Officials to split cost of analyzing Ice Plant Hill Road hillside in Wilmerding
Officials from Allegheny County, Wilmerding and YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh have agreed to split the cost of a geotechnical investigation of the Ice Plant Hill Road hillside in the borough.
A landslide occurred on Jan. 15, across from the Wilmerding YMCA. It forced closure of the road at the Wilmerding/North Versailles Township line, affecting YMCA patrons as well as motorists traveling from East McKeesport into Wilmerding.
Borough secretary Joe Hartzell said council agreed to put $5,000 toward the study's $15,318 cost.
Allegheny County committed $5,000 and the YMCA agreed to pay $5,318.
Pennsylvania Soil & Rock Inc. will conduct the study, which includes site visits, soil and rock sampling, drilling, monitoring of drilling, analysis and reporting. No timetable for the study was established.
“We've been a little bit ahead on collections of earned income and local service taxes,” Hartzell said, explaining how Wilmerding could pay for its portion of the study.
Allegheny County public works director Stephen G. Shanley said he received the borough's signature on the agreement on Thursday, and the county's contracts section has begun processing the agreement for its signatures.
“Once the agreement is executed, the soil investigation can begin,” Shanley said. “The soil study is necessary to determine conceptual design for stabilizing the slope. Knowing what the solution will be will enable the design engineer to submit an accurate proposal for its final design.”
YMCA signed the agreement on July 10.
“It's really not the Y's responsibility to do this, but we feel it's an obligation (to the community),” YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh district vice president Gary Nowading said. “This study needs to get done.”
Nowading said a local business anonymously donated half of the money needed for YMCA's study contribution.
“We just reached out to this company and they were more than generous,” Nowading said. “Without their support and other people like that things wouldn't get done.”
Nowading commended the borough and county for their efforts in trying to find a solution to the road problem.
A new entrance was opened at the Wilmerding YMCA, downstairs from a main entrance that faces the troubled hillside.
YMCA executive director Scott Heasley said the road closure has caused some issues, but all programs are being offered to members.
“It's still impacting us, and it's still a concern from a risk management side of it with the detours that are going to be for ambulances or fire (trucks) or police to get there,” Heasley said. “That's always our number one concern. We want to make sure that we can fully serve our community.”
Details about programs and services can be accessed through the www.ymcaofpittsburgh.org website.
YMCA agreed to split the cost of the study with the county and Wilmerding after East Allegheny School District, which is one of the site's taxing bodies, declined to contribute.
District Solicitor Daniel Beisler said at an April school board workshop meeting that East Allegheny did not have enough money for it.
“They just don't have any funding available to help out with this,” Nowading said. “We don't want to sit back. The Y's trying to be proactive.”
The study does not include actual design or specifications and bid documents, according to a letter from borough engineer Don Glenn.
Pennsylvania Soil & Rock would prepare those documents at an estimated cost of $5,000 to $10,000.
Glenn's letter states he requested Shanley pursue additional funding, not to exceed $10,000, to have a design and bid package prepared.
The estimated split between the borough, county and YMCA is $3,333 each.
Allegheny County communications director Amie Downs said the study's $15,318 was “the only agreement/funding that has been discussed at this point.”
Nowading said he received word about the $3,333 request, and would discuss it with his colleagues.
“The Y's a nonprofit,” he said. “We don't have the funds to do this, but we want to do something. We want to get the ball rolling.”
Hartzell said the borough has not authorized the additional $3,333.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or email@example.com.
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.
- Tractor-trailer overturns, ruptures gas line in West Mifflin
- Court-appointed receiver approves pact between Duquesne, teachers union
- McKeesport middle school students get taste of crime-scene investigations
- No hike predicted in Port Vue real estate levy, based on preliminary budget
- Vacant Wilmerding houses burn; none hurt
- N. Versailles commissioners likely to hold line on taxes
- Extra expenses encountered for redevelopment project in Duquesne
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank ramps up for holiday season
- West Mifflin mayor upset over donations ending up with school district
- Report shows Elizabeth Forward stayed within budget
- School bus accident in Pleasant Hills sends 4 to the hospital