Brentwood officials split on options to fund park project
By Laura Van Wert
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:30 p.m.
Funding for the $8 million Brentwood Park upgrades has become an issue dividing borough officials and those working on the project.
As time draws closer to begin phases one and two of the project, borough council and Brentwood Park Initiative members lay out ideas for funding options. Some would like the project paid for as each phase is completed, which likely will take years.
“I agree with doing things slowly,” Mayor Kenneth Lockhart said.
Others would like to see the stadium, track, turf field, bleachers and press box completed all at once instead of in two separate phases.
“Let's get it all done at once,” Councilman Pasquale “Pat” Carnevale said. “Looking at a half project doesn't look good.”
Brentwood borough council is requesting a special meeting with J.T. Sauer & Associates, the firm creating the master plans for the park renovation, to finalize details for phases one and two. The meeting most likely will take place on Oct. 16 before or during the borough council agenda meeting, said George Zboyovsky, borough manager.
Meanwhile, members of the Brentwood Park Initiative, a nonprofit organization created in 2008 to raise funding for the renovation, are meeting with J.T. Sauer & Associates representatives to work out some dimensional issues with the baseball field and dek-hockey court, Zboyovsky said.
“We need to present to them what we want,” Councilman Charlie Johnson said.
But funding for phases one and two of the park upgrades is somewhat dependent upon two other major borough projects — constructing a new municipal building and a public works facility, Zboyovsky said.
Phases one and two of the park project costs a total of $2.1 million, according to the Brentwood Park Initiative, which works with the borough to raise money, pursue grants and shape the master renovation plans.
Phase one of the park project, which costs $900,000, is completely funded through personal contributions obtained by the BPI, grants and the borough. Taxes have not been increased to pay for the renovations, Zboyovsky said.
Officials would not even be considering completing phase two if the borough hadn't received a matching $400,000 grant through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources last year, Zboyovsky said. To complete phase two, which costs $1.2 million, the BPI and borough will need an additional $500,000.
“We wouldn't even be having this discussion without the DCNR grant,” he said.
Borough council has discussed for the last several months options to obtain the remaining $500,000 for phase two. The lead option is for the borough to pursue a general obligation bond to construct the municipal building and public works facility, with the remaining money going toward phase two, Zboyovsky said.
Zboyovsky said he thinks paying for the park renovation phase by phase will help residents feel a sense of accomplishment. Getting the whole community involved also could result in residents taking better care of the park once it's completed.
“It's all about establishing a sense of ownership with the community,” Zboyovsky said.
As for those who think taking the project phase by phase is a bad idea, Zboyovsky said the same negativity was present when the BPI started.
“They said, ‘We'll never see the stadium completed,'” Zboyovsky said. “All this started five years ago ... the BPI raised $250,000 without putting a shovel in the ground first.”
For more information on the Brentwood Park Initiative, go to http://www.brentwoodparkinitiative.com/.
Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fictitious pharaohs get royal treatment at Pleasant Hills Middle School
- Enhanced security a sign of times in South Hills municipal governments
- Accreditation team applauds Baldwin for doing it right
- Brentwood board to tackle ambitious agenda with small tax hike
- Princess Lanes caters to leagues, families in updated facility
- Residents getting best of budget alterations in Baldwin Borough
- Infrastructure focus of proposed Brentwood budget
- Brentwood school board election winners sworn in
- Brentwood pool rates slashed in effort to boost attendance
- Brentwood rec director could split her duties with Baldwin