The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

February 27, 2014

City hires consultant to update comprehensive parks plan

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

HERMITAGE — Hermitage commissioners on Wednesday hired Environmental Planning and Design of Pittsburgh to update the Hermitage Comprehensive Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan.

The plan will document the city’s park and recreation offerings and other recreation services available to city residents, and make recommendations for future projects and activities.

The plan was last updated in 2003.

The firm submitted a proposal to do the work for just under $50,000. The city has a $25,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and will pay the rest from city funds.

The firm has worked with the city in developing the athletic complex on South Darby Road.

The firm will be responsible for reaching out to city residents to get comments on the city’s offerings and new things they would like to have.

City commissioners previously created a 25-member committee of staff members, residents and representatives of various recreation-related entities, including the school district, Buhl Farm park, Hermitage Little League and Hermitage Youth Soccer, that will work with the consultant.

City Manager Gary P. Hinkson said he will convene a meeting of the committee soon to prepare the members for their work during the study.

Also Monday, commissioners approved a land development plan for work at the athletic complex: building a parking lot, playground and viewing area at one of the ballfields, installing lights at one of the fields and extending walking trails.

The project is being bid in two parts, with the parking lot work added to a paving contract that includes street work and an upgrade of the city building parking lot.

The work at the athletic complex is estimated to cost $550,000.