ShareThis Page
News

Verona hears details about participation in the Allegheny Together program

| Monday, Oct. 27, 2008

A couple years ago when Christina Kozera and her family were looking for a place to build six condominiums, the small borough of Verona caught their attention.

"We decided to build the condos on the (Allegheny) river," said Kozera, 56. "We have full access to the docks and a swimming pool. And we had no problem selling them."

In fact, Kozera and her family liked the area so well that they moved into one of the condominiums from Level Green.

Kozera was one of about 60 residents, business owners and council and planning commission members who packed the Verona Council chambers last week to hear details about the borough's participation in the Allegheny Together program, intended to revitalize business districts in the county.

Verona's aging business district is a small stretch along Allegheny River Boulevard.

Jessica Mooney, a project manager with Allegheny County's Department of Economic Development, said the three-year program is intended to provide technical assistance to communities.

Bridgeville has been selected for the program this year, too. Four other boroughs -- including Tarentum -- participated in the first year.

Mooney said the county has hired Town Center Associates, a Downtown planning and management firm, and the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation to help Verona.

Mooney said the borough will begin by organizing and creating a plan for revitalization. Next October, businesses can apply for matching grants for facade renovations.

Randy Satz, owner of the Hula Bar & Grill at the corner of Center Street and East Railroad Avenue, said he's eager to get involved.

"We need to sit down and brainstorm and get our ideas together," said Satz, 53, of Shaler.

Ethan Raup, manager of community revitalization programs for the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, said the goals are to "bring the buildings back to their useful purpose, bring in new customers and new tax revenue."

Mark Peluso, executive director of Town Center Associates, told the crowd at Monday night's meeting to consider lighting and landscaping, building facades and signage when planning.

Peluso said revitalizing the business district should translate into higher property values in the town.

"You are competing with other communities," Peluso said. "You want to be the cool community. You want people to feel it when they drive through town. You want to attract and keep good people."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me