West Municipal News
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The township and its police force will sponsor a free basic firearms safety and familiarization class from 9 to 11 a.m. April 13 in the community room of the Collier Municipal Building on Hilltop Road.
Members of the police force will have weapons and ammunition on display and will discuss how to safely use and store these items.
Residents should call 412-279-2525 to register. Space is limited.
In response to a request from Mayor Tony Celeste to research programs that could alleviate noisy train whistles disturbing residents, solicitor Richard Start told council members March 13 about "Quiet Zones."
The program addresses noise from locomotives, but, he said, Congress has determined that it's a convenience issue as opposed to a safety issue so there is no federal funding available to address the problem.
"Local governments must bear the expense to create, quiet zone crossings, which are estimated at $350,000 to $500,000 per crossing," Mr. Start said, adding that the only other recourse would be to eliminate the crossings.
Ironically, train whistles sounded as Mr. Start was giving his report.
• Council approved an intergovernmental agreement for the Coraopolis/Moon South Shore bike and walking trail. Manager Ray McCutcheon said that the agreement would involve Coraopolis maintaining its section of the trail. Also, council approved a grant application to the state for matching funds for design and engineering of the trail section between Ferree Street and the Sewickley Bridge. The borough has received a $200,000 grant for this project from the federal government.
• A nonprofit that integrates green space into cities and municipalities has been given permission to use the borough building for meetings.
Manager Ray McCutcheon said a 10-12 member committee of volunteers and elected officials known as Coraopolis Green Scan would analyze the borough's needs and make recommendations.
Mayor Tony Celeste said that the group will teach residents where and what to plant and how to maintain it. Individuals interested in serving on the committee should contact the borough office, 412-264-3002.
• Council has approved a $2,100 agreement with HL Electric of Coraopolis to repair the lights at Bliwas field, which manager Ray McCutcheon said were not working because the wires had caught fire. Mr. McCutcheon said the lights would be ready for springtime games.
Councilman Rudy Bolea said he would like to see a building inspectors' report be given at council meetings. The report would include rental units and businesses.
The property tax rate for this year is 1.6 mills - a decrease of 0.35 mills.
Supervisors voted 3-0 on March 13 to approve the rate, which was reduced from 1.95 mills due to the Allegheny County reassessments. They also agreed to establish an escrow account for tax refunds because of unresolved appeals.
The change is revenue-neutral; in other words, the township expects to generate the same amount of tax income as under the old millage rate, manager Gary Klingman said.
Tax bills for 2013 will be sent out by April 1. The owner of a home valued at $100,000 will pay $160 a year. Whether individual bills rise or fall compared with 2012 depends on each property assessment.
Volunteer Fire Chief John Scott, fire department president Mike Hough, captain John Lioi and safety officer Don Longwell drove eight hours March 15 to the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens, New York City, to deliver the department's special services unit Rescue 2 Ford F8000 fire truck to Point Breeze Volunteeer Fire Co., which lost its equipment during Superstorm Sandy in October.
Moon fire fighters also delivered cash donations collected in a boot during Lenten fish fries.
• Residents interested in learning about or sharing information about township history can fill out a survey, www.surveymonkey.com/s/HistoricMoon. The survey will be available until April 22.
T&B Planning, Inc. of Pittsburgh will compile the information and create a historic preservation action plan to identify historic buildings and places and provide a history about them. A historic map will be created along with a list of priorities to protect the structures from being demolished. The cost of the service is $31,365.32, of which $10,000 will be covered by a Keystone Historic Preservation Project grant.
• The Historical Architectural Review Board selected three winners March 6 in the second round of the Mooncrest photo contest: Steve George, first place, $100; Betty Trunette, second place, $50; and Irene Poletti, third place, $25. Selection was based on background scenery including housing, streetscape and cars.
Winning photos are on display in the municipal building, 1000 Beaver Grade Road and on the Historical Architectural Review Board page on Moon's website, www.moontwp.com.
More than 90 entries were received between January and March 5. More than 30 entries were received in the first round between November and Jan. 8. Submissions were received from as far away as Easton, Crescent, Wampum, McKees Rocks and McMurray.
A nomination is being made to put Mooncrest on the National Register of Historic Places to attract planning benefits, tax breaks and incentives for building upgrades and efforts to revitalize the neighborhood.
A meeting will be held at 5 p.m. April 24 in the municipal building auditorium to discuss the nomination process.of Mooncrest to the National Register of Historic Places.
• Township and Robert Morris University officials are still discussing a zoning amendment and agreement regarding partial use of the Holiday Inn on University Boulevard as a dormitory.
Assistant Manager Adam Mc Gurk said Allegheny County ruled that part of the property is tax exempt. The township appealed that determination, which led to an agreement for tax payment.
The university purchased the hotel at sheriff's sale in November 2011 for $10 million dollars and has named the portion of hotel housing students as Yorktown Hall. Eventually, the entire building will be converted into a residence to house 500 students.
In addition to dorm space, the facility will give RMU an additional fitness center to complement the one in Jefferson Center on campus and a swimming pool, which it does not have.
The 17-acre property will include recreational spaces for the students. He said that hotel will provide opportunities for student employment, and offer students in RMU's hospitality and tourism management program the chance to gain real-world experience.
Millers Run Road residents and business owners are invited to a meeting at 1:30 p.m. Monday to discuss participation in a roadway cleanup project planned for April 19 along the road between Route 50 and Old Oakdale Road.
The township will provide protection and assistance from police and volunteer fire departments during the event.
Individuals interested in participating should contact the township office, 412-221-8700.
First Published March 21, 2013 11:25 am