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Upgrades made to community parks

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

Some area communities are spending more money on parks, and there is a good reason for this.

Collier steadily has increased its spending on its township parks over the years, Manager Sal Sirabella said. Attractive township parks lead to increased property values, he said.

“I don't think there is any doubt about that. The better parks you have, the higher the property values are. But there are other reasons for this,” Sirabella said.

Another reason for spending more money on parks and recreation is the recruitment of young couples with children, he said.

“That is very important, believe me. Potential (residents) always want to know how the parks are, what they look like and what condition they are in, before they move anywhere,” Sirabella said.

In Collier's 2013 budget is a $5 million bond, $4.3 million of which will be spent next year on the Collier Community and Recreation Center. This is located at the former Charles E. Kelly Support Facility.

Collier officials also were able to obtain and match a $104,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This, also, will go toward park resources, Sirabella said.

Sirabella said the money for the township parks, including Webb and Presto, will go toward building new playgrounds and pavilions that have been needed for some time. This will cost about $80,000, he said.

Carnegie Borough also is beginning to spend more money on its parks, particularly Carnegie Park on Forsythe Road.

The ongoing development at Carnegie Park will include a skate park in 2013, which will cost between $350,000 and $500,000, said Carnegie Borough Councilman Pat Catena.

Most of that cost will be incurred by the Pitcher Park Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit foundation.

In 2012, the borough spent nearly $180,000 for work at Carnegie Park. The money was used for new playground equipment, an off-leash dog park and landscaping, among other things.

Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or jwidmer@tribweb.com.

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