Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Roads, Blight, Gas Drilling on the Minds of Residents Topics Discussed at First Coffee with Council Session

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Roads, Blight, Gas Drilling on the Minds of Residents Topics Discussed at First Coffee with Council Session

Article excerpt

Monroeville's first Coffee with Council attracted about a dozen residents, mostly senior citizens, who talked about roads and blight in their neighborhoods.

Mayor Greg Erosenko and three council members - Steve Duncan, who represents the 6th Ward; Ron Harvey of the 3rd Ward; and Jim Johns of the 4th Ward - attended the informal discussion March 27 at Monroeville Senior Center.

Rick McGrath, who lives on Wiltshire Circle in the 3rd Ward, said his road has not been fully paved since 1988 and he has been trying to get it fixed since 2006.

"I want to know how to get some action from our street department. You can't avoid the potholes," Mr. McGrath said, noting that the road has potholes about every 50 to 75 feet and probably has about 100 of them.

"We're not getting a lot of services from Monroeville. At least you could fix the street," he said.

"It sounds to me like a relatively easy fix," Mr. Duncan said.

Mr. Harvey, who represents Mr. McGrath's ward, said he received two phone calls regarding Wiltshire Circle. He said he was waiting until spring to see whether Mr. McGrath's street was included on the paving list.

Mr. Erosenko said the municipality uses a process to grade roads to determine which ones need to be repaired.

"It sounds like your road needs attention," he said.

Mr. Duncan noted that the budget for paving has decreased significantly over the years.

"We used to invest $1 million in paving a year, but the money has run out," he said.

The municipality now spends about $250,000 per year on paving.

"It's a huge difference," he said. "The whole thing comes down to money."

The municipality's manpower also was questioned at the meeting.

Carolyn Boone, who said she regularly watches the televised monthly council meetings, said she noticed that employees who are retiring or leaving for other jobs are not being replaced.

"I feel when someone retires or leaves, they need to be replaced," she said. "How much can you do with so little people?"

Mr. Duncan, who was public works superintendent in Monroeville for many years, said that when he was there, he had a much larger staff than the department has now. …

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