Plum officials celebrate public works building opening
Rena Lynn Koteski has seen Plum Borough transform through the years.
Koteski, 70, was in the class of 1961, the first graduating class to occupy the high school on Elicker Road, and she remembers when the borough was mostly rural with a coal mine in Renton.
Kosteski marveled last week at the progress in the borough during the dedication of the new public works building in Renton.
“I have always been proud of Plum,” said Koteski, a former Plum School Board member and current treasurer of the Plum High School Distinguished Alumni Committee.
Last week's event also marked the start of construction for a building that is to serve as a new base for Plum Emergency Medical Services and a new station for the Renton Volunteer Fire Co.
About 100 borough staff, members of council and public works employees as well as Plum EMS officials and volunteer firefighters joined with some state officials to mark the opening of the public works facility that includes a 21,000-square-foot building and garage with capacity for 25 vehicles, bays for mechanics and lifts for vehicles.
The building also has offices, a training room, restrooms, locker rooms and a kitchen area. A salt storage building also is part of the project that is located on property the borough purchased about a decade ago between Renton Road and Old Leechburg Road.
Speakers including Mayor Richard Hrivnak referred to the building and the one soon to be built as a first step.
“This is stage one of hopefully a multi-stage process,” Hrivnak said. “Hopefully, this is one of many buildings that will be here.”
Borough manager Michael Thomas talked about potential plans for the site that could include a new municipal building, a community center and recreational opportunities including a small pond or lake and an amphitheater. Members of the Plum Rotary have expressed interest in being involved with development at the site.
Sen. Jim Brewster, D-McKeesport, praised Plum officials for building the public works facility without a tax hike.
“Folks look at community leaders' ability to get things done without raising taxes,” Brewster said.
Plum EMS Director Tom Izydore said prior to the groundbreaking for the new ambulance base and fire station that the day marked a new chapter for the organization.
Thomas said the building is expected to be finished in a year.
“People (staff) have stayed with us with the promise of a new facility,” Izydore said.
Renton Volunteer Fire Chief Jason Davis said having a fire station at the new site will lower the department's response time. The station is now about a mile away, off Renton Avenue.
“It will make us more efficient,” Davis said.
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.