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Duquesne Council OK’s Vacant Home’s Demolition

By Matt Germaine
The Tube City Almanac
September 25, 2021
Posted in: Duquesne News

After nearly three years of seeking grant funds to demolish an abandoned house at 129 South First St., Duquesne City Council has approved a measure to raze the structure using city funds.

“The demo [has been] tricky for grants to approve because the house is in an Historic District,” said LaFranz Hemphill of Glenn Engineering. “If the city pays for it, then there is no need to get a grant to demo the house.”

According to residents who commented during the meeting, the structure has become a hazardous nuisance over the years due to falling building matter. Bids to perform the demolition have come in at around $10,500, and the work can begin as soon as Oct. 4, city officials said.

Hemphill also announced that progress has been made concerning the renovation effort on the Polish Hill Playground on Overland Avenue, namely the completion of drainage improvements and the delivery of new playground equipment.

“Equipment will be installed within the next week,” Hemphill said. “But it will not be ready for children to play on until the slide and rubber mat come in.”

Hemphill said that the slide and rubber safety surface have been on backorder due to the supply shortages caused by COVID-19.

In other business, Councilwoman Elaine Washington provided information that the city is prepared for the winter with three plow trucks, with a fourth currently in the shop for repairs.

Police Chief Tom Dunlevy reported that the department has exhausted its current candidate list for new full-time officers to add to its force. The city has begun advertising for new candidates, officials said.

Mayor Nickole Nesby and Councilman Tim Caldwell were absent from the meeting.

Matthew Germaine is a software developer and freelance writer in Wilkinsburg. He has previously written for the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, AmeriCorps NCCC, and WGDR/WGDH radio. He may be reached at mgermaine93@gmail.com.

Originally published September 25, 2021.

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