Mt. Lebanon commissioner presents $7 million recreation plan
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Mt. Lebanon Commissioner Kelly Fraasch on Tuesday presented her plan for the future of recreation needs in the municipality.
Her $7.28 million proposal calls for upgrades that likely would require some combination of borrowing funds and use of unassigned funds and private monies. Created with the help of community members, staff, and former and current municipal leaders, Ms. Fraasch's plan was developed over an eight-month period and submitted to commissioners July 23. A copy is available on her personal website.
The municipality has $22 million worth of needs and wants, Ms. Fraacsh said at the commission discussion session Tuesday night, but she said her plan includes improvements that are fiscally responsible, create new revenue sources and include energy savings. Each commissioner is expected to develop a proposal, and the board is expected to vote this fall on whether the municipality will borrow money for recreation needs.
"If I could have written in red ink 'ASAP' I would have," Ms. Fraasch said of the necessary improvements.
The following upgrades are included in proposal:
• The pool: $3.29 million in suggested improvements would renovate the bathhouse, which some say is poorly designed, and create an entry so users wouldn't have to climb a ladder or wall to enter the pool.
(Municipal leaders have come closer than ever to pledging a significant amount of money for the 35-year-old pool, with four of five commissioners in favor of borrowing at least $1.5 million for pool upgrades.)
• Fields: $1.2 million recommended to create two new fields and upgrade trails in Robb Hollow Park. Ms. Fraasch's plan focuses on grass fields -- two new fields would allow other heavily used fields to rest, she said -- and includes no call for artificial turf.
She also includes $400,000 in improvements at Bird Park and Brafferton Field, including drainage and sodding. At Wildcat and Middle fields, $100,000 to install lighting would come from the Youth Sports Alliance, an umbrella group of youth sports teams that donates every year toward field maintenance.
• Ice rink: A $1.33 million commitment would include $1.19 million to address complaints about slushy ice and the energy lost with no barrier between the ice and the main area. The plan also would replace restrooms, locker rooms, the sound system and the ceiling.
• Golf course: $552,500 to fund improvements to the Golf Course Learning Center and tees and to purchase a mower tracker.
• Tennis: $194,940 to renovate pathways to upper courts and install lighting.
A cost breakdown estimates that commissioners would have to sign off on a $5 million bond issue; use $1.1 million in unassigned funds; accept $1.22 million in private funds (from users or via naming rights, for example) and commit $1.19 million worth of funds the municipality is already borrowing for energy savings improvements.
Four of five commissioners have said they back a bond issue for recreation improvements. Although Commissioner Matt Kluck said he would not support borrowing, he acknowledged that "these immediate needs are still out there."
First Published August 16, 2012 5:24 am