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Gaming money to help pay for Pine sewer lines

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Pine Township officials are looking forward to receiving $250,000 in state gaming revenue to help pay for new sewer lines to 14 households on Baur Drive.

Homeowners there now rely on aging and failing septic systems.

“We're very pleased,” said Scott Anderson, assistant manager for the township.

Township officials will schedule a meeting with residents soon to discuss the project.

On behalf of Pine, the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County obtained the $250,000 in Rivers Casino revenue for the Baur Drive Sanitary Sewer Extension Project.

The project calls for the installation of 3,221 feet of 8-inch main sanitary sewer lines and 16 pre-cast manholes with 590 feet of 6-inch lateral lines, said Dennis Davin, director of Allegheny County Economic Development, which oversees the county redevelopment authority.

Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-40) promoted the project.

“I'm sympathetic to their situation,” he said. “Quality of life is going to be affected ... I think it's a worthy project.”

The Commonwealth Financing Authority is dispensing the $250,000 through the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund.

Pine applied four times for the money — beginning in 2011 — before county officials approved the latest request.

Pine first requested the $250,000 after a group of Baur Drive residents petitioned the township's board of supervisors to provide the neighborhood with sewer lines, Anderson said.

“It was very expensive,” he said. “We started applying for grants.”

Anderson doubts that the $250,000 grant will cover the final project cost. Residents could end up contributing, Anderson said. A developer also could help pay the cost.

Pine supervisors voted Sept. 16 — after Supervisor Frank Spagnolo recused himself — to authorize Gateway Land LLC to submit plans for a new housing development at the end of Baur Drive that satisfy provisions in a Public Infrastructure Improvement Overlay District.

Gateway Land, a venture owned by Frank Spagnolo and his brother Angelo Spagnolo, is seeking approval from the township planning commission to build 19 homes on 26 acres bordering Baur Drive.

Frank Spagnolo abstained when township supervisors voted Aug. 5 to approve a new ordinance that allows the supervisors to establish a Public Infrastructure Improvement Overlay District in areas previously zoned as either Estate Residential District or a Special Zoning District.

Establishment of a Public Infrastructure Improvement Overlay District permits a developer to increase the density of homes in exchange for providing the neighborhood with public improvements, such as sewer lines.

Pine Township Planning Commission is slated to continue reviewing plans for the Spagnolos' subdivision — the Manor at Ridge — on Nov. 11.

Anderson doesn't know how much the Spagnolos or current residents might be required to pay for Baur Drive sewer service after township officials apply the $250,000 grant to the estimated $531,087 cost of installing sewer lines.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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