By Alice Crow
Council members passed a motion to allow a consulting company to conduct an assessment of the possible ways the Linden Avenue property could be used on Nov. 10. The assessment will cost Crafton $17,500.
The Linden Avenue property, which includes a park and mini golf course, is jointly owned by Crafton and the Carlynton School District. Crafton owns 24% of the area, only the mini golf course, and the school district owns the other 76% of the property.
In 2018, the Carlynton officials approached the Crafton council about the possibility of selling the property. However, public opposition to the idea caused council members to vote no on the decision at the time. Further discussion of the idea has prompted a similar negative public response.
Many community members were in attendance at the Nov. 10 meeting to state their opposition to selling the Linden Avenue property. Alicia McCloskey represented the Little Cougars, a football and cheerleading nonprofit organization for youth in kindergarten to sixth grade who play at the Linden Avenue property.
“If we lose that field we will have nowhere to go, we will not have a team, we will not have an organization,” McCloskey said. “I would just ask that everyone here, the school board, everywhere, don’t abandon these kids. Please make sure that we can continue to have this organization.”
Even though Crafton does not technically own the ball field on which the Little Cougars play, council members reassured residents that they understood the importance of the property and would make sure to consider the organization’s concerns when options were discussed.
Council member Kristen Compitello urged residents to also take concerns to the school board since Crafton and the school district are separate entities and the choice to sell falls heavily on the school board.
“We are trying to be good neighbors and we understand that even if the school district is a separate entity this is something that impacts a lot of residents, our children, it impacts our taxes if the school board is struggling with their budget,” Compitello said. “So, we have been talking with them about their thoughts for that site and what they need from it, and we have been looking into ways that we can work together for the overall benefit of the community.”
The market study that council members approved will gather more information on the different options that would impact the community if the school board decided to sell the property. More information on its results will be available at future council meetings in 2023.
Council members unanimously agreed to move forward with efforts to approve a three-way stop at the intersection of Bradford Avenue and Crafton Boulevard. Council members previously believed they could not install a three-way stop at the intersection because of PennDOT guidelines.
“There was a traffic study done 10 to 15 years ago and that’s what we were basing the ‘three-way stop sign wouldn’t be warranted, it’s not legal, you can’t enforce it’ [on],” said Acting Borough Manager Doug Sample.
“However, with the bumpouts and vegetation that has grown since that initial study, because of the inadequate visibility, it would warrant a three-way stop. That would be allowed and would be enforceable.”
Residents attended the meeting to voice their support for a three-way stop at the intersection.
“The idea to make the intersection of Bradford Avenue and Crafton Boulevard a three-way stop makes the most sense. It’s something residents have been asking for well over a decade,” said Michael Hough, a Bradford Avenue resident. He cited a fatal accident at the intersection in 2006 as a reason council members should act to make the area safer.
After the clarification and information from the borough engineer on the various options, Compitello restated her support for the decision.
“The initial request that started this whole effort was a desire to have a three-way stop and I personally continue to think that’s a good idea,” she said.
Other council members agreed. Now an ordinance will need to be voted on by council members in upcoming meetings to officially approve the decision.