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Dravosburg officials accept Duquesne Avenue playground

Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 2:46 a.m.

Dravosburg accepted the title on Tuesday to a playground previously maintained by a borough recreation group in order to restore the parcel's tax-exempt status.

Municipalities and tax-exempt entities across Allegheny County were caught up in assessment-related confusion that stripped legal tax exemption from many parcels in 2013, Solicitor George Gobel explained.

Among those properties was the Duquesne Avenue playground owned by the Dravosburg Boys Club, which also maintains the Dravosburg Youth Association ball fields along Route 837.

The borough's acceptance of the playground as donated property was the only vehicle to ensure the property would become tax exempt in this calendar year, Gobel said.

The property transfer passed in a 3-0-2 vote with council president Jay McKelvey and vice president Bill Snodgrass Jr. abstaining because of their involvement with the boys club.

“I will file the application for exemption by the end of the month so it is tax exempt for 2014,” Gobel assured.

Councilors shared confidence that Gobel will complete the task at hand, but asked whether the borough's assumption of responsibility for the playground will bring liability.

“That playground is not up to the standard that it's supposed to be,” Councilwoman Barbara Stevenson said. “Are we responsible for bringing it up to date?”

Gobel advised the borough to add the playground to its insurance policy as soon as possible, and engineer Dave Gilliland said its addition likely will prompt an inspection.

“At a minimum, they would want a safety surface and any sharp edges to be taken care of,” Gilliland said.

Councilors expressed an interest in finding grants to rebuild the playground, but said funding will take time to research and secure.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956.



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