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Track problems could force all away meets for Riverview teams again

Michael DiVittorio
| Thursday, July 19, 2018, 10:27 p.m.

Riverview High School plans to have all away track and field meets for the second season in a row due to Riverside Park track safety issues.

Meanwhile, borough and district officials continue to discuss how to fix the problems and who will pay what.

There are roughly 25 trees in the lower portion of the park where the track is located. Five of them are causing problems.

The track is damaged by tree roots that have pushed it up and made it uneven. There are several bumps in lane one and another in lane two.

Councilwoman Leah Powers said she recently had a meeting with district Business Manager Tammy Good and borough recreation board chairman Tom Bland to discuss the track and whether Riverview would contribute to its repair.

“It sounded like they would contribute, but we have no idea how much,” Powers said. “I got the impression that they’re committed to the maintenance of the track.”

She said the district may send a letter of committtment to council when Riverview starts its budget discussions.

Good, Bland and district Athletic Director Mario Rometo did not return multiple calls seeking comment.

District Spokesperson Carrie DelRosso said scheduling is still ongoing, and there may be a chance for home meets if the track gets fixed.

“Riverview School District’s top notch track program will continue without disruption,” DelRosso said. “Rometo will plan accordingly for meets based on the Riverside track status in the spring 2019.”

Meets were rescheduled last season when it was determined the track does not meet competition standards.

The team still practices on the track, which has not been closed to the community.

Track season starts in March with state competitions in late May.

Councilman Tim Favo suggested at this month’s council meeting that the borough remove the trees impacting the track immediately instead of waiting for the district to commit funds.

Tree removal is estimated at $3,000 to $5,000 per tree. Council budgeted $70,000 for tree removal this year.

“Taking out the trees does not repair the track,” Vice President Particia Friday said.

Removing the trees could prevent further damange, Favo replied.

Council has not set a timeline for a decision about the trees or track.

The borough bought the all-weather track from New York-based Nagle Athletic Surfaces about seven years ago. It was a cinder track prior to that.

Estimated replacement cost is $75,000 to $100,000.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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