Carlynton area municipal managers discuss community projects
By Doug Gulasy
Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Heidelberg manager Joe Kauer said 2012 was “really an exciting year” for the borough.
In his opinion, however, this year could be even better.
“We're really at a footstep where 2013 will be a year that will change the face of our municipality forever,” Kauer told a group of local municipal and business leaders at a luncheon March 12 at the Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh South hotel in Mt. Lebanon.
Kauer was one of six local managers who spoke at the annual luncheon. Managers Lori Collins, Bridgeville; Sal Sirabella, Collier; Denise Fitzgerald, Scott; Ryan Eggleston, South Fayette; and Matthew Serakowski, Upper St. Clair, also appeared.
Here is a look at some of the recent and upcoming achievements the managers highlighted:
Bridgeville completed its seven-year streetscape project, which was funded by a $152,000 grant from Allegheny County and a $300,000 federal stimulus grant, in 2012.
The project included light fixture upgrades and tree removal, but, Collins said, sidewalk upgrades were the most important improvement.
“We were able to make the sidewalks safe for the pedestrians, (and) that was the main reason that we started the project,” she said.
Officials now have their eyes on infrastructure improvements throughout the borough. The work includes paving on Baldwin and Bower Hill roads and replacing the wall and sidewalk adjacent to Bower Hill and McLaughlin Run roads.
“We're trying to revitalize that area,” Collins said.
Sirabella said the township saw a 34.5-percent increase in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, and the growth could continue.
With 40 percent of the township's land vacant, a recent building-analysis study showed Collier could increase its number of households by 5,000 and its population by 12,000, Sirabella said.
“We have opportunities of growth, and certainly, that brings challenges to us,” he said.
In 2012, the township saw the opening of the first phase of Collier Park at the former site of the Charles E. Kelly Support Facility.
The township is preparing for construction of the Collier Community Center, which will include a gym. Groundbreaking will take place in May, and the center is scheduled to open in April 2014.
In 2012, Heidelberg officials approved and adopted a new comprehensive plan, which, Kauer said, “lays the foundation for the next 30 years of capital and redevelopment opportunities within the borough.”
The borough also saw the opening of its community room, which features pictures and historical artifacts, and a historical marker at the former Heidelberg Raceway.
Coming up in 2013 is the Tri-Community Revitalization Project, a streetscape project that calls for the installation of sidewalks, crosswalks, trees, decorative lampposts, and other aesthetic and safety improvements in Heidelberg, Scott and Carnegie. Work will begin this spring.
“We're really excited,” Kauer said. “It's going to be a great day.”
The township began improvements at its parks and pool in 2012, and that work will include this year, Fitzgerald said.
Retaining-wall replacements at Scott Pool began last year and should be complete in time for opening day, Fitzgerald said. The township also received 50 trees for Scott Park through a grant from Treevitalize.
Scott's commissioners recently awarded bids for improvements at Meadowlark and Larsen parks. Work at Larsen Park will include the installation of a parking area and playground with a rubberized safety surface. A rubberized playground surface will also be added at Meadowlark Park.
Fitzgerald said work at those parks would begin this spring.
“The residents and business owners of our community entrust us with the special obligation to perform the highest level of public service at the lowest possible cost,” she said. “ ... I believe we have been able to achieve that.”
Eggleston took over as South Fayette's manager in June 2012, but that wasn't the only development in the township.
The Newbury development — a mix of houses, town homes, apartments, retail shops and offices — is “picking up steam,” Eggleston said.
As part of the development, 84 Lumber moved, and its former store was demolished to make way for a proposed shopping plaza.
The first two phases of Newbury residential development have been completed, and the developers are securing financing for the apartments, Eggleston said.
“Hopefully by next year we'll be able to have some actual shops open there, which I know everyone is anxious to see,” Eggleston said.
Groundbreaking for a planned 60,000-square-foot Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh outpatient center could take place as early as next month, Eggleston said.
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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