South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Elections, project updates highlight SSSNA meeting

 

October 17, 2017



Elections highlighted the Oct. 10 meeting of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA).

The elected slate of candidates consisted of Jamie Balser, Denise Filip, Dawn Lorincy, Brian Oswald, and Cara Jette. 

In his remarks, city Councilman Bruce Kraus said a final vote by council is planned next week on funding for a master plan for South Side Park.

A $40,000 grant was received from the state Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The city is expected to match the grant, for a total of $80,000 for the plan.

The project should start in early 2018, he said.

He also reported Public Works’ 4th Division facility on Bausman St. in Knoxville will be demolished next month as the building is toxic and unhealthy.

Three attempts to relocate operations were unsuccessful, with the latest a potential move to the former St. Clair Village. However, the urban farm took over the site, he said.

Division 4 serves the South Hills, including the South Side Flats and Slopes. All employees will be retained and reassigned to Division 5 and Division 3.

He said he told officials that he wants to see an upgrade in services for the Division 4 areas.

The councilman also wants to make sure there is a single division to contact for Division 4 services, but that is a work in progress.

Questioned if the change is permanent, he said the city’s operations director, Guy Costa, is working on a long-range plan on the best use of the Public Works’ six divisions.

Another question was about salting, Mr. Kraus said residents should make requests for salt boxes by calling 311.

To a comment the Division 4 building has interesting ornamentation, he said he will ask if there are any plans to preserve the features.

“There are significant pieces. It is a gorgeous building,” he said.

To a question about the funds from the new Parking Enforcement District (PED) -- the enforcement of South Side Flats parking meters on Friday and Saturday evenings – he said the funds cannot be accessed until February, 2018.

The increased revenue will go solely to public safety, cleanliness, and infrastructure improvements in the neighborhood. About $200,000 is expected to be generated the first year, or over $1 million in five years.

To a comment that Carson St. parking spaces need markings, Mr. Kraus said data has shown it is counter-productive to mark all spaces.

In a report of the prior weekend’s 17th Annual StepTrek, the non-competitive, self-guided walking tour of the Slopes, Mr. Oswald said there were 528 paid attendees, with 465 actual participants.

The funds raised through sponsorships was $13,750, which is within $1,000 of the StepTrek record. 

Gross income was $22,506, or $11 above the previous high. Net income was $13,221, or the best ever.

Sold was: $6,726.75 in tickets; $1,512.50 in T-shirts; and $127 in T-shirts from previous StepTreks.

The funds will be deposited into the SSSNA’s general fund. 

Mr. Oswald said the city’s Public Works Dept. was very helpful this year in repairing three steps and two handrails in addition to sweeping and washing off the StepTrek marketplace area. 

An attendee commented she stopped at the site on Monday, and the cleanup was wonderful. “Good job,” she said.

The evening’s presentation was by Angie Martinez of the city’s new Dept. of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI). 

She said the city is giving a look at its 800 public staircases using a $100,000 grant. But with limited resources, the city needs to prioritize on repairing and rebuilding by identifying specific projects. 

She said DOMI wants to create a toolkit for other communities who want to do what the SSSNA has done with its steps. 

Public meetings will be held once a priority list is compiled.

The SSSNA’s annual holiday party will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12. Details will follow.

 

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