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Mt. Pleasant earmarks $25,000 for Main Street park

Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Odell Minifield Construction of Pittsburgh demolishes the Wood n’ Reflections building in Mt. Pleasant in June 2013. It will soon be the site of a small park area.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 12:41 a.m.

A $25,000 Keystone Communities Public Improvement Grant that Mt. Pleasant was awarded will go toward redevelopment efforts along the borough's Main Street corridor, more specifically a small park.

The monies will be used to develop a park and parking spaces in the east end of the borough, in space created after demolition of Wood n' Reflections.

“We have been concentrating on that area of town for some time now,” Mt. Pleasant Mayor Gerald Lucia said.

The borough was given the building and land in 2012.

“That building was in bad shape and needed torn down,” Lucia said.

The building was located at the east end of Main Street and needed repairs for many years. When owners Donna and Bob Beck were unable to sell the structure, which housed their business, Wood n' Reflections, they decided to make a gift to the borough.

The borough had the building torn down and has since been waiting for funding to finish the park/parking space project. A little park will be located near Main Street and parking spaces toward the back part of the lot.

“In this day and age it is great to get anything, any type of grant,” Mt. Pleasant Borough Manager Jeff Landy said of the $25,000. “This was really a nice surprise for us and it will definitely help in the making of Penn Park better. We now have more money to put toward the budget for the project.”

Landy said plans for the park are in the process of being finalized, and once, completed, will go before borough council for approval before moving on to the county level for the final OK.

State Rep. Deberah Kula said the grant will be used to transform a blighted structure into a parklet and green space within the borough's east end zone. It will also help build a small parking lot and provide for sidewalks, trash cans, trees, rain garden installation and other improvements.

“Anyone who walks through downtown Mt. Pleasant can see it's a special place, but there's also tremendous potential to make it even better,” Kula said. “The west end and central district have enjoyed revitalization in recent years, so now is the time to get to work on the east end.

“This DCED grant will help transform this particular section of downtown into a more sustainable, enjoyable area, not only for current residents, but also for generations to come.”

Landy said borough officials have been working for some time to bring something to the east end of town in addition to other areas of the borough.

“We have been looking at four or five different locations,” Landy said. “The east end is something that we have wanted to work on. We have been talking to developers on a weekly basis about different projects.”

The park also may contain a rebuilt coke oven, which was donated to the borough.

“We wanted the park to be historical in nature, and what is more historical in Mt. Pleasant than coke ovens and glass,” Landy said, adding the borough is grateful for Kula's help in securing the grant. “She really works hard for our community, and she appreciates all that we do here.”

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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