Cost for Bethel Park’s new public works garage increases
Bethel Park will spend more than $200,000 extra on its new public works building so the municipality can start pretreating roads with an anti-skid solution this winter.
Council agreed during its Sept. 11 meeting to tack on $201,220 onto the public works building project, which now has an estimated cost of about $6.5 million. The extra money will be used to build an AccuBrine System and salt storage. The AccuBrine system will make a brine solution that can be spread on municipal roads ahead of a winter storm.
Council President Tim Moury said the improvement was always an add-on option as part of the project and municipal officials planned to include it if time and money allowed. Thus far, the cost for the project is well below what was originally budgeted — the initial estimate was about $10 million. The new public works building should be ready before winter.
Moury said the brine system should make the roads safer. He noted other bordering municipalities, as well as the state Department of Transportation, use similar systems.
The main contractor, Swede Construction Corp. of Elizabeth, started building the new public works building in the spring. The old building on Slater Road was built more than 50 years ago and municipal officials said it would have required extensive repairs and it was too small for the community’s needs anyway. The new building will be more than 27,000 square feet and will include several garage bays as well as a small office and training room. The complex will also include a salt storage shed.
Council floated a $9 million bond two years ago to pay for the project as well as the renovation of the community center.
In another matter, council amended an ordinance to regulate unmanned aircraft, or drones, at the request of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. The northern part of Bethel Park is within the flight path of the airport, so airport authorities asked Bethel Park as well as other nearby municipalities to limit or ban drones in those areas. Under the new law, drones cannot be flown in northern areas of town without a permit.
Council changed a policy regarding notification of zoning changes. The municipality will notify all property owners within 500 yards of a property with a zoning change application. Previously, Bethel Park notified adjacent property owners.
Moury said the new ordinance goes beyond state law to encourage more people to participate and voice their opinions about potential changes to their neighborhoods. Concerned residents can then attend the zoning hearing board meeting and speak before the board.