Scott getting bids for synthetic ice rinkPublished Jan 31, 2014 at 2:26 pm (Updated Jan 31, 2014 at 2:26 pm)
Scott Township’s commissioners voted to authorize their township engineer to prepare bid specs for a synthetic ice rink proposed for Scott Park. The 5-3 vote occurred during the board’s Jan. 28 regular meeting, with commissioners Bill Wells, David Calabria and David Jason casting the three “no” votes. Commissioner Pat Caruso was absent from the meeting.
Prior to the vote, engineer Larry Lennon told the board that Collier Township does not have a synthetic ice rink, but instead they have deck hockey.
Commissioner Bill Wells told his fellow board members that he did some research about synthetic ice rinks, looking at the Future Skate website for information. He said he discovered that a private citizen group in Burgettstown is raising funds to build a park that could include a synthetic ice rink. A number of sites from New York to Texas are closed or will be closing by February 2014.
Two of the closest synthetic rinks, one in Delmont and the other in Cheswick, are both indoors and are used as teaching facilities. Wells said the skating rink in Delmont is an indoor hockey training center that has been in operation approximately six months, and the rink in Cheswick, also a hockey training center, was purchased two months ago. Wells said he was told the rink needs to be kept very clean to prevent accidents.
Wells also had concerns about where the proposed ice rink will be installed, which he claims is most likely a fill area because of the large recurring cracks and sink areas in the basketball and tennis courts. He is worried that if the rink is placed there, it would need to be placed on a pad on pilings to make sure the rink wouldn’t move, an additional expense.
“I feel if we have funds for this type of endeavor, it would be prudent to fix the storm sewers that are a need, rather than a want,” said Wells. “As a young boy, I was taught that ‘needs always trump wants.’”
Wells said that according to a report given to the board by the township manager, there are 24 areas in the municipality requiring immediate flooding protection, 18 swales or cut off trenches that require maintenance, 13 additional swales requiring maintenance, and three retention ponds that require ongoing maintenance.
“This is not a small task and must be dealt with in a timely manner,” Wells said, adding that the funding for this type of project is tax dollars that must be paid by Scott residents.
After the motion authorizing the engineer to prepare bid specs for the synthetic ice rink passed, Wells commented, “This is a total waste of our tax dollars.”
At the same meeting, township roads needing repair in 2014 were discussed. Township engineer Larry Lennon requested the information at the board’s January agenda meeting as he is working on design and bid specs for the road work for roads under the township’s latest bond issue, which include Kane Boulevard, Swallow Hill Road, Rockfield Road and Finely Avenue.
Public works director Randy Lubin prepared a list of township roads needing repair, but commissioner Tom Castello requested that board members have until Jan. 31 to choose which roads in their ward would make the final list, since dangerously cold temperatures made it difficult for commissioners to review road conditions.
In an 8-0 vote, the board authorized Lennon to create bid specs for the township’s 2014 roadway improvement program. There is $580,000 budgeted for the roadway improvement program, or about $64,400 for each ward. Commissioners had until Jan. 31 to make final road selections for their ward, providing they stayed within the budgeted amount per ward.
Lubin said that many roads in the township are getting to the point where they will need to be looked at within the next year or two. “We have some pretty big challenges ahead,” he said.
Wells commented that Lindsey Road, which hadn’t been paved for 20 to 25 years, was one of the roads that needed to be considered for work in the next few years.
Board president David Jason suggested that rather than dividing the roadway improvement money between the wards each year, an alternating system could be developed, where a major road improvement project could be done every other year.
Wells said the board needed to look at the bond money to see if it could be used for the roads, especially since the weather had been so bad this winter.
In other business, the board approved holding the township’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at Scott Park at 2 p.m. April 13.