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White Oak borough council could decide by August whether to pursue a project to make Lincoln Way better for pedestrians.
At Monday's meeting, council discussed the possibility of pursuing a multimodal transportation grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to upgrade lighting, pedestrian crosswalks and signage along Lincoln Way and other side-walked areas.
The grant can also be used to add benches and trash cans to the sidewalks, borough officials said. But placing the benches would offer their own set of challenges, and some council members said it might not be worth pursuing them as part of the grant, particularly since the borough no longer has a bus route.
One issue of concern is that the Multimodal Transportation Grant is a matching grant and would require the borough to pay 30 percent of the total project cost, borough officials said.
Council opted not to pursue the grant in 2016. Council members said they have no hard deadline, but hope to make a decision later this year.
In other business:
- Borough council discussed upgrades being made to the White Oak Giant Eagle. This location will be moving a liquor license into the borough that will allow them to sell six packs, as well as serve drinks in the store’s new café.
Officials said the change has been long anticipated, and the borough made it known that the state Liquor Control Board requires the borough to hold a public meeting where all residents can give their opinion on the Giant Eagle liquor license.
If all goes according to plan, Giant Eagle will advertise their application for a liquor license for two weeks before hosting the required public meeting. The public meeting is expected to take place the same day as the next borough council meeting, June 19.
- During the public comments, multiple residents of Ohio Street voiced their concerns about blighted properties on their block. Council discussed the proper procedures for dealing with blighted properties.
- A gas drilling company is placing detection devices throughout the borough to detect underground seismic activity, borough officials reported. But White Oak council said no gas drilling has been approved in the borough and, in fact, no approval process has yet been started. The monitoring process is preliminary and non-invasive, borough officials said.
- White Oak Police reported 13 arrests were made in the month of April, including one on charges for assault. The police also reported two drug offenses, one DUI, one endangering the welfare of children, four for public drunkenness, three for thefts, and 56 summary traffic violations in the month of April.
Editor's Note: David Stephens is a freelance writer. This is his first article for Tube City Almanac.
Originally published May 16, 2017.