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Sharpsburg joins with Milvale, Etna to create plan for recreation space

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:24 p.m.

Sharpsburg will team up with Millvale and Etna to seek grant money for a comprehensive plan for recreation space that could lead to future funding.

Sharpsburg Council voted 5-1 to begin the process with Councilman Tony Sacco opposed and Councilman Lou Costanzo absent.

If the communities receive grant money from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, they would be responsible for 50 percent of the cost of the study, Eddie Figas, community and economic development director for Millvale, said.

Figas estimated that the plan would cost as much as $50,000 total. That would leave a $25,000 cost to be split between three communities. That money would need to be included in the 2014 budget.

With a comprehensive plan in place, the communities would be able to receive other funding later from DCNR.

“It enables you to go back at a later date and submit for actual feasibility study funding or implementation of a project,” Figas said.

The three communities are already working on a multi-municipal comprehensive plan.

Sacco questioned how the money would be used and divided between the three communities. He said he wanted to be sure the borough would get value for the money it spent on the study.

“What are we getting back for what we have to pay,” Sacco said.

Councilwoman Karen Pastor said a representative from each community would have a say in the process. Figas explained what the study would include.

“It's having a consultant come into your community and look at your parks and say this needs developed further,” Figas said.

The state now wants to see communities joining with each other before they give out grant money, Councilman Matthew Rudzki said.

“There's no more grant money unless communities come together and put together a comprehensive plan to ask for the money,” Rudzki said.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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