By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Borough considers whether to expand its office space


Mount Oliver Borough officials are considering expanding their office space to the former bank building at the corner of Arlington Avenue and Brownsville Road.

The number of Mount Oliver Borough employees has outgrown the available office space in the Borough Building at 150 Brownsville Road, although their options for expanded office space are still a little unclear at this point.

Borough officials recently purchased a former bank building and parking lot at the corner of Arlington Avenue and Brownsville Road for $75,000 that could be used temporarily to house employees and services.

Rick Hopkinson, program manager for the borough, said they were more interested in having the gateway property under their control than moving into the space permanently. However, an architect is looking at the interior of the building to see what it would take to make the building functional for the borough's purposes.

According to Mr. Hopkinson, they would look at making minimal renovations to the building to be able to temporarily relocate the borough secretary, treasurer, tax collector and code enforcement officer. The police and public works departments will stay in the current building with the police possibly expanding into the current administrative offices.

Mount Oliver Borough Council Chambers would remain in the Borough Building.

The $75,000 purchase price was and any renovations will be paid for out of a $300,000 line of credit the borough obtained. Mr. Hopkinson said the line of credit wasn't exclusively earmarked for space expansion and could be used for a variety of purposes such as the match in a matching grant award.

Another option they are considering is to use the vacant gravel lot next door currently utilized for parking to put an addition on the current Borough Building. Ultimately they may relocate into the bank building while they work on expanding out from the current building.

Mr. Hopkinson said they don't have a timetable for moving the employees into new space. He added because the property on the corner of Arlington and Brownsville is now under control of the borough, they would be willing to sell it if a developer came up with the right project: One that would enhance the Mount Oliver businesses district.

On the other end of the block, Mr. Hopkinson said the borough is interested in purchasing 151-155 Brownsville Road. If they succeed, the building could be demolished to build a new public parking lot.

He said the property could hold 20-22 cars and they are exploring using a central parking kiosk similar to those currently being used by the Pittsburgh Parking Authority.

The borough is applying for a Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund (CITF) grant for the parking lot. The parking kiosk could be paid for out of the line of credit or they may purchase the $5,000-$7,000 station from general funds.

There isn't a timetable for either project and Mr. Hopkinson said the plans aren't definite and could change before a final decision is made.


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