Plum mayoral candidates tab economic development as key issue
By Karen Zapf
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Both candidates who want to be Plum's next mayor say economic development is key to the borough's future viability.
Incumbent Richard Hrivnak, a Democrat, is facing Dave Majernik, former Plum Borough Republican Committee chairman and current vice chairman of the county GOP committee.
The four-year term runs from January 2014 through December 2017.
Hrivnak, 48, wants more commercial development.
“The administration has done a great job at squeezing every penny,” Hrivnak said.
“Costs keep going up, and if you are not bringing in revenue, you have an issue.”
To that end, Hrivnak said officials need to do a better job of selling Plum so that businesses look to the borough when they are deciding where to set up shop.
Hrivnak said he worked to have the former Oakmont service plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike renamed to the Oakmont Plum service plaza.
Hrivnak, mayor since 2005, also pushed for the truth in advertising ordinance adopted in 2007.
The ordinance requires residential and non-residential developers that are in Plum to state their location in advertising.
Anyone who violates the ordinance can be fined $500 a day.
Hrivnak led the charge in 2010 telling the United States Golf Association the borough wanted the group's website and other publicity during the U.S. Women's Open at the Oakmont Country Club to state the location was Plum.
“We have a great community, and people need to know about it,” Hrivnak said.
Majernik, who also is seeking the Allegheny County Council District 8 seat currently held by Charles Martoni, said he would push to widen Route 286 and install a turning lane.
“I know various people at the state level who could help solve the situation,” Majernik said.
“Route 286 is our business district. We have to look into how to make it more business friendly.”
Both candidates also want to see more development on the borough-owned property in Renton.
A new public works facility is set to open this month.
Also, a new fire station and ambulance base is set to be built on the property.
Borough officials also have discussed moving the municipal offices to the Renton Road property and redeveloping the New Texas Road site.
“I would approach the Renton property with caution,” Majernik said.
“We have to make sure we are making the right decisions and listening to what people have to say.”
Majernik said redeveloping the New Texas Road site into commercial property has “merit.”
Hrivnak also wants to be smart about further development of the Renton property including moving the municipal center to the site.
“The space (in the borough building) is limited,” Hrivnak said.
“Hopefully, down the road in the future, we will be in a financial position to move the current municipal building. We have to focus on doing it responsibly and doing it right.”
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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