Plum officials eagerly await results of parks, recreation study

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Councilman John Anderson has a basic plan for the borough's parks and recreational areas.

“At the end of my term (2015), my goal is that the parks and facilities will be better,” said Anderson, chairman of the parks and recreation committee.

To that end, Anderson is eager for the completion of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan. The plan is to be a detailed analysis of Plum's infrastructure and parks, borough planning director Jason Straley said.

The report will provide an inventory of borough ball fields off Ross Hollow Road, Larry Mills Park off Oblock Road, two community parks in Logans Ferry and Renton, and a softball field adjacent to the Renton Volunteer Fire Department, Straley said.

The plan also will address the borough's maintenance responsibilities at the fields.

“It will tell us where we are now, where we are going and how to get there,” Straley said.

The plan, begun in 2008 with input from Straley; assistant manager Greg Bachy, who was the former planning director; and a steering committee including borough residents, is in the final stages of completion.

Council during this month's meeting OK'd hiring Playground Concepts of Plum for $60 an hour and not to exceed $12,500 to compile the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan into a comprehensive report.

Straley aims for the report's completion by the end of the year so council can review it in January.

He said borough officials also are in the planning stages for a recreation project that was generated by a 2009 survey of residents.

The survey asked residents how satisfied they were with existing recreation features and what they want to see. Survey results showed that residents want walking and hiking trails and a fitness center.

“People are happy with the recreation features,” Straley said. “They want to see more components added.”

Straley said based on the survey results, the steering committee is proposing a walking trail on the borough property between Renton and Old Leechburg Roads.

Straley said plans call for the trail to be made of limestone and to extend the length of the site, which has a new public-works facility on it. A fire station for the Renton Volunteer Fire Department and a base for Plum Emergency Medical Service are planned in another building.

“The infrastructure (at the site) is laid out,” Straley said. “And there will be a new road at the site.”

Anderson said he also is eager for some projects funded by a Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program matching grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development to get under way.

Straley said $100,000 — $50,000 from the borough and $50,000 from the grant — will be used to replace the wood play structure at Larry Mills Park, as well as eight bleachers and four dugouts at the ball fields off Ross Hollow Road. Straley said some of the money also will be used to dispose of the current play structure in a landfill.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or

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