STREAMLINING TAX PAYMENTS For tax year 2021, Mt. Lebanon has enhanced its municipal and school district online payment system. These improvements include more precise tax payment capability and the ability to view tax amounts and payment history by parcel. Taxpayers can access these features through MyLebo, Mt. Lebanon’s virtual community gateway, www.mylebo.mtlebanon.org, by selecting “Real Estate Tax Payments.” Under the new system, residents who pay by electronic check will not be assessed a convenience charge.
BAN ON HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS Sealcoat, the black, tarry, oily stuff with the distinctive odor, is used as a sealant for newly paved driveways and parking lots. Also known as coal tar, sealcoat contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a class of chemical compounds that carries serious health hazards.
The Mt. Lebanon Commission has enacted an ordinance banning the use of PAHs in the municipality.
The PAHs in coal-tar based sealants can leach into groundwater following a rainstorm. The compounds can also evaporate and be breathed in. At least seven PAH compounds have been labeled as carcinogens by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Austin, Texas, was the first city to ban the use of coal-tar based sealants in 2006, after finding abnormally high levels of PAHs in streams. The products are banned in several locations, including the District of Columbia and the states of Minnesota and Washington, with a statewide ban set to take effect in Maine in 2024.
Mt. Lebanon’s ban prohibits the use of PAHs, defined in the ordinance as “chemical compounds such as benzanthracene, benzofluoranthene, benzoperylene … and other similar compounds which are believed by competent authorities to pose risks to human health and other animal life.”
The EPA recommends using pavement options such as pervious concrete, permeable asphalt and paving systems that do not require the use of sealants.
A PLAN FOR THE PARKS The Mt. Lebanon Commission has hired the planning and consulting firm Environmental Planning and Design to produce a master plan for Mt. Lebanon’s park system, and a recreation center feasibility study. The municipality conducted its last parks master plan in 2004.
Environmental Planning and Design authored Mt. Lebanon’s comprehensive plan, a blueprint for development, in 2013.
The parks master plan, which is not to exceed $126,000, will include a top-to-bottom needs assessment, taking into account facilities, programming, maintenance, administration, personnel and finance, and will rely heavily on input from residents and other community stakeholders.
A.J. Schwartz, studio director at Environmental Planning and Design, stressed the importance of making parks and greenspace inclusive, not just from an accessibility viewpoint, but keeping in mind levels of interest and finding ways to engage all users.
“We plan to reach out to both users (of the parks) and non-users,” Schwartz said. “We’ll structure questions to really get at what people want to see.”
Schwartz said the company will also take into consideration current trends in leisure and recreation.
Commissioners awarded the contract for the master plan at the May 25 commission meeting. The study is expected to last between seven and nine months, with a first draft expected in November. To keep abreast of the plan’s progress, go to www.mtlebanon.org/parksplan.
PATIENCE, PLEASE First Friday concerts on Washington Road are coming back! The lineups are not finalized yet, but musicians will take the Clearview Common stage on September 3, October 1 and November 5. Washington Road businesses will remain open during the Vibrant Uptown streetscape project, Uptown market will be present every Saturday from 9 to noon through October. Stay informed at www.mtlebopartnership.org.