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NEW DIVERSITY INITIATIVES A group of resident volunteers will be working over the next year on a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) project meant to make Mt. Lebanon a more welcoming community. The commission established an ad hoc committee to work as an adjunct to the Mt. Lebanon Community Relations Board.

The Ford Foundation, which is dedicated to reducing injustice and poverty, defines diversity, equity and inclusion in this manner:

Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences (race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, etc.), collectively and as individuals.

Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all.

Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people.

The ad hoc committee will have four working groups, each of which will include a community relations board member. The four working groups are:

Community awareness and community building This group will examine possible actions the community can take so that Mt. Lebanon can take positive steps forward as a welcoming community. The work will include community conversations with the public.

Diversity in boards and hiring This group will recommend to the commission ways that the municipality can attract more diverse applicants for volunteer boards and municipal staff positions.

Police engagement This group will work in conjunction with police department staff to organize community listening sessions, focus groups and community conversations, as well as researching and recommending ways to expand the pool of qualified applicants for police positions.

DEI recognition, event planning and incident response This group will identify a DEI calendar for municipal observances, actions and events, and develop a protocol for municipal response if incidents that adversely impact diversity, equity and inclusion happen.

To apply for the ad hoc committee, go to mtlebanon.org/DEICommittee [1]. Mt. Lebanon Magazine will be following this project and updating you on its progress.

 
Phase II of the tennis court reconstruction is underway.

CAPITAL BUDGET UP FOR REVIEW Mt. Lebanon has released its plan for making major purchases and improvements over the next five years. Although the plan calls for a five-year window, it must be updated yearly to account for changing circumstances.

Items included in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) are typically things that fall outside of the yearly operating budget. These can be one-time costs, such as $740,250 for a new roof on the recreation center, or ongoing projects with a higher price tag, such as $2.1 million for street reconstruction and $3.85 million for mandated sanitary sewer improvements, all three of which are scheduled to take place in 2021.

A public hearing on the capital improvement budget is scheduled for the October 13 commission meeting, and the commission will vote on final adoption of the plan at its December 8 meeting. The proposed budget is available for review on the municipal website, mtlebanon.org [2], or in interactive form at Mt. Lebanon’s Open Government [3] site, under “2021-2025 CIP.”

Municipal department heads and staff office chiefs compile a prioritized wish list of capital improvements they would like to see happen over the next five years. The manager and the finance department staff review all requests and determine which will be included in the five-year budget.

Capital improvement projects can be funded from sources aside from taxes, such as grant money, bonds, surcharges collected by the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority and Mt. Lebanon’s stormwater fee.

The proposed CIP calls for spending $47,615,500 over five years. The bulk of the money, $41,238,610, is allotted to the public works department for street and sewer work, stream restoration projects and park and recreation center improvements.

Capital projects proposed for 2021 include:

Robb Hollow Park Robb Hollow is a mostly undeveloped park located along Cedar Boulevard, Painters Run Road and Robb Hollow Road at the edge of the public works facility. Plans include landscaping, walking paths and connections to other trails, at a cost of $360,000.

North Meadowcroft Park The third phase of an ongoing project. The first two phases improved accessibility to the basketball and tennis courts. Next year’s plans call for $153,820 for landscaping and basketball court renovation.

Tennis court reconstruction The second of a two-phase project, tennis courts 3 through 6 will be rebuilt at a cost of $444,900. Indoor Tennis for Mt. Lebanon contributed $200,200 to defray the cost of this project.

Golf course improvements Installing and extending cart paths on holes 2,3,7 and 8 for $91,900.

Public Works vehicle replacement  One Ford F-550 dump truck and one Peterbilt dump truck, total cost of $279,700, minus $22,000 offset through the sale of the old trucks, for a net cost of $257,700.

 

@ THE LIBRARY

LEARN SOMETHING Your Mt. Lebanon Public Library card is a free ticket to more than 350 online courses offered through Gale. The classes, which begin the week of October 14 [4], range from business and accounting to medical and health care to digital photography and design.

HEAR SOME AUTHORS The Mt. Lebanon Public Library Speaker Series will be hosting monthly virtual author events throughout the fall.  The library always purchases multiple copies of books by all featured authors for patrons to request. Events will be listed on the library website’s event calendar as well as included in library e-newsletters.

BOOK BUNDLES Whether your child is an avid or reluctant reader, crafty, curious, or just plain bored, there’s something for them at the library. Call 412-531-1912 ext. 4, or fill out an online form at www.mtlebanonlibrary.org [5], and library staff will create a customized book bundle based on your child’s interests, age and reading level. Available for kids up to age 12. Bundles are also available for home learning topics.

Stay in the loop. Sign up for the library’s e-newsletter [6].