator

PLEASE TAKE ACTION TODAY!

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Gaming at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort?

Since Governor Rendell has blessed table games in Pennsylvania (just yesterday) Nemacolin Resort has decided they now want that last resort license available! If you remember back in 2006 they had submitted an application for a license. But before it could be awarded they withdrew!

At the time they cited the $25 per person charge requirement for their change of mind. That fee has been reduced to $10! Another change in the license is that the number of allowable slots has gone from 500 to 600. Add with table games being added to the mix the opportunity becomes much more interesting!

They announced that they have a casino management and marketing agreement with Isle of Capri Casinos. This is a relatively large corporation in the industry. They own and or operate 14 casino properties in six states and the Bahamas. There are several other resorts vying for this license! Our bet is on Nemacolin!

Check out the article in the Trib Total Media!

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All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright 2019.



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