The Allegheny County League of Municipalities has named Collier a 2014 Banner Community for providing effective, efficient and accountable services to its residents and businesses. The honor also recognizes the township's efforts to inform and engage citizens with frequent, open communication; public events; and community activities.
"The Banner Community Program recognizes municipalities that implement best practices in all aspects of their operations and that govern in an inclusive, collaborative manner," said Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who is also chair of the Allegheny League of Municipalities.
To be recognized as a Banner Community, a municipality must demonstrate commitment to training and education for its elected and appointed officials; active participation in professional organizations; active participation in its local council of governments; sponsorship or promotion of community events and activities; and regular communication with residents through newsletters, websites and other methods; and active participation with local schools.
The township has implemented an LED message board and an internet-based management system called eTrak-plus that allows residents online parks and recreation scheduling, membership management and reporting.
• The proposed pedstrian/bicycle path in Collier has received a $169,711 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program, Collier officials announced Tuesday.
The path would be a 2.10 mile trail projected to extend from Thoms Run Road near the intersection of Route 50 through the Neville Park neighborhood and township-owned property behind the state transportation department office. It would end up at Hilltop Park on Hilltop Road.
The grant is expected to be used to pay for the first construction phases for the path, which would help link the 14 square mile township.
The total project cost is estimated at $502,846. with Collier providing in-kind labor, equipment, materials, additional grants and capital funds.
Future phases of the Collier Discovery Path are projected to extend out Hilltop Road and to connect to the Panhandle Trail and the Bible Walk Trail.
Pennsylvania Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program funding is made possible by the Marcellus Legacy Fund established by the 2012 Pennsylvania Act 13. The fund allocates resources to the Commonwealth Financing Authority for planning, acquisition, development, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, parks, open spaces and beautification projects within the state.
Council members have decided to use $12,000 from natural gas drilling impact fees to pay for road salt. It will be the borough’s first use of any of the $42,400 collected in Marcellus Shale impact fees under the state’s Act 13.
The vote Monday was 6-0, with one member absent.
McDonald doesn't have any gas wells, although the neighboring townships of Robinson and Cecil in Washington County have multiple Marcellus Shale wells and operations. Under the state’s 2012 shale law, the Public Utility Commission collects the money from drillers and distributes it. All counties receive some money even if they don’t contain rigs.
Impact fee funds must be spent in any of 13 categories such as road maintenance, infrastructure improvement and public safety. Council president Marilou Ritchie said remaining Act 13 money will help fund major street repairs this fall.
McDonald’s salt bills so far this year total $22,000—more than the $13,000 originally budgeted, officials said.
The borough ended up buying more salt than planned to keep up with winter weather.
McDonald this week received $51,000 in state liquid fuels money, which the borough generally uses for salt and road expenses, council vice president Pat Powell said. Using some of the Act 13 money for salt will keep the liquid fuels account from being depleted, he said.
In other business, McDonald has been awarded $35,000 from Washington County’s share of gambling revenues to continue the borough’s downtown facade improvement program, councilman Tom Rockwell said.
The borough will contribute an additional $10,000 toward the program, aimed at improving storefronts of historic downtown buildings.
Property owners must at least match the amount of their grant, which in the past has ranged from $5,000 to $7,000 per building. Eligible properties had to be at least 75 years old.
Commissioners will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. April 7 on a proposed Speedway gas station and convenience store at the intersection of Route 60/Steubenville Pike and Moon Run Road.
The site is across from Burkett Park, where township officials have discussed building a 68-space parking lot and a road connecting the lot with the Moon Run Road extension.
The proposal could include a four-way intersection and traffic light at Steubenville Pike, in conjunction with the gas station.
In other matters, commissioners appointed Carrie Sheariss to the township library board of directors through 2015.