Emergency demolition approved
Glassport has secured emergency demolition funds to remove a blighted, hazardous building from its business district.
With a $34,000 grant, facilitated by Twin Rivers Council of Governments through Allegheny County Department of Economic Development's emergency demolition reserve in the Community Development Block Grant program, the borough is ready to remove the three-story brick building at 508 Monongahela Ave.
“Probably 10 years ago, we started on this building,” council president Terry DiMarco said. “There was an owner then who we tried to get to fix it, and that didn't happen.”
Since then, owners have died and borough goals for the building shifted from repair to demolition. The roof has collapsed into the second and first floors. Windows are broken, allowing the elements to do further damage. Reports from the borough's code enforcement officer indicate the exterior walls are unsound because of cracking and deterioration.
“The bricks are buckling,” DiMarco said. “The porch fell off the back four years ago, and the roof just caved in. One way or another, we have to get it down.”
Because municipal budgets have little room for adjustment, Glassport officials contacted Twin Rivers COG executive director John Palyo for assistance in applying for emergency funds.
“These funds are designed to help mitigate emergencies that pop up throughout the course of any given year outside of a normal grant funding cycle,” Palyo said. “We knew there was a history with the building ... Borough officials monitored the situation and informed us of a condition that got worse.”
Because a neighboring business uses the lot that separates it from the dilapidated structure for parking and sidewalks around the building are heavily traveled, the structure qualified as an immediate hazard, Palyo said.
John J. Exler Jr., deputy director of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, wrote to Palyo in April after reviewing the application, a structural report and a borough ordinance declaring an emergency on the property. The letter indicates the county will pay 97 percent of the project's estimated cost and the remaining balance will be paid by the borough.
Because the project is an emergency, Glassport is permitted to skip the advertising portion of the bidding process, but the borough must solicit bid letters that comply with fair hiring practices.
Glassport officials said the emergency project will be the first step in a major demolition effort across the borough.
“We feel demolition is the next step this town has to take toward revitalization,” borough manager John DeSue said. “We've paved roads. We've improved our borough property. We've improved our sewage plant. This was the next logical step.”
Glassport secured $26,000 in CDBG (Year 39) funding to demolish 401 Erie Ave., 532 Ohio Ave., 707 Peach Way, 710 Sixth St., 625 Summit Ave. and 681 Eighth St.
These properties, which are tax delinquent, have been through the legal condemnation process and were selected because the owners could not be located. The borough also hopes to secure money from the state Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund to demolish 24 similar homes.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LifeSpan opens fitness center in McKeesport
- Local Catholic Schools Week celebrations include fun activities, community service
- Homestead business owner recalls similar fire 26 years ago
- South Allegheny board OKs deal to sell former Glassport school
- West Mifflin Area sues Martell over continuing education credit costs
- Use of police body cameras increases; Whitaker explores purchase
- Rape charges against Versailles bar owner dropped in plea deal
- West Mifflin Area board approves contracts with teachers union, business manager
- Weather not a factor in deadly double SUV crash in West Mifflin
- Munhall repeals its lost or stolen gun ordinance