The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 26, 2009

Koot Karts’ operator awaiting regulations

WINDBER — A week after a strong warning temporarily shut down its free ride service, Koot Kart leaders are frustrated by lack of information from the state Public Utility Commission.

The volunteer Windber-area transport vans resumed limited operations last week after the PUC received a complaint about alleged violations.

Although the letter did not list the infractions, it advised Koot Kart administrator Tableland Services Inc. to “cease and desist” from violations. The letter went on to warn that continued operations could draw a $1,000 fine for each violation.

After The Tribune-Democrat contacted the PUC on May 18, an agent called with some information and promised to provide more clarification, Tableland Executive Director Jeffery Masterson said. A week later, he’s still waiting.

“We have received no correspondence back from them,” Masterson said. “We still continue our limited service for Windber Borough and those with Windber addresses within Somerset County.”

Koot Karts are part of the legacy of Windber native John S. Koot, a World War II soldier who received the Silver Star for gallantry while battling the Japanese in the Philippines.

The John and Ann Koot Memorial Fund purchased the two Koot Karts in 2005 and has continued supporting the free program. Although it is run by volunteers, the Koot Kart service was placed under Tableland’s umbrella for tax and insurance purposes.

Because Tableland operates Somerset County’s transportation program under a state contract, Koot Karts must follow the same limitations.

PUC spokeswoman Denise McCracken said the Karts are not permitted to pick up Cambria County residents for transport to other Cambria County locations.

There also was a concern about the appearance of a fee-for-service violation because donation envelopes were available in the vans.

While exploring future options, service is not available to Cambria County residents in areas such as Scalp Level and Mine 37, and the envelopes have been removed, Masterson said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Cause of West End fire still undetermined

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday morning at a vacant structure on the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not yet been determined.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former worker, pal jailed in Logan Township thrift store robbery

    A former employee and another man have been jailed on charges they robbed a Blair County thrift store, a crime foiled when a current employee told police she recognized the first masked suspect’s voice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Rents change with new rules

    A change in federal housing regulations raises the rent for 28 public housing tenants and reduces the rent for 29 tenants in Johnstown Housing Authority communities.

    July 21, 2014

  • Memorial programs recognized

    A national hospital ranking report recognizes Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center as high performing in four categories.

    July 21, 2014

  • Residents seek Sonman memorial

    Relatives of workers involved in one of the biggest mine disasters in the region’s history are working to keep the victims’ memories from fading. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Sonman Mine explosion, which claimed 63 lives.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Foul play ruled out in train fatality

    Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a Windber man found struck by a train near Seward early Sunday, investigators say.

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Concussion prevention project progressing

    A Johnstown-area hospital and school district are a step ahead of the president's call for more research into sports injuries, having developed a groundbreaking concussion-prevention program aimed at helping all athletes, particularly students, avoid brain injuries.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads