Pittsburgh housing authority OKs garage at former project

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The Pittsburgh Housing Authority is planning on leasing a small part of its vacant St. Clair Village housing development to the city's Public Works department for a new garage facility.

There are no plans for what to do with another 100 acres of empty land in the former public housing community south of the city's Arlington neighborhood.

The garage, planned for Fisher Street, will largely store and prepare trucks for snow removal in winter months, and be landscaped with sound and sight buffers to lessen impacts on adjacent homeowners. Before the garage can get built, the land lease needs further approvals from Pittsburgh City Council, the authority board and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Similar overlapping oversight is part of what stands in the way of what to do with the obscure old housing site sandwiched between Mount Oliver and Becks Run Road. While various proposals have been forwarded for reusing portions of it, nothing is mentioned in the agency's long-term strategic plans.

That is partly because the authority cannot sell land to a private developer, the agency's board chairman, Councilman Ricky Burgess, said. Plans to return the site to public housing uses are also off the table.

In other action the board:

* Approved a contract with State Security and Investigation Services for security guard services at the authority's six family developments. The North Point Breeze firm, one of seven bidders, was issued a one-year contract with two years of possible extensions at a price of $3.8 million.

* Awarded a three-year, $2.2 million contract to Johnson Controls Inc. for repair and maintenance of video cameras authority-wide.

Tim McNulty: tmcnulty@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1581.

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