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Northmont Flood project moving 'very, very slowly'

| Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

A Greensburg woman questioned City Council on Monday about the status of the Northmont Flood Control Project.

“I would like an update,” Northmont Street resident Doris Kaufman said during council's regular meeting.

City Administrator Sue Trout told Kaufman that an attorney for the state has been reviewing easements for the project. The attorney hoped to complete the review soon, she said.

“The project is moving forward, but very, very slowly,” Trout added.

The work has been on the drawing board for decades. Heavy rains in August 2007 renewed interest in the project, but work forecast to start during the past two springs never happened.

The state Department of Environmental Protection must give approval before city officials can do much more, Trout said.

“So we're still at a standstill,” she said.

Nearly 50 easements, permanent and temporary, are involved in the project, Trout said after the meeting.

City officials have purchased two properties, with the acquisition of at least two others planned.

The project would limit flooding for at least 15 homes in an area that includes Northmont, Kenneth, Kenmore and Beaver streets.

State officials earmarked $3.6 million for design, construction, inspection and utility relocation. Trout said she believes the money is still set aside for the work.

Past timetables called for the work to take a year to complete.

“I hope I can see this in my lifetime,” Kaufman said.

“We're not going to let it die,” Mayor Ron Silvis assued her. “We're not going to let it go.”

In another matter, city trash hauler Waste Management Inc. will no longer pick up televisions, computers and other items curbside as of Jan. 24 in order to comply with state law, Trout said.

More information can be found on the city's website, www.greensburgpa.org, Trout said.

In other matters, council:

• Approved paying solicitor Bernard McArdle a base annual salary of $24,330 and $150 per hour for duties outside his normal scope of work.

• Endorsed paying Lou DeRose, attorney for the city‘s zoning hearing board, planning commission and historic and architectural review board, $7,600, with a $125 hourly rate.

• Hired Dana Rulli Wall as accounts payable fiscal assistant for $38,000. She was one of seven candidates interviewed out of 63 applicants, Trout said.

• Employed Pete Calisti as full-time telecommunicator for $16.11 per hour, and Jennifer Marks as part-time dispatcher for $12.41 per hour.

Calisti has worked as a part-time city dispatcher since 2006.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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