Loan offered to construct ‘green’ lots in Carnegie |

Loan offered to construct ‘green’ lots in Carnegie

Carnegie officials are left with a decision that might delay a project another year after being denied grant money for parking-lot and sewer improvements.

The borough, in conjunction with the Shade Tree Commission and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, applied to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PENNVEST, in August for grant and loan money for a Green Infrastructure Project that would create two “green” parking lots.

The two lots are across from the Carnegie Coffee Co. at 132 East Main St. and near Citizens Bank at 11 West Main St. and would require improving an outdated sewer infrastructure to alleviate flooding. The current expected cost of the project is about $750,000, but that is subject to change.

PENNVEST officials responded this month and offered a $1.1 million loan to be distributed over 20 years with 1 percent interest, said Rob Harvat, KLH Engineer and the project’s manager in Carnegie.

“They felt there was room for the borough to raise sewer rates to pay for the project ourselves,” Harvat said.

Sewer rates are $12.05 per thousand gallons of water used for basic borough service, along with a $3.54 service rate per month.

“We were hoping it would come back in combination of grant and loan money. We are going to check back our calculations and see if we should have qualified for some grant assistance,” said Harvat, adding he was directed by council to review the numbers.

The project would pave, properly curb and split current sewer lines in both lots to help disperse storm runoff water to improve water absorption.

“Absorption is the key. It will allow a lot of water to stop from being runoff and slowly absorb it to prevent flooding,” said Bridget VanDorn, a member of the Shade Tree Commission.

The commission’s responsibilities include exploring grant opportunities for more trees and green space, as well as coordinating maintenance projects around the borough.

“We started three years ago with the primary focus to protect, preserve and enhance the green space and greenery in Carnegie,” she said.

Other proposed improvements include redesigning the lots to include more parking spots for those with disabilities, updating the meter system, adding rain gardens, planting new trees and retrofitting sidewalks to help the parking areas better deal with storm water.

“Our primary focus is to redo the parking lots and make them an asset to Carnegie. Add good trees, good drainage and make it a beautiful center for parking and business instead of the eyesore it is right now,” council President Pat Catena said.

Borough officials will have until mid-December to accept or reject the loan. If it is rejected, the next opportunity for officials to reapply is in February, and it would take about three months for a response.

Alex Felser is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.