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Soccer association willing to kick in for renovations at Larry Mills Park

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Plum Borough officials and members of the Plum Area Soccer Association are discussing the pooling of funds to pay for improvements to the upper soccer fields at Larry Mills Park.

Monday, council members voted to award a $196,439 contract to John Zottola Landscaping of Penn Hills to install a drainage system, re-grade the fields, and spread topsoil and seed so the grass grows back. The work is expected to start in September after a tournament.

Borough officials in the 2014 budget allocated $165,000 for the work.

Soccer association President Fred Lucas said the group is willing to kick in some money for the project.

Borough building-and-grounds Supervisor Joe Fischetti said discussions are continuing to determine how much the association will contribute.

“They have been open and willing (to contribute money to the project) the whole time,” Fischetti said.

Lucas last week said the soccer group has discussed scaling back the project a bit to exclude work on a ledge or small practice area at the site. The work is to be done on the portion of the fields where the car cruise and fireworks are conducted as part of the annual Plum Community Festival at the park located off Oblock Road.

“It (the ledge) is like a cherry on top of the sundae,” Lucas said. “We are willing to do whatever we need to do to do the project.”

The drainage system project is the second one in the past couple of years. Lucas said the association spent $190,000 to install lights in the upper field area.

“This is the premier park,” Fischetti said. “It is their (the borough's) jewel, and we always work with the borough.”

Other council action:

• Authorized up to $1,500 to send a Plum officer to resource-officer training next month.

• Approved a policy and job descriptions for the existing school resource officer (SRO) and a new second position.

• Mayor Richard Hrivnak said the second position has been posted in the department, and police Chief Jeff Armstrong is reviewing candidates.

Plum police officer Mark Kost has been the SRO since 2002. Kost is based at the high school.

A second officer will be based at Oblock Junior High School in January.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2367 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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