Sewickley Council Won't Proceed with Route 65 Beautification Study
Council voted not to hire a consultant to perform a feasibility study of Ohio River Boulevard.
Sewickley Council voted 8-1 Monday not to accept the PA Route 65, Ohio River Boulevard Beautification Feasibility Committee's recommendation to hire Pittsburgh-based Environmental Planning and Design as a project consultant. Councilman Stan Ference made the motion and cast the only vote in favor.
Approving the plan would have allowed the five-member committee to use a $20,000 matching state grant to proceed with a feasibility study.
"If we don't participate, they will probably lose the grant," said Borough Manager Kevin Flannery.
Councilman Robert Glenn said he didn't think a beautification project was appropriate for the state-owned road and seemed like a waste of funds. He suggested sending back the grant.
“It really doesn’t make any sense to do this,” said Glenn, who voted no.
The Route 65 beautification initiative began several years ago as a joint community endeavor with Sewickley, Edgeworth and Glen Osborne appointing five people to a steering committee to explore the options. Glen Osborne later dropped out, officials said.
At the conclusion of the study, Mayor Brian Jeffe said the borough could choose to do nothing or move forward on the recommended plans.
“It’s not costing the borough any dollars... All we’re agreeing is to let them do their study,” Jeffe said.
Edgeworth Manager Marty McDaniel said Tuesday that the steering committee sent out proposal requests and received four in return. After interviewing each consultant, they recommended Environmental Planning and Design. McDaniel said the consultant was to come up with a report on how Route 65 could be improved, such as better landscaping, signage or lighting.
"The idea is to come up with ideas to make Route 65 more attractive," McDaniel said.
Sewickley and Edgeworth previously budgeted funds to contribute to costs as did the Sewickley Valley Community Fund, a private foundation.
In other business council:
- Voted 8-0 to appoint First National Bank as the depository for Sewickley. Councilman Charles Driscoll abstained.
- Approved the 2013 Minimum Municipal Pension Obligation for Sewickley pensions at $166,979 for the police pension plan and $253,377 for the non-uniform pension plan.
- Set 2013 budget meetings as follows: 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 for the capital budget and department heads; 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 for the budget review and Monday, Nov. 19 for the final budget adoption.
- Approved the sale of the 1991 Pierce fire truck to the City of Pittsburgh for $60,000.