Oakmont to revisit curfew

| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 7:25 a.m.

A curfew for minors in Oakmont could be back up for discussion.

A borough resident raised the issue again at Monday's council meeting.

Third Street resident Keri A. McAndrew, mother of three school-age boys, said that she is concerned about children from other communities with curfews coming into Oakmont when their curfews go into effect. Neighboring Verona has a curfew of 9:45 p.m.

She said that when she walks her dog late at night, she sees children outside of businesses, on the streets and neighborhoods.

McAndrew said she would like a curfew to be implemented so that police could better protect the borough.

“No one is going to protect Oakmont but us,” she said. “We don't want our streets inundated. They bring drugs and guns.”

Councilman Timothy J. Favo said that he has been watching since this summer to see if children are crossing into the borough after hours and has never seen anyone.

Council President Timothy Milberger said that Solicitor Robert H. Shoop Jr. has prepared several memorandums and opinions on potential wording for a curfew ordinance, which will be reviewed by public safety committee Chairman Ronald E. Scott.

The committee will review the suggestions and bring them to council, Scott said.

“We're not saying this will go forward or not,” Milberger said. “It is a topic we're actively exploring.”

Park project hits a snag

The planned Dark Hollow Road Park is at a standstill while power lines and gas pipes are moved out of the way of the future sports fields.

The park, which will consist of a baseball and soccer field as well as concession stand, is funded by money from the Edgewater at Oakmont developer, Kacin Co.

Zoning regulations in the Edgewater area mandate that Kacin Co. build a recreation area, but the company could not find a suitable location by the housing complex, so the park was moved to Dark Hollow Road.

Tom Bland, a member of the Oakmont Recreation Board, said he hopes the issue will be resolved before a deadline next spring. The agreement between Kacin and the borough calls for the company to turn the park over to the borough by then.

“It might be getting a little tight right now, but I believe it's still possible,” Bland said.

Meanwhile, the Dark Hollow Road Park committee has submitted designs for the concession stand to Kacin's architect. Bland says he expects to hear back in the next few weeks.

There is $425,000 available for construction, and Bland told council he was reasonably sure the funds will cover the cost. However, no estimates are available from Duquesne Light on how much it will cost to move lines.

The park will have a small trail, and Bland said his hope is to add more facilities to the area in the future, including playgrounds.

Dek hockey money sought

Another park plan is in a holding pattern while the borough waits for documents from the Pittsburgh Penguins for the dek hockey rink envisioned for Riverside Park.

Council has requested more solid cost estimates for shifting the baseball field slightly and paving for the dek hockey rink, which, if approved by the borough, would be donated by the Penguins.

The borough would be responsible for preparations for installation. The field would need to be moved to make room for the rink.

Council will meet again Oct. 22 after speaking to the school district about realigning the baseball field and getting more firm cost estimates, which council needs to determine where the money will come from.

Bland estimates it will cost $25,000 to realign the baseball field and about $50,000 to asphalt the area.

Council did vote to apply for a grant from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County to finance the site preparation.

“I feel uncomfortable tonight voting for this,” said Councilwoman Elena M. Colianni. “I support the project, but the lack of numbers in front of me, my conscience wouldn't let me say ‘yes' tonight.”

Milberger stressed that council's hesitation to vote didn't reflect a lack of confidence in the project.

Most council members agreed that no matter the outcome of the dek hockey rink, the baseball field should be moved to improve the field and to give more room to the football and soccer fields.

Kate Wilcox is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media. Comments regarding this story should be sent to vndcity@tribweb.com or 724-226-4666.

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