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Oakmont expects to earmark revenue for River's Edge stoplight

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 12:46 a.m.
 

Oakmont Council plans to use some of the tax revenue it will collect on the new River's Edge developments to pay for a stoplight needed to control additional traffic.

Council next month is expected to establish a fund that would be used to pay for the stoplight at Allegheny River Boulevard's three-way intersection near the Verona border. The light, which will be used to assist traffic from Allegheny and College avenues and Allegheny River Boulevard, could be installed in the next three to four years.

Officials estimated the cost of the light and its installation at $35,000.

It will be necessary, council members say, because of the interest generated by the 187-unit commercial and residential development that Brooks & Blair is building along the Allegheny River. The developer is expecting to begin selling units this year.

Estimates of how much council could collect from Brooks & Blair's transfer taxes are pending further research.

“It's impossible to tell at this point exactly how much those revenues will yield,” Councilman Tim Favo said. “Our best guess is all we have to go on.”

Borough council expects to set the percentage rate that it will set aside for the light from the development's 2015 taxes at next month's meeting. The rate will decrease each year the fund is in place, with council members expecting a 2017 completion for the stoplight.

“The percentage will go down,” council President Nancy Ride said, “but we're hoping that the money it yields will increase each year.”

Borough officials originally hoped Brooks & Blair would split the cost of the stoplight. When the developers refused, the borough filed a lawsuit in Allegheny County court, which ruled in favor of Brooks & Blair.

Although the tax revenue is expected to be used solely for the stoplight, it can be used to address other capital improvement projects that might take precedence, Ride said.

“It's not binding,” she said. “If there's something urgent that needs to be addressed, we can use the fund to do so.”

Paving projects set to get under way

Traffic will be reduced to a single, alternating lane in the 600 block of Allegheny River Boulevard as crews complete a brick paving project.

Favo said Kishmo Inc., the Washington Township-based contractor, is expected to begin the $120,000 project after Memorial Day. Work could be completed, at the earliest, by late July or early August, he said.

Satira Construction of Verona will be working simultaneously on a $45,000 repair project on Tenth Street.

Crews will be repairing the curb along the east side of the 800 block and resetting the bricks at the Virginia Avenue intersection. The work will not affect traffic, Favo said.

The borough also is in the process of preparing specifications and advertising bids for its 2014 pavement program, through which it aims to repave the 10 streets most in need.

No time line on the program was available on Monday.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

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