Landslide behind Baldwin VFD remains a costly mystery
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, 4:30 p.m.
Crews continue this week to clean up the area that once served as the rear parking lot and training area for members of Baldwin Independent Fire Company No. 1.
A roughly 25-foot-by-200-foot area dropped by nearly 30 feet after the hillside behind the Churchview Avenue station, at the intersection of Glass Run Road, gave way to a landslide on Jan. 14, fire company Chief Kevin Kenny said. The hillside gave way again on Jan. 19.
“They still do not have a solution,” Kenny said.
Crews hired by the fire company, which owns the property, are working to slope-off the area. A permanent fix has not yet been determined, Kenny said.
A geotechnical engineer reviewed the site but must wait until cleanup is finished to take core samples that will help determine a cause for the slide, which knocked trees into headstones at St. Josaphat Cemetary below.
No buildings were damaged, Kenny said.
Cleanup alone likely will cost the fire company about $100,000, not including addressing the problem, Kenny said. So far, the fire company has spent $50,000 on mitigation, he said.
Baldwin Borough gave the fire company its 2014 allocation of $73,444 this month, instead of on a quarterly basis, to help fire-company officials have the money available to pay for the cleanup, borough manager John Barrett said.
“It was an emergency situation,” Barrett said.
Borough officials, too, have given technical support and allowed fire-company officials to use the borough's dump site in Louisa Park.
“It was a way to provide them with some assistance,” Barrett said.
Schuette Farm update
A public hearing has been set for a proposed 43-unit housing development in Baldwin Borough, nearly five years after plans for the project initially were presented to borough leaders.
Council members on Jan. 21 agreed to set the public hearing for 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at the borough building, 3344 Churchview Ave., for the proposed Schuette Farm planned residential development.
Developer Michael Facchiano Contracting Inc. initially was granted preliminary approval for a larger project in October 2008. In October, developers submitted revised plans to borough officials seeking to reduce the number of lots, make the streets in the development public instead of private and decrease the set acreage of open space per lot, Barrett said.
The changes would reduce the amount of fill needed for the site, Barrett said.
Baldwin Council in December rejected final approval for the old plan.
The revised plan, then, was presented to the Baldwin planning commission, which granted preliminary and final approval on Jan. 13, Barrett said.
The public hearing will be on the revised plan. Council members, then, must vote on the revisions, likely in March, Barrett said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com.
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