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Part of $3 million bond to improve flooding areas of Collier

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Collier Township officials will float a $3 million bond issue over 15 years to deal with storm water runoff problems and unexpected recreation expenses.

The work and improvements are expected to take place between 2014 and 2016.

Township manager Sal Sirabella said the township's financial adviser, PNC, has secured the bond at a rate that will not increase taxes for at least the next three years. The debt service rate — what the township pays toward its debt — will not increase for the first two years of the bond issue.

“These are all areas we have to address,” Sirabella said. “Right now, rates are very good, and we have a good bond rating. We chose to put those two together. We think this is an appropriate time.”

About half of the grant will go toward storm water improvements, including in areas hit hard by the July 10 flooding.

“The floods prompted us to say, ‘We need to do something about Cubbage Hill and Kirwan Heights, Presto and Fort Pitt and Nevillewood,'” he said.

Those are the five areas the storm water improvements program will focus on, with the bulk of the work in the Cubbage Hill-Prestley Heights area.

Work there includes the construction of a detention pond on Shadow Drive at a cost of $300,000 and the reconstruction of one on Thelma Drive at $350,000. Officials also intend to replace the bridge at Prestley Street and Noblestown Road, though that cost hasn't been determined yet.

Other work will include storm water pipe replacement on Vanadium Road and English Turn Drive.

The second part of the bond issue will go toward expenses at the township parks and the under-construction recreation center.

At the recreation center, built on the site of the former Charles E. Kelly military base, engineers discovered issues with soft soil and mine subsidence. Mine grouting — drilling holes into the soil and filling them with concrete — alleviated the problem at a cost of $500,000 not originally budgeted.

At Kelly Park, across the street from the recreation center, construction for the park took on an extra $750,000.

“That used to be a military fueling area — a fueling depot,” Sirabella said. “That has cost additional money to build that had to do with transforming it from an army fueling depot.”

Money also will be used for upgrades at Webb and Skavarca parks as well as for LED lighting and security cameras at the recreation center.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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