Repairs Planned to City Hall Roof Damaged By Falling Debris

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: News

Work will begin soon to repair the roof of a one-story annex to McKeesport's city hall that was damaged by debris from a neighboring building.

At Wednesday's meeting, city council by 7-0 vote awarded a $265,000 contract for construction of a roof "enclosure" and relocation of rooftop equipment to Kucich Construction of McKeesport.

Kucich was the lowest responsible bidder, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said.

In May, the city hired Lutterman Excavating to tear down a vacant three-story office building at the corner of Sinclair and Ringgold streets because debris --- including bricks --- falling off of that structure was damaging the city hall annex.

"It ended up being a safety concern for people working in that wing of the building," City Administrator Tom Maglicco said Wednesday. The roof is leaking and city employees have been relocated, he said.

Cherepko said Kucich will move heating and air conditioning equipment from the roof of the city hall annex, and construct a new, metal roof on that portion of the building.

City officials would like to recover the cost of the demolition of the vacant building from its last listed owner, a trust set up in 1995 by Paul M. Klemencic of Hillsboro, Oregon, and Hien Thi Pham of San Jose, Calif.

Attempts to reach the owners have not been successful, Maglicco said, and the attorney who arranged the trust also has not responded to the city's inquiries.

"We will continue to try to track down the owners and, hopefully, get them to pay for that demolition," Maglicco said.

The now-demolished building once housed doctor's offices, but had been vacant since at least 2012. According to Allegheny County court records, the county, city and McKeesport Area School District have filed liens against the property for more than $20,000 in unpaid taxes.

In other business, council by 7-0 vote awarded a $75,000 contract to Garvin Boward Beitko Engineering, Inc., of Robinson Twp. to develop a solution a landslide that has closed one lane of McIntosh Drive in Haler Heights.

The dead-end street is the only access route for more than a dozen homes off of Marshall Drive. Heavy rains this summer were apparently responsible for the slide.

"We'd like to get it fixed before the winter weather comes," Cherepko said.

According to its website, Garvin Boward Beitko specializes in determining the causes of landslides and rockslides, and developing solutions. Despite its name, the company has no connection to City Engineer Jim Garvin Jr., Cherepko said.

Jason Togyer is volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. and editor of The Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at

Originally published November 07, 2018.

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