Latrobe seeks grant to shore up Loyalhanna embankment, eyes 2020 budget |

Latrobe seeks grant to shore up Loyalhanna embankment, eyes 2020 budget

Jeff Himler
Latrobe Department of Public Works
Heavy rainfall on June 20, 2018, eroded this rip rap embankment along Loyalhanna Creek in Latrobe, where the Unity Run culvert (top left) empties into the larger stream.

Latrobe officials are hoping a state grant will offset some of the city’s cost for repairing an eroded embankment where Unity Run empties into Loyalhanna Creek.

City council on Tuesday agreed to apply for a $151,282 grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development. If approved, it will reduce the city’s share of the project cost to $20,344.

“If we don’t get the grant, we’re on the hook,” said Mayor Rosie Wolford.

Solicitor John Greiner said the Army Corps of Engineers will shoulder some of the cost for fixing the problem in a federal flood protection area in the vicinity of Mary Street.

Former city manager and public works director Michael Gray reported, after a heavy rain and flash flooding in June 2018, that portions of an embankment near Mary Street were found to be eroding and breaking away into the creek — including a crumbling section of rip rap stone.

The city monitors local sections of the Loyalhanna embankment under an agreement with the Army Corps.

According to Gray, the Army Corps funding will help repair only the extent of the erosion that can be attributed to the rain storm.

Tax hike not envisioned for 2020

Council authorized advertisement of a tentative 2020 city budget once a draft of the spending plan is ready for public review. Roxanne Shadron, the city’s director of finance and administration, said the proposed budget “as it sits now” doesn’t call for a tax increase.

The city’s real estate tax rests at 21.5 mills.

Wolford doesn’t expect next year’s budget total will be much changed from the $5.7 million that was budgeted for this year.

One unknown that could affect budget planning is the cost for addressing concrete problems at the city parking garage. Pullman Services was hired this year, at a cost of $68,692, to make the first major repairs to the garage in seven years, but more concrete damage than expected was uncovered.

City officials on Tuesday were awaiting details from their engineering consultant and the contractor on a recommended fix for the 47-year-old structure and the associated price tag.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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