Residents of Mt Lebanon might remember the Commission designating unassigned funds towards projects in our community last year. Benefits from the allocations helped with draining some of our fields, fixing some of our parks that were in terrible shape, addressing some poor conditions with our tennis area, placing funding for traffic calming measures and replacing some equipment at the golf course to name a few.
This year we have a little more than $800,000 available in the unassigned funds.
These are our municipal manager’s recommendations provided to the Commission for potential items and projects to fund with the unassigned funds.
The Commissioners named some of the items they were interested in funding at our last meeting in June. This week we went over those items and shared some additional thoughts. I shared the following unassigned funds doc ongoing with the Commissioners about my thoughts. Please note the ongoing. This is a working document, as always and as you see on the listing from the meeting in June I have eliminated some items that I initially would have funded.
Please find additional information below:
Washington Cross Walk: Below is the photo of the Washington Cross Walk where Commissioners for years have heard residents share concern about the safety of the crossing area. Commissioners discussed the possibility of removing the crosswalk just before I became a representative but instead agreed to look into some safety measures. This has been one of my concerns since becoming Commissioner. Not only is the crosswalk used by school children, but we have a parking area for access to Uptown and several residential condo living that occupy the area daily. Looking at various methods and options, the cost of an illuminated system on the ground with a push button activation system that has been approved by PennDot costs $87,400.
Parks/invasives/trail improvements As you will see, the PAB Prioritization List (page 3) includes recommendations for over $4 million in funding. This would not be possible within our budget or unassigned funding. If you review some of the PAB Smaller Projects Worksheet 2013 (1) by PAB, some can be general maintenance but some items do potentially fall short from our general maintenance.
Jonathan Farrell, a resident/volunteer with Nature Conservancy and professional in the field of parks/restoration provided this presentation to the commission.
I met with Jonathan and shared my concern for a large scale project, so he went back and pulled together information from the PAB, Nature Conservancy and the parks. He did this on his own time which I greatly appreciate. Yes, it’s a significantly modified version. However, these projects will make a difference and help our parks. For under $40,000 this can continue to make a positive outcome without facing a much larger debt later.
Brafferton Park When we decided last year to change the field at Brafferton to a multipurpose which would include a large surge of new athletes and parents in the park. We did not have enough money for parking or accessibility to this field. I think we need to finish this project by paying for the parking along the field and taking out one basketball court. The many headaches that the residents would endure with the added traffic and potential for their driveway being blocked just would not be neighborly. For $133,000 we can complete this project for Brafferton Park.
Eco-Turf If you have read most of my proposals about Robb Hollow. I would have supported an Eco-friendly turf in that area along with additional costs for trails etc. The Commission was not able to move forward on this investment. I have huge concerns about placing a turf field on Wildcat/Middle/Dixon for several reasons (as I have stated before) the area is overwhelmed already and these fields are the best in the community now. I have concerns about the “regular” turf. I believe we would be adding a safety issue with the tire crumbs on the turf being ingested by our youth. An eco-friendly field is more expensive but has a longer useful “life” (some claim twice as long), it doesn’t have the tire crumbs and if we can’t afford a replacement we have an option. Topsoil and grass seed can be placed on top and a field can grow. We can’t do that with the “regular” turf. Obviously this doesn’t cover the full cost and we would need help from other resources.
Software Program As I have found out in recent months, we are behind when it comes to our technology infrastructure and resources for electronic use for our staff. As our municipal manager shared with the Commission, in order to host systems like USC, Cranberry we would need to invest close to $1m on such a system. I would like to invest $10,000 from the unassigned funds to have someone figure out our needs for the municipality when it comes to financial documents, record keeping for personnel, internal communications, external communications and keeping all information safe and secure. Whether we need to invest in a system that costs a million or a half million we need someone to investigate our needs for such a transition in the near future.
Feel free to email me if you have further questions. Kelly