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Westmoreland

North Huntingdon outlines plans for $3 million in park improvements

Joe Napsha
| Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 10:18 p.m.
Carter Meals, 4, jumps off a ladder while playing with Sean Cardiff, 11, at Oak Hollow Park in North Huntingdon Township on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Carter Meals, 4, jumps off a ladder while playing with Sean Cardiff, 11, at Oak Hollow Park in North Huntingdon Township on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

North Huntingdon's parks and recreational areas could be in line for upgrades as part of a $3 million improvement plan spread over 10 years.

“People are asking for a dog park, to develop more walking trails, upgrading the restroom facilities, especially at ball fields, and want fitness and wellness features” at the parks, said Richard P. Rauso, a Trafford landscape architect who helped the township review recreation recommendations from a master plan developed by Environmental Planning & Design LLC of Pittsburgh.

Commissioners last week approved spending $20,000 each for master plans for Oak Hollow Park and Lions Park. North Huntingdon could be eligible for about $1.1 million in state grants for the projects once the plans are in place, assistant manager Mike Turley said.

The high priority items are based on Environmental Planning's recommendations, plus a review of projects designated as “early implementable,” according to Rauso.

Developing trails is a priority.

Oak Hollow Park's high priority items are development of a dog park, additional athletic fields, an amphitheater, trails, field lighting and a splash pad. For Lions Park, a dog park, stormwater management improvements, trails, a bridge and improved parking area are high priority items.

Commissioner Brian Blasko previously objected to spending money on a feasibility study for Lions Park, which he said would be suited for a dog park.

“It is a flooding disaster. I can't see spending the township's dollars for a park that I don't think most of the township even knows exists,” Blasko said.

Creating boat access to the Youghiogheny River across the CSX Corp. railroad tracks near the Turner Valley athletic fields is a medium priority, said Dan Miller, township parks and recreation director.

“It was not asked for, but we thought it was something unique the township could provide,” Rauso said.

A water access study would cost $15,000, and the ramp to the river could cost $200,000.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer.Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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