Phase 1 of park work to start this month
With development of Murrysville Community Park poised to begin, officials expect teams to be playing baseball and soccer on the new fields in 2005.
Phase I of the development of the park is scheduled to begin later this month, borough engineer John Frydrych said. Council has awarded the $998,216 contract for the construction to Custom Contracting of Acme.
Initial work on the 350-acre park on Wiestertown Road will include construction of three baseball and three soccer fields. About 70 acres will be involved in Phase I.
"It's the culmination of a dream," said Chip Brown, a member of the parks and recreation commission.
The municipality purchased the property from the Cline family in 2001, Frydrych explained. He said a 2000 study of parks and recreation documented a shortage of fields.
Frydrych said the contractor will do the earth work at the site. Public works crews will do the road work and field construction, as well as the installation of the storm sewers.
There are no plans to install lighting at this time and borough officials still have to meet with water authority officials about water lines, he said.
Council also has approved the hiring of a parks foreman to oversee supervision of all the borough parks, including construction of the new one.
"It make sense to have someone there at the park on site," borough Administrator Don Pepe said.
Pepe said a recent study on municipal human resources reported that currently the borough spends 4,900 man hours annually in the parks and that is expected to increase to 8,400 hours even before the construction of the new park.
The municipality budgeted a salary of $49,200 in this year's budget for the position of parks foreman. In addition a truck, a desk, computer and office space is available at the public works facility.
However, several council members objected to filling the position.
"I think we're a little premature with this hiring," Councilman Lawrence Keller said.