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Communities to focus on business, pleasure in 2014

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

As local communities close the book on 2013, officials are looking ahead to 2014 and putting plans for the new year into action. Here's a look at what communities hope and plan for in the new year.

In Carnegie, the focus will be on both business and pleasure.

Borough Mayor Jack Kobistek said he hopes to continue to partner with the Carnegie Community Development Corp., or CCDC, to attract new businesses to the downtown area.

“There is definitely a retail gap,” he said. “I think the CCDC and I have a lot of the same visions, and we believe that our downtown area can have a strong retail presence.”

He said he also wants to continue to capitalize on the crowds that the arts-and-culture atmosphere draw to the borough. And, he said, he hopes the borough can continue its progress on recreation areas.

“We received another grant for our parks, and council and I are working very hard on renovating our parks to make them very attractive to a large number of individuals,” he said. “In a few years, I think we'll have one of the premiere parks. It's already on its way.”

The borough's first dog park opened in Carnegie Park last spring, and the Pitcher Park Memorial Skatepark is being built there. The park will add amenities through 2016, thanks to a nearly $200,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The top priority in Collier will be acclimating the new commissioners to the issues and needs of the township, township manager Sal Sirabella said.

“We want to bring in the new three with the current commissioners and give them more or less an update on where we are,” he said. “Their job is to then create a better list of priorities and what they want me to do.”

He said the commissioners need to put together a strategic plan for the next four years — something he expects will take about six months.

The biggest landmark event for 2014, he said, is the opening of the Collier Recreation Center, which is scheduled for summer.

Once finished, the facility will include an 8,750-square-foot gymnasium, an elevated walking track, locker rooms and a lounge area, party and banquet rooms, and group exercise rooms.

“With three years of planning and building, that's something major,” he said. “That, tied in with the courts and fields, will complete Collier Park's first phase. That's pretty major.”

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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