Share This Page

Verona continues to work on revitalizing business district

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Verona officials continue to take steps toward revitalization of the borough business district, and it's going to be a busy couple of months for the project.

On Tuesday, borough council hired Franco Electric to install lighting along Allegheny River Boulevard for close to $240,000. Officials received four contract bids for the project.

For several years, members of the Verona Business District Advisory Committee and the Allegheny Valley North Council of Governments (COG) have been working on infrastructure and landscaping improvement plans in the borough's business district.

The plan includes 46 street lights and landscaping along Allegheny River Boulevard; Center, South and East Railroad avenues; and James Street.

The first phase of the project calls for improvements on the boulevard.

The council of governments board approve the contract.

Borough engineer Larry Seiler said he doesn't think much work on the project will occur this year.

Members of the business district committee plan to pay for the lighting improvements with two years' worth of federal Community Development Block Grant funds obtained from Allegheny County, which amount to more than $290,000. The borough also must match a portion of the grant and contribute about $47,000 in cash or in-kind services.

Those funds most likely would cover about 27 street lights on Allegheny River Boulevard, Seiler said.

β€œThe borough is very fortunate to have almost $300,000 in grant money for this project,” he said.

To raise money for its contribution, the borough has teamed up with Rivertowne Inn owner Lisa Fykes to host a Zombie Bar Crawl fundraiser on Oct. 12.

Officials are seeking donations and sponsorships for the event.

Councilwoman Rhoda Gemellas-Worf urged members of the community to support the cause.

Plans for trees also are under way.

Bridget Seery, member of the business district committee and borough's Shade Tree Commission, said she's working with TreeVitalize β€” a public-private partnership that helps local governments protect and restore urban trees β€” to plant 17 trees along East Railroad, South and Center avenues. TreeVitalize is providing the trees.

Volunteers will be needed to plant the trees on Nov. 2.

The business district committee also teamed with TreeVitalize this spring to plant 17 trees along Allegheny River Boulevard.

Heidi Dezayas is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.