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Homestead council ponders comprehensive plan

| Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, 2:26 a.m.

Homestead council is contemplating the development of a new comprehensive plan with neighboring boroughs.

Council president Lloyd Cunningham, during Thursday's council meeting, told the municipal consulting firm Third Sector Development that the borough would send representatives to meetings the company is trying to coordinate with Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall.

The three boroughs already share a comprehensive plan that dates to 2000 but Third Sector's Jack Nolan told Homestead officials it is time to consider updating that plan.

Nolan said many of the initiatives that were part of the 13-year-old plan have been completed, such as development of the Waterfront shopping complex that straddles the three boroughs.

Nolan said comprehensive plans generally have a life span of 10 years.

The plan of 2000 was the first multi-municipality plan in Allegheny County.

Comprehensive plans are required by state law and used by municipalities and other governmental agencies as a guide for the development of business districts, housing strategies, infrastructure and transit plans and other key aspects of development.

Nolan said Munhall has indicated it is interested in meeting with the other boroughs to discuss funding strategies. Third Sector has not yet met with West Homestead officials.

It's estimated the development of a new plan will cost around $146,000. Third Sector estimates the out-of-pocket cost to each borough will be around $5,000. As to the rest of the cost, the firm estimates $41,500 could be available through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, $65,000 from the county and $25,000 from the Local Government Academy.

Council members indicated the borough is interested in moving forward with initial meetings to see if such grant funding is available.

Councilman Drew Borcik said of the existing plan, “It was very beneficial.”

A new comprehensive plan likely would include continued development of the Waterfront, especially in the area of roads in and out of the facility and infrastructure for storm water runoff.

Once approved, the plan likely would take 15-18 months to complete, according to Third Sector.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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