By Abbey Sullivan
Crafton Council will move forward with a matching grant application for park upgrades after disputes about the pros and cons resulted in gridlock the previous week.
The vote passed narrowly during a special meeting March 29, with dissenting members objecting to a $250,000 contribution required of the borough if the grant is awarded.
The application to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources fits into longstanding park upgrades outlined in the borough’s master park plan. Eventually, the plan calls for improvements to a swathe of green spaces across the borough, including Crafton, Linwood and Noble parks, Clearview Trail, and creekside and public works properties.
Council called the special meeting after a vote fell short of a consensus during the regular meeting on March 24, while the application deadline of April 6 required a quick turnaround or holding off for a year.
“Tonight, what I think we’re really voting on is whether we are willing to move forward with this grant as it is, or whether we want to defer at least a year to stand back,” said Mayor Coletta Perry.
Like the first vote, council was again tied over the issue during the special meeting. Council President John Olivero and Councilors Phillip Levasseur and Vince Ridilla voted against, while Councilors Justin Marks, Erin Bollenbacher and Colton Chandler voted for. Perry then cast the tie-breaking vote as mayor in favor of pursuing the grant.
“I believe that we need to make this investment, we need to start moving this forward,” Perry said. “We had so many people come forward and participate in this study for the project,” she said after the vote.”
The grant application will now be submitted by the April 6 deadline. Details of the Master Site Parks Plan can be found in the “Crafton Courier” newsletter and on the borough’s website.