Shaler purchases Stoneridge Park for recreational activities

Friday, August 23, 2019 | 12:01 AM


Shaler commissioners have approved the township’s $30,250 purchase of land that it has leased from Stoneridge Covenant Church in Allison Park for years.

“This is an opportunity for us to square off a purchase on Dressel Road — that’s the area between the church and the parking lot that fronts the tennis courts to the road that has been owned by the church for some time. … They’re finally in a position to go ahead and make that sale,” Shaler Manager Tim Rogers said at the Aug. 13 commissioners meeting.

The property features a playground and bocce court.

Also, at the meeting:

• Rogers reported that the township removed a sandbar in Pine Creek near Saxonburg Boulevard but the sandbar was “pretty much coming back already.”

As a result, the township has hired Gateway Engineers to study the creek.

“The problem is that it is loading up with debris,” Rogers said. “We are not permitted to dredge the stream by DEP law. … Gateway Engineers says that there may be a chance to do it, but it requires a special application and that application has to go to Harrisburg, not to the local DEP office.”

The manager said Saxonburg Boulevard residents could sign a petition that would be included with Shaler’s DEP application requesting that the township dredge the area from the Kay Street Bridge north of the township line.

Rogers said DEP recommends eliminating the creek’s back channel and removing the Route 8 bridge.

“We didn’t think that was a good idea,” he said. “We still don’t.”

Rogers said property owners are responsible for removing trees that fall into the creek from their properties. He said the township would send code enforcer Bob Vita to cite residents who fail to remove the trees.

• The township is applying for an Allegheny County Sanitary Authority Green Revitalization of Our Waterways grant to line portions of Saxonburg Boulevard’s sanitary sewer line.

“Whenever we’ve had a backup in Alcosan’s system, this is the first area the township sees that backup,” Rogers said. “So this will give us an opportunity to line it and try to reduce some of the inflow and infiltration that goes into the line.”

• Etna and Shaler held a well-attended joint public meeting regarding the Little Pine Creek Connector Trail, which will connect Shaler’s Kiwanis Park to Etna’s Riverfront Park, according to Shaler township engineer Matt Sebastian. Stay tuned to the township’s website at shaler.org for details about a September meeting.

• The 2019 paving project through Bakerstown-based Shields Asphalt Paving is complete, aside from “punch-list items” containing remaining issues. Sebastian noted that there are 20% to 30% fewer issues this year compared with last year. The township will keep the contract retainer until the work is finished.

• Sebastian praised the Public Works Department’s response during recent storms and flooding.

“We’ve had a lot of rain, a lot of storms this year. July 11 was probably the worst storm or series of storms that we’ve had, and I just wanted to say it publicly that Public Works, I think, was fantastic in responding to everything that was going on around the township that day. I think we’ve done as good of or better a job than could have been expected with that kind of response.”

• Shaler-Hampton EMS Executive Director Eric Schmidt provided the board with a report on the community-based system serving Etna, Shaler and Hampton.

“We do have a decrease in call volume, down 127 calls this year to date, with months to make it up. It sometimes happens in EMS; it’s an unpredictable business.”

Average response time for EMS personnel in July was about eight minutes in Etna and nine minutes in Hampton and Shaler.

• The commissioners appointed Gregory McDonald, who was serving as an alternate, to fill Gregory Sanderson’s unexpired Civil Service Commission term, to expire in January 2020. Sanderson is relocating outside Shaler.