ShareThis Page

Consultant hired for fire department

Doug Gulasy
| Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 10:09 a.m.

In an effort to resolve lingering issues with the borough's fire department, Carnegie Council voted 6-0 Monday night to hire Mt. Lebanon fire Chief Nick Sohyda as a consultant on an as-needed basis.

Sohyda will be paid $50 an hour for his services. Councilman Pat Catena said officials would seek his advice on an ongoing basis, especially within the next six months.

Borough officials have been trying for the past year to pass an ordinance denoting the Carnegie Volunteer Fire & Rescue Bureau as a volunteer department rather than a paid entity. Sohyda will work to address “deficiencies” in the ordinance before council votes on its passage, council President Rick D'Loss said.

“The ordinance is our first priority,” Carena said. “We hope to have that turned around in the next 30 days.”

Sohyda also will provide consulting services regarding the purchase of a new aerial truck for the fire department, which D'Loss said would cost more than $1 million, and other issues with the fire department.

“We felt that we did not have enough expertise on council to address this,” D'Loss said. “(Sohyda) is recognized as an expert in our region on fire departments.”

Discussion also continues about the department's finances. Monday, council held separate votes on whether to pay the department's building and land-loan mortgages and attorney fees for March.

Council approved the mortgage vote, 4-2, with Councilman Bob Veres and Catena dissenting. Catena said he dissented because the Carnegie EMS is listed on the mortgage, and the money is specifically earmarked for the fire department.

The vote for attorney fees ended in a 3-3 tie, with Catena, Veres and Mike Sarsfield dissenting. Mayor Jack Kobistek broke the tie by voting to pay the attorney fees.

Coming down

In other business, council voted 6-0 to authorize its borough engineer to prepare specifications and authorize for bids to demolish the Pucci Apartments on Third Street.

The building was condemned in 2009, and council voted 5-1 in October 2012 to purchase the property.

Third Street is slated for improvement with the upcoming Tri-Community Revitalization Project, and Sarsfield said the building demolition will help improve the look of the area.

Sarsfield said demolition could occur within the next three or four months.

New engineer

The borough hired a new engineering firm in February after cutting ties with Gateway Engineers.

KLH Engineers Inc., located on Campbells Run Road in Robinson, will now oversee operations, such as the borough's road maintenance program and sewer projects. The firm won't charge the borough a monthly retainer fee.

With time-sensitive projects like the borough's road-paving program on the docket, D'Loss said KLH has its work cut out.

“It's a very busy time with a lot of projects and work,” D'Loss said.

Gateway Engineers was the borough's engineering firm for more than 15 years, but D'Loss said the relationship “grew a little bit tired.” Problems that developed within the past year, such as flooding on Washington and Franklin avenues and a problem with a sewer repair on Chestnut Street, also contributed to the decision, D'Loss said.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.