White Twp Sign.jpg

Stock photos of signs. White Township Municipal Building

A grant from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission will provide $450,492 in funding for a sidewalk and dedicated bike path along Saltsburg Avenue, White Township officials announced at a meeting Wednesday.

Communication specialist Chauncey Ross said the township will be responsible for $60,000 in engineering costs for design fees.

The grant will fund a project that will be developed this year, with ground likely being broken in 2023, Ross said.

It will provide a continuation of bike lanes that run down Rose Street beginning near Hoss’s restaurant and ending at Saltsburg Avenue. The bike lane would be extended to Rustic Lodge Road, and a sidewalk would also be constructed along Saltsburg Avenue.

The project promotes safe walking and the use of alternative transportation, Ross said.

In other business Wednesday, supervisors heard from township resident Joel Royer, who asked them to consider enacting an ordinance to regulate swimming pools for safety.

Royer referenced the tragedy of Lenny Hatinda, 5, who wandered away from his White Township home the evening of July 29 and was found unresponsive in a pool around 11 p.m. about a tenth of a mile away from his home.

“I request a swimming pool ordinance be adopted that will describe not only new pool, fencing, etc., installation requirements, but also establishes safety standards and maintenance of all existing township pools and requires appropriate fencing, etc., so that because of age, deterioration or the nonexistence of those standards, they will not endanger the health and safety of our township residents,” Royer said, reading from a statement he provided to media.

Royer also requested an ordinance in the wake of the incident last year.

At that time, township officials said rules for fences and pools are covered by the Uniform Construction Code, and at the time of installation, must meet certain requirements.

UCC requires pools of varying heights and depths to have safety features such as locked gates and fences depending on the size. Those regulations are enforced during the time of building.

The township does not enforce those regulations after the fact, nor does it enforce the regulations on pools that existed before UCC went into effect, officials said last year.

Supervisors discussed Royer’s suggestion Wednesday.

Sandi Gillette said she is researching ordinances used by townships to regulate pools, but noted it is a complicated issue.

Gail McCauley assured Royer the issue is not being ignored, and continues to be discussed at the level of the comprehensive planning committee.

“It was a tragedy what happened to that child, and we’re going to do whatever we can,” she said.

In other business, supervisors:

• Committed a $600 donation to Creekside Volunteer Fire Department toward the purchase of a new thermal imaging camera.

Heard from David Dahlheimer, who reminded township officials and the public about a several upcoming events through Friends of White’s Woods, including a seminar today titled Preserving Town-Owned Forests, by Dr. Joan Maloof, and a Feb. 24 webinar Options to Restore Forest Cover, by Dr. Susan Cook-Patton.

In the spring, the group is planning a plant walk, bird walk and a garlic mustard festival, “where volunteers will learn how to safely remove invasive garlic mustard and will tackle a small section of White’s Woods.”

To register or for more information, email info@friendsofwhiteswoods.org.