around town

STORMY WEATHER Here’s a Homeowner 101 refresher course: There are two types of sewer systems—sanitary, which conveys wastewater to treatment plants, and storm, which catches the runoff from rain or snow.

In developed areas such as Mt. Lebanon, buildings and pavement cover much of the land surface, making it difficult for rain and snowmelt to soak into the ground. As a result, storm water polluted with litter, oil and grease from roadways, pesticides from lawns and sediment from construction sites often flows into storm sewers and is discharged into rivers and streams, threatening plant and wildlife. 

Contaminated storm water also can find its way into the sanitary sewer system through illegal hookups of storm runoff pipes to the sanitary sewer, often done decades ago when the house was built and unknown to the present homeowner. This complicates the treatment process at the plant.

Under a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Mt. Lebanon has a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit that requires us to maintain a storm water management program, minimizing the impacts from runoff.

Mt. Lebanon budgets $440,000 annually to fund upgrades to the storm water management system. The money comes from the storm water utility fund, which Mt. Lebanon Commissioners voted to establish in 2011. 

Before the fund was instituted, money for repairing and maintaining the storm water system came from the general fund of the operating budget. As storms began taking more and more of a toll on the aging system, it became clear that storm water improvements could claim an increasingly larger chunk of the operating budget, to the detriment of other municipal services.

The solution calls for property owners to pay a storm water management fee of $8 a month for each equivalent residential unit (ERU). An ERU is a single-family home, duplex or townhome. All other properties (commercial, institutions, larger residential complexes) are charged one ERU for each 2,400 square feet of impervious surface, which includes rooftops and pavement.

Homeowners can receive a break in storm water fees in return for certain green initiatives, such as a one-time credit for installing a rain barrel. To learn more about credits and about the storm water fee ordinance, visit

This year, Mt. Lebanon inspected 1,681 storm inlets, and  identified 877 that needed cleaning and 63 that needed repair. Other work includes a project on Crystal and Milbeth drives, adding six new storm inlets and tying in with the Sleepy Hollow Road system; additional inlets on Craigview Drive and Robb Hollow Road; culvert repairs at the public works facility at Lindendale Drive and Cedar Boulevard and preparing a cost estimate for rerouting storm and sanitary sewers on Banksville Road.


STREET LIFE EXTENSION Last month, mtl listed the streets that were slated for reconstruction. Mt. Lebanon also has plans to extend the life of several streets through a maintenance program.

Reconstruction means excavating all layers of the road and rebuilding it with two 1 1/2-inch layers, a 5- to 8-inch base, topped with another six inches of stone, curb replacement as necessary, and new paving. The scope of improvements includes spot curb repair and removing and replacing 3 inches of bituminous material.

Streets in the maintenance program are milled and resurfaced with bituminous materials. Cost of this year’s resurfacing program is $404,245. Reconstruction costs this year are $2.05 million.

Reconstruction costs roughly six times as much as maintenance, and the results mirror the cost. A completely reconstructed street should last about 50 years, while streets that receive maintenance repairs will have to be worked on again in about 10 years.

Streets scheduled for resurfacing this year are:

Austin Avenue, from Summer Place to Academy Avenue

Chalmers Place, from Parkview Avenue to Salem Drive

Darby Way, from Mapleton Avenue to Shady Drive West

Inglewood Drive from Crescent Drive to 169 Inglewood

Lebanon Avenue from Cochran Road to Towercrest Drive

Lebanon Avenue from 275 Lebanon to Florida Avenue

Longuevue Drive from 106 Longuevue to Washington Road

Lynn Haven Drive from Lebanon Hills Drive to cul de sac

Municipal Way from Port Way to
Florida Avenue

Vanderbilt Drive from 144 Vanderbilt to Dillon Drive

Vanderbilt Drive from Elatan Drive to 144 Vanderbilt

Vernon Drive from 129 Vernon to Mayfair Avenue

Willow Drive from Chalmers Place to Parkview Drive

Writer Jennifer Rignani



AWARD-WINNING WRITING Jennifer Rignani won a Golden Quill from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania for Finn’s Bow, her June 2017 story about a group of Washington School students who came together to help out a classmate. Mt. Lebanon Magazine writers and illustrators were finalists in four other categories:  Susan Morgans for Tudor Transformation, September 2017; Katie Wagner for Irish Wedding Checklist, online; Shannon Venditti for Best Cover, November 2017; and Claire Schuchman for Habitat Gardens, May 2017.


SENIOR LUNCHEON AND MOVIE When’s the last time lunch and a movie cost you 7 bucks? Seniors and their adult guests can get that deal every month at the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center.

On Tuesday, July 17, lunch, movie and a presentation on the importance of socialization and your well being will be sponsored by Baptist Homes/Providence Point.

On Tuesday, August 21, movie, lunch and a presentation on Medicare will be brought to you by Highmark.

Senior luncheons are held in Room A on the second floor of the Rec Center, 975 Cedar Boulevard. Check-in is at 10:30, followed by the presentation at 11, lunch and 50/590 raffle at noon and movie at 1.

Mt. Lebanon residency is not required, but please preregister. Walk-ins will only be accepted if space permits, and will pay a late fee. 

Call 412-343-3409 for more information.