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Scottdale parking lot project on hold

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

The parking lot project proposed for Graft Alley through a Green Streets grant is currently on hold.

At a recent Scottdale Council meeting, Councilman Bud Santimyer said the borough is waiting to hear back whether or not the adjoining property owners will allow the project — which will encroach on their property — to be done.

Michael Barrick, president of the Jacobs Creek Watershed Association, who is partnering with the borough to get the project done, said the borough needs to find out if the property owners will accept an easement for the project or if they will be willing to donate any property needed for the project to the borough.

He added if the property owners would want to do land easements, the grant would cover any filing costs or rewriting of deeds, but it would be easier for the borough if the property owners agreed to donate the property.

In July, members of council passed a motion to get this project underway by moving forward with getting permission from all of the property owners involved with the use of the alley, but as of right now, the borough has still not heard back from all of the property owners.

If the borough doesn't hear back from them, the project could possibly be dead in the water.

Earlier this year, the borough received $60,000 in funds through Green Streets to try and alleviate some water runoff issues behind businesses along Pittsburgh Street, including the Scottdale Pharmacy.

A project has been designed that would cut off any entrance onto or off of Pittsburgh Street from Graft Alley next to the Scottdale Pharmacy.

Instead, any entrance or exit onto that alley would be from the Mulberry Street area and would lead down the alley to two newly constructed parking lots on either side of the alley behind the Main Street businesses.

These parking lots combined would create about 11 new parking spots, and would include porous concrete that would be used for the parking stalls as well as two different water swales and the planting of trees and bushes.

In other business, resident Glenn Nicholson asked if any action might soon be taken to a dilapidated property near his home on Walnut Avenue.

“It's not only an eyesore, but it's a health and safety issue as well,” he said, citing broken windows, siding that is falling off and the absence of a basement door.

“It's a concern for me,” Nicholson added. “It's just one block away and it takes away from the value of the people who live near it.”

Along with that, Nicholson said the sidewalks don't get cleared off in the winter, also creating a safety issue.

The borough is hoping to use Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money to demolish the structure, but Borough Manager Angelo Pallone said the proper legal process must take place before any action is taken.

“It may seem like it's taking longer than you think it should, but there are certain criteria that we have to meet — legal steps that take time,” said Councilman Troy Soberdash.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.