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Parking restrictions placed on west side of West Crafton Avenue

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Parking soon will be restricted on one side of West Crafton Avenue.

Borough council last month voted 6-0 to prohibit parking on the west side of the street between West Steuben and Belvidere streets. Council members Joseph Hayes, Thomas Phillips and Mary Stacy were absent.

The area is known as “Church Hill” because of its proximity to St. Philip Church. Council earlier decided not to restrict parking on the other side of the street because of its frequent parking use for church services and child-care drop-off and pickup.

Mayor James Bloom said while bridges and interstates are covered by PennDOT's vehicle code, municipalities can restrict other roadways through ordinance.

“To enforce no parking on the westerly side of West Crafton Avenue, there would have to be an ordinance and posted signs in compliance with PennDOT regulations,” he said.

Sewer news

Gateway Engineers and Crafton manager Bob Callen will meet with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, or PWSA, on April 9 to discuss the Bells Run watershed that the borough shares with the City of Pittsburgh.

Under a federal, state and county consent order, officials of municipalities covered by Alcosan agreed to address deficiencies in sewer lines to achieve compliance with the federal Clean Water Act during periods of wet weather. Municipalities are required to submit feasibility studies for potential system repairs by this summer.

Borough engineer Rick Minsterman said Gateway and Callen are meeting with PWSA officials to find out the city's plan for the watershed and how Crafton fits into it. The borough shares a point of connection in the sewer line with the city.

Minsterman said Gateway Engineers also is looking into other watersheds in the borough to determine their limitations and what the costs would be to address them.

“We're getting close to figuring that all out and coming up with what the costs are or what the alternatives are to fix these issues,” Minsterman said.

Council also voted to concur with the South Hills Area Council of Government's recommendation to award year two of sewer repairs — including sanitary-sewer excavation, point repair and replacement — to Roto Rooter.

Crafton's share in the $328,175 project — which also covers Heidelberg, Ingram, Jefferson Hills and Oakdale — is $183,760, Callen said. The borough budgeted $219,000 for the repairs.

No bamboo here

Council also voted to prohibit the growth of invasive plants such as bamboo and others covered by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resource's “Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania” list.

Under the ordinance, if someone is found planting bamboo, a notice of violation will be sent to them. If the problem is not resolved, it will result in a fine.

President April Weitzel said the vote was in response to invasive bamboo planted in the borough, which Callen said would likely have been in a residential area. Callen said such plants could cause a safety issue, though he's not sure how pervasive they are in the borough.

“Bamboo could be quite harmful if you step on it,” Callen said.

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

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