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Planning is underway for next year’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of North Versailles Twp.
At their monthly meeting, township commissioners announced that the event will be a week-long celebration beginning in late July 2019.
“We're looking for people to come and help us form a committee so we can start planning, so spread the word,” Commissioner Tracy Yusko said. “We’re hoping to get the community involved because it’s a pretty big deal --- it will be like a carnival.”
In other business:
Commission President Frank Bivens discussed starting a community food garden. “It’s something we need to put out there in case someone (or) some group is interested,” he said. “We have plenty of vacant lots, we can have a lot of gardens.”
Township Manager Patricia Logo suggested putting information on the borough website to find residents interested in starting a group. Logo said the township plans to contact Grow Pittsburgh, an urban farming organization that help communities set up urban gardens. “They may be able to assist with outdoor water line installation, tools, seeds and garden beds," she said.
Commissioners voted to approve a motion to accept the offer of $16,520.49 from Peoples Gas for the repaving of Orsen and Lloyd streets.
Commissioners also approved $3,337.70 for a road paving project at the intersection of Arlington Avenue and Elm Street. Commissioner George Thompson said the funds are needed to repair an area that is to be excavated by the road department to install new storm sewers in that area.
A motion to accept and sign for the $2,000 grant from Allegheny County for the costs associated with adopting the new Stormwater Management Ordinance was approved. A motion to accept and sign for the $5,000 grant from Active Allegheny for the 2019 Community Days Celebration was approved.
During July, North Versailles Twp. police department received 802 calls, made 25 arrests and housed 14 inmates from East Pittsburgh, 10 from East McKeesport and seven from Turtle Creek. Firefighters answered 47 calls during July, according to Commissioner Russell Saula.
Payments in the amount of $2,793.22 to West Wilmerding VFC and $1,894.01 for Crestas VFC from the 2018 Fire Tax Money was approved.
Commissioners George Beswick and Daryl Mitchell were not present.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Mary Henning asked the board if any progress was made in addressing storm sewer problems she reported as last month’s meeting.
“I shouldn’t have to climb into a gully to clean it, so that the water doesn’t overflow," she said. "You guys aren’t doing your part. I pay a lot in taxes and don’t think it’s fair.”
Commission Vice President Sam Juliano told Henning he has been working with other township officials, including the sanitation department and the township engineer, to resolve the matter.
The township is considering putting a higher curb at the problem area, cleaning the catch basins and opening them up so they are wider, Juliano said. The township hopes the work will be done before the commissioners' next meeting, he said.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who is covering McKeesport Area schools and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published August 20, 2018.