Offices of South Hills Area Council of Governments move to Scott

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When the calendar turns to Sept. 1, it will mean a new month and a new address for the 20-member South Hills Area Council of Governments.

The 41-year-old organization, composed of 20 municipalities in the south and west areas of Pittsburgh, will relocate to leased second-floor quarters in the former Scott Township Public Works Building on Old Greentree Road, just below Scott Park.

"It's a very good move for us in so far as we have to move," said Lou Gorski, executive director of SHACOG, who added that the new location will provide more of an office setting.

The coalition of local governments that meets regularly to discuss issues of mutual concern has leased space for 23 years in the former Mt. Lebanon tax office building at 794 Washington Road. However, in July the Mt. Lebanon Commission agreed to lease and eventually sell that property to the township's historical society, which had been housed in the basement.

Scott officials say the proposed lease is a good deal for them, too, because it provides a new tenant for the building's entire second floor. The township, which has already done some substantial cleanup, will paint and install new carpeting in the rented area. SHACOG will handle the phone, Internet and computer installations.

The initial lease is for five years at $1,000 a month. Scott officials are hoping the lease will be renewed for subsequent years.

Commissioner Bill Wells came up with the idea to utilize the public works building, which once held Scott's municipal offices.

"It was empty and I felt it could be put to better use, and the township could use the rent money," he said.

SHACOG has three employees who work five days a week. One of the employees works for the SHACOG credit union, which handles some activity from the public. However, while parking was sometimes an issue in Mt. Lebanon, it should not be at the Scott location.

Mr. Gorski expressed thanks to Scott manager Denise Fitzgerald for brokering the deal. An official vote to lease the quarters to SHACOG is expected Tuesday so commissioners have time to review the lease terms.

A casualty of the upcoming change is the Scott Township Library, which was storing books in the building for its annual Friends of the Library book sale that usually takes place in late September. The books were moved to a bay in the public works garage, but officials are hoping to find unused space at a local church to house them until the sale.

The SHACOG communities are Baldwin Borough, Baldwin Township, Bethel Park, Brentwood, Castle Shannon, Dormont, Elizabeth Township, Findlay, Heidelberg, Jefferson Hills, Moon, Mt. Lebanon, Mount Oliver, Peters, Pleasant Hills, Scott, South Park, Upper St. Clair, West Mifflin and Whitehall.

Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:

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