By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Mt. Oliver studies use of The Deck


Last updated 7/28/2022 at 3:53pm

Mt. Oliver Borough Council is exploring establishing rules for groups and businesses to use The Deck on Brownsville Road next to the Municipal Building.

The July public Business Meeting of the council was attended by Council President Amber McGough, and council members Lisa Pietrusza, Aaron Graham, Brandon Taylor and Nick Viglione along with Mayor JoAnna Taylor and Borough Manager Rick Hopkinson. Council members Christina Reft and Paul Doyle were absent.

As part of the agenda, Council member Pietrusza questioned the rules for using the deck, including: How the deck is set up; Who can use it and when they can they; Is a permit needed; How is The Deck reserved; And, what is the policy on alcohol use.

Mr. Hopkinson explained The Deck is used for borough events, live music events and for people to gather and dine from nearby restaurants. He said in the past, businesses have used it for Grand Openings and anniversary celebrations.

He said there isn't a permanent process for requesting the space. He suggested there could be a process similar to reserving the pavilion in Transverse Park for a particular date and time. Otherwise, it's a public space and anyone can gather there, the same as the Clocktower area.

As far as alcohol use, he said there is alcohol at the borough events and it hasn't been prohibited, so far.

Mx. Pietrusza asked if alcohol could be used there at any time. Mr. Hopkinson replied it should be at an actual event and a permit could be required.

The council member asked if businesses are restricted in the number of times they can use The Deck in a year, adding that they shouldn't be able to use it all the time or anytime they wanted. If there is alcohol involved, there should be a permitting process.

Solicitor Emily Mueller suggested there could be a policy with a rental agreement prohibiting or allowing alcohol use under certain conditions. Alcohol use under the agreement could carry an extra fee or other restrictions.

Ms. Mueller also said borough officials should check with their insurance carrier to see if they have any restrictions.

"I think it's very I think it's important, that's a really nice space, that that space be open to residents and everybody in this in this borough who pays taxes to support that space so they want to make sure that again, that access is protected," Mx. Pietrusza said.

Ms. McGough said the council will have to look into the open container questions and decide if it's necessary to put a policy and rules into place for use of The Deck.

Ms. Mueller suggested they maybe able to modify the policy and rules for use of the pavilion they already have in place and modify it for The Deck.

Mr. Hopkinson was asked about getting speed bumps on Ottillia Street by a member of the gallery. "One of these days kids are going to get killed," he said.

The borough manager said it was not only a discussion for Borough Council, but also with the City of Pittsburgh because the location could impact city streets.

"We also have to be sure speed bumps are actually going to solve the issue of speed there," he said.

The borough purchased a speed monitoring device the police have been moving around to different locations, sometimes leaving it in place for up to three or four weeks at a time, to gather data on every street.

Mr. Hopkinson said he has heard from at least eight residents who think speed bumps should be placed on their streets. He said they have to wait until they get the data back to prioritize doing the worst streets, first.

Ms. McGough agreed they have to look at the data first, prioritize the worst streets and look at the budget to see what can be done.

In other Borough business, the council accepted the resignation from a police officer; Approved an application from a resident for acquisition of 195 Penn Avenue under the Allegheny County Vacant Property Recovery Program; and, adopted Ordinance 995 amending the Non-Uniform Pension Plan.


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