District receives $500 donation
The Duquesne City School District received a $500 donation from a local business owner on Monday.
Sumit Gahlawat, owner of the Exxon/7-Eleven on Duquesne Boulevard, has donated $1,800 to the district over the past three years. Mr. Gahlawat, originally from India, said he hopes his contribution will encourage other business owners in the community to support the district, according to a release.
Architects to present ideas for pool
A special meeting to discuss improvements to the Mt. Lebanon swim center will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday in commission chambers. Mark Edelmann from EPM Architecture and Wayne Wade from Wade Associates will present initial designs for improvements to the pool, bathhouse and facilities, located off Cedar Boulevard. Public comment is welcome.
The project includes redesigning the inside of the pool house to add family changing rooms and private shower areas and making everything accessible to people with disabilities.
Recreation director David Donnellan said other priorities include adding a heater so that the pool can be used on more days of the season.
Initial plans were to replace the 36-year-old pool shell, but Mr. Donnellan said it was determined that a renovation was more cost effective.
Although there are no cost estimates for the project, the budget is $3.3 million. Work is set to start the day after Labor Day.
Rotary moves meeting site
The Pleasant Hills Rotary Club has moved the location of its weekly meeting at noon Tuesday to Georgetown Centre, 526 East Bruceton Road.
The club used to meet at the Blue Flame restaurant.
Glendale flooding studied
Township engineer Larry Lennon reported last week that the water that sometimes floods the Glendale area is coming from a 4-foot-by-11/2-foot sewer behind the Patete Kitchen and Bath Center on Washington Avenue.
"That is the source of the water we've been talking about all of these years," he said.
For unknown reasons, water, including acid mine drainage, has ceased flowing onto Hope Hollow Road and started flowing onto Hope Street. Officials also don't know who built the sewer behind Patete. Mr. Lennon said the land elevation would prohibit rechanneling work.
Commissioner Bill Wells, who did some research into the former O. Hommel facility on Hope Street, said the company used water in its industrial process of making frits, a glassy material used in the ceramic business. The frits are fused at a high temperature and then cooled in water.
He theorized that the company at one time must have had control over the water channel. Steam used to come out over Hope Hollow Road, he said.
But Mr. Wells added that he has no idea what caused the water flow to switch suddenly from Hope Hollow Road to Hope Street.
• Mr. Wells brought up the matter of having properties put up for sheriff's sale.
Referring to a recent board action in which two properties in the East Carnegie section of Scott were put up for sheriff's sale at someone's request, he objected to "the public directing our lack of a policy."
"Everyone should be on a level playing field, not just properties that someone wants to acquire," he said, adding the board also should adopt an ordinance allowing delinquent taxpayers to set up payment plans to pay delinquent bills.
"With our present policy, a person can purchase a home, pay no taxes, rent the property for 10 years, let the property become blighted and walk away, leaving the taxpaying residents to demolish the home and pick up the tab," Mr. Wells stated.
Tom Castello, president of the board of commissioners, said he believes the Chartiers Valley School District "is not interested in aggressively pursuing residential properties."
"We have looked at the delinquencies and they're not as many as you think," Mr. Castello said, noting 10-12 properties appear yearly while the others are behind for a year or two.
Nick Morelli, Chartiers Valley's director of finance and support operations and school board secretary, said this week that the district actively pursues delinquents.
He said the district has a lien placed on the delinquent properties as soon as possible so they cannot be sold without paying what is owed.
At last week's meeting, tax collector Lisa Riley suggested the township tack on a 10 percent interest charge after a year without a payment in the hopes of getting delinquents to pay.
Action is expected at the end of April.
• Commissioner David Calabria proposed that a policy be established covering the acceptance of gifts and favors by commissioners.
Manager Denise Fitzgerald said she would send the board copies of the state Ethics Act, which requires public officials to report a gift worth $250 or more.
Mr. Calabria, who formerly worked for the state Department of Transportation, suggested more safeguards may be needed.