Penn Hills approves $25.2 million capital improvements program

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Penn Hills council approved a six-year $25.2 million capital improvements program that proposes $4.5 million in road improvements, $310,000 for maintenance of the municipal building, $100,000 for an outdoor police firing range and $1.2 million for a new EMS facility, among other projects.

The road improvement program budget ranges from a low of $500,000 in 2014 to $800,000 in 2016 through 2018. This represents a significant increase over recent years, in which little or no funds were budgeted for road improvements.

In addition to improvements to the municipal building, the Penn Hills Senior Citizens Center, the William McKinley Citizens Center and the Lincoln Road Multi Purpose Center are all slated for $40,000 in building improvements over the six-year period. Funding to support food banks, social services and YMCA scholarships are allocated. However, a decrease in federal funding for social services may still result in a decrease in similar programs.

Sanitary sewer projects account for more than $15 million of the total budget and recreation projects will take $1,560,000. Funding is tentatively earmarked for long-range planning to acquire a portion of the railroad right of way along the Allegheny River for a bike trail and riverfront park.

Planning director Howard Davidson said most of the projects in the capital improvements budget for 2013 and 2014 are fully funded, while many projects from 2015 through 2018 will require additional funding and partnering with local, state and federal programs for completion.

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