Lebo commission offers $100k for sidewalks

Published Aug 27, 2013 at 9:14 am (Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 9:14 am)

Mt. Lebanon commissioners unanimously approved a new sidewalk installation policy at their Aug. 26 meeting. The policy permits residents to petition the municipality for financial support to install new sidewalks. The commission further designated $100,000 to fund new projects eligible under the policy.

Residents of North Meadowcroft Avenue have been pushing for sidewalks on the back of concerns over the speed and volume of traffic as children walk to and from school. Originally they had requested the commission use budget surplus to fund new sidewalks outright.

Nonetheless, commissioner Kristen Linfante commended Meadowcroft residents for their political activism. “I am so impressed with the unity of North Meadowcroft,” she said. “ You set an example for the rest of this community. It is an absolute shame we have not been able to move this forward earlier because of divisions between neighbors and neighborhoods.”

Certain residents, on the other hand, seemed less than thrilled with the outcome.

Jenna Neal, a North Meadowcroft resident, felt the new policy was put in place to placate residents. “I know things have to happen sometimes to make the politics work. Please don’t let it be something happening to my child,” she said.

Among other stipulations, the policy requires residents to obtain signatures from 75 percent of homeowners on a given street before a petition can move forward. Petitioners must also secure approval from anyone whose property will be directly affected by the new sidewalks. Property owners will then share the cost of sidewalk installation, maintenance and replacement with the municipality.

The policy states that while costs will be assessed to property owners abutting the new sidewalk, they may ultimately be paid by “other sources.”

Commissioner John Bendel said the new policy would benefit North Meadowcroft, and ensure future petitioners would not have to “jump sideways through hoops” to get new sidewalks.

“There are a few more steps North Meadowcroft residents must take to get funds under this policy,” he added.

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