Monroeville pool likely to have final season
A Monroeville pool could become another casualty of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s Interstate 76 widening project.
The pool at Bel-Aire Park, also known as Monroeville Community Pool along Abers Creek Road, could see its last of 45 seasons by the end of the 2019 swimming season.
Monroeville council will consider advertising an ordinance on May 14 that would put the pool up for sale to make way for the slated wider highway.
Council must pass an ordinance in order to sell municipal property, which could come up for a vote in June.
Monroeville Manager Tim Little said Thursday the Turnpike Commission approached the municipality last year with the proposal to buy the property.
“Anybody that’s traveled the turnpike knows it’s our turn on exit 57 – they’re starting to widen this area,” Little said at an agenda setting meeting May 9.
According to the turnpike website, the widening project will extend from mileposts 57 to 67 and includes portions of Monroeville, Murrysville, Hempfield, Penn, North Huntingdon townships and Manor, Irwin and North Irwin boroughs. The project will cost an estimated $300 million and includes room for a total of six lanes of traffic and other various bridge and interchange reconstructions. There are currently four lanes.
The Monroeville section is one of three that totals 18 miles from Oakmont to Irwin. Some work near Trafford Road started in 2017 with a slope stabilization project to begin in early 2020. For more information on the project, visit bit.ly/2Hb44dE.
Little said the Turnpike Commission and members of council have agreed to wait to sell the property for $956,000 until after the 2019 swimming season, which ends after Labor Day on Sept. 2. He said the agreement is better than getting into an eminent domain situation with the Turnpike Commission.
If council agrees to put up the property for sale in September, closing would need to happen within 90 days, Little said in an interview with the Trib.
Little said the agreement would also give the municipality access to an existing trail head on the park’s 10-acre property to eventually develop a trail that would give access to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail.
The PTC forced Plum Aqua Club in Plum to close in 2017 by acquiring the property through eminent domain in order to rebuild a bridge over the highway and widen the interstate.
Council members did not discuss details surrounding the potential sale of the property during Thursday’s meeting.
Paul Estok, program director for the Monroeville Recreation and Parks Department, said the pool opens May 25 and confirmed the season’s last day is Labor Day. He deferred questions about the pool’s sale to Little.
“Pool memberships are going well. We’re looking forward to the upcoming season — we’re off to a good start,” Estok said.
Expenses have overshadowed revenues at the pool since 2015, according to figures found in Monroeville’s 2019 budget. This year, the pool was budgeted $52,100 in revenue and expected to have $87,240 in expenditures.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .