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SALTSBURG: Officials to pursue playground funds

by on July 08, 2014 10:50 AM

Saltsburg Borough will apply for a $250,000 grant for a new playground by the end of this month, voted on by borough council at Monday’s meeting.

Saltsburg officials will submit an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Commonwealth Financing Authority for a Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program grant that will help the borough build a new playground where a sewage treatment plant currently stands between Water Street and the West Penn Trail.

Right now, a community playground is set up in the borough, but according to council Vice President Kathy Muir, it isn’t in good condition.

“The old one has been vandalized. It’s small, it’s outdated and needs to be separated from the basketball courts so the little kids are away from the bigger kids,” Muir said.

The public basketball courts will remain in their current location at the park at the head of the West Penn Trail between the trail and Water Street, Muir said.

The application for the grant is due July 21 and will be submitted by grant writer Leann Chaney. The grant is part of the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which allocates funds for the planning, acquisition, rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational trails, open space, parks and beautification projects.

The borough is requesting the maximum amount of money authorized by the grant, $250,000.

According to the grant, projects require a 15 percent local cash match of the total project cost or cash equivalents for the appraised value of real estate. A parking lot that is set to be paved once the sewage treatment plant is torn down will qualify as the borough’s 15 percent match for the project, according to Chaney.

Council’s vision for the new playground includes new equipment, a bathroom, water fountain, benches, garbage cans and more. In addition, Muir hopes to install security equipment to ensure the park is not vandalized.

Because of its location between the trails, there is a plan for the park to be nature-themed.

“It’s a great site,” Chaney said.

Also at Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Elizabeth Rocco reported that she met with members of the Saltsburg police committee, which she considered to be a “very positive meeting.”

Key topics addressed, she said, included traffic and ordinance violations, and she intends to cover these topics in the upcoming week with the police department.

The meeting stemmed from complaints in June by Saltsburg resident Dan Rose that the police force was not acting proactively in certain manners, including ordinance enforcement.

“I think that we’re going to make some positive change,” Rocco said.

Also at the Monday meeting, council approved the extension of the Saltsburg Free Library’s contract for 25 more years, to remain in its current address until June 1, 2039.

Ellen Matis is the digital media coordinator and a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. She is the person behind the Gazette's social media. A 2012 graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ellen has a degree in journalism and public relations. Follow her on Twitter, @EllenMatis, or email her at
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