Carnegie mayor wants stronger focus on parking, youth events
Parking, infrastructure improvements and providing activities for youths in Carnegie are among the issues Mayor Jack Kobistek wants to focus on in the borough.
Kobistek outlined the items in his “State of the Borough” address at last week’s council meeting.
He said a number of factors have increased the need for borough leaders to examine parking.
“The last couple weekends have highlighted our need for parking relief — especially in the downtown from Elk Street to Sansbury Street,” he said. “What we need to be cognizant of is this situation is only going to get worse.
Kobistek said better signage and lighting are needed along with resurfacing of lots.
Council also should consider renting or purchasing lots if available, Kobistek said.
“It has to be a huge priority because we have some things that are happening that will really put additional stress on our parking.”
He cited businesses moving into the downtown area and events held at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall and elsewhere.
“We’ve had the situation the past few weeks where we’ve had a library event and an event in the community center and when those two things meet head-on with all the other business we have going on at night, it provides some stress on the parking.
“Our downtown is doing really well, but you can go from being a ‘hot spot’ in the city to being a ‘not spot’ in the city very easily.”
Increased community programming for 12- to 16-year-olds also should be a priority, Kobistek said, calling it a “critical need.”
He suggested partnering with the Carnegie Boys & Girls Club.
Council President Patrick Catena agreed, saying he would work to find money within the current budget to fund an event before the end of the year.
Infrastructure improvements in the downtown area, such as lamp posts and new trash cans, are needed, along with resolving issues at Campbells Run creek near Lexington Court to prevent flooding, Kobistek said.
Leaders also should address the borough’s blighted and vacant properties, he said, suggesting Carnegie create a blighted and vacant property committee.
As council and borough staff work on the 2017 budget, Catena said Kobistek’s concerns would be discussed.
“The mayor is right,” Catena said. “There’s so many things that we hope for or would like to improve.
“But, obviously, we have to be realistic. … Holding the line on taxes is a big thing. We don’t want to tax our residents out of their homes.”
David Mayernik Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7975 or firstname.lastname@example.org.