Dormont to survey residents

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A soon-to-be-distributed survey will help Dormont officials map out a short-term plan for the borough. Council Monday approved spending $500 to mail strategic plan ranking sheets to borough residents.

Manager Jeff Naftal said the form lists nine items and ask those who respond to rank them in order of what they'd like to see accomplished in Dormont within the next few years:

Residents will chose from:

• Attract and retain young families

• Business district improvements

• Develop a 10-year financial forecast

• Encourage businesses to improve appearance

• Encourage property owners to improve

• Improve the use of borough assets

• Increase "green" initiatives

• Street and alley maintenance

• Update borough code

Forms must be returned in three weeks.

Residents' input will help narrow down the items for council's consideration, Mr. Naftal said. Council members plan to meet for a strategic planning workshop, an open meeting where no public comment will be taken. The site and date of that workshop have yet to be determined. Council had intended to gather in a nearby hotel meeting room, but at the urging of member John Maggio, area schools and municipal centers also are being considered.

Mr. Naftal suggested that the workshop take place on a Saturday in mid-June. He said strategic planning sessions often are held outside of the usual municipal environment so that officials "can focus on what they need to."

A strategic plan is targeted within a time frame of about two or three years and addresses more specific issues than a comprehensive plan.

Dormont has embarked on its first comprehensive plan since 1995, to provide a conceptual scheme for issues such as land use, zoning and ordinances.

In other business:

• Council tabled a vote on approving conditional use for Sprint antennas on the roof of the borough building. The telecommunications corporation, which has a lease agreement that pays the borough $2,000 per month, plans to upgrade its equipment.

"They're the exact same towers. They're taking old panels out and putting new panels in," Mr. Naftal explained in response to questions by Greg Langel of Hillsdale Avenue, who lives near the borough building and said he objects to the placement of such equipment in a residential neighborhood.

The conditional use has received the planning commission's recommendation, but Council President Bill McCartney said he would pull the vote from this month's agenda to give interested residents an opportunity to review the documents submitted by Sprint.

• Council approved an amended reserved accessible parking space policy, to clarify the renewal process for residents with verifiable disabilities. According to the policy, staff members will review applications for renewal to ensure that basic conditions, such as having a physically disabled designation on a vehicle, are current.

The borough's traffic and parking planning commission will review the applications and provide its recommendations to council for a vote. Applications are due by Jan. 1.


Harry Funk, freelance writer:


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