Local resident revisits rock pile concerns
By Garret Roberts
Nine months after he first approached commissioners over concerns about large rock piles looming over a residential intersection in Robinson Township, resident John Richnavsky recently returned to the board expressing frustration the situation hasn’t been resolved.
“We love our township, but it's getting kind of hard to love when you're pulling out of that [road],” Richnavky said Nov. 1. “Those piles are getting bigger and bigger. We can't see oncoming traffic. So, if somebody gets killed at that intersection, then what are you gonna say?”
When Richnavsky first raised the issue during consecutive meetings in February and March, commissioners told him the situation was delayed by litigation and the township would follow up with affected residents in writing. He argued the piles block vision at the intersection, posing a safety risk and spoiling the neighborhood aesthetic.
Returning in November, Richnavsky said there has been no progress on the issue despite assurances construction materials would be reduced by July.
In fact, he says the piles have swelled further, and he offered to show the board video evidence of tri-axle trucks returning to the area and dumping the building materials onto a smaller pile of rocks at the location.
“It has to be taken care of,” said Richnausky.
“We pay a lot of taxes to the office and we have a beautiful street. We have beautiful neighbors down on Waterford Drive and we just love our neighborhood.”
Commissioners said they shared Richnavsky’s frustration and voiced support for ensuring these rock piles were reduced or removed from the area.
“I'm going to take that up trying to get those rocks,” said Commissioner James Mancini. “Every time I drive by there, I tell my wife I don't think anyone's adding those rocks. I think they're breeding. So, they've been driving me crazy. I want to do a certain tag on someone to get those things out of there.”
According to the board, the stones are intended for a wall that will go on top of a sewer line replacement in the township. Council President Samuel Abatta said that some issues in the legal process with the contractors has held up the movement of the materials, but the board will take action and ensure the rocks are moved.
Development of the site at the Waterford Drive and Steubenville Pike intersection has been delayed by lawsuits that began after the township attempted to obtain a small piece of a neighboring property via eminent domain to reconfigure the roadways around Steubenville and Tidball Road.
The owner of the affected property appealed the eminent domain filing and countersued, claiming the township was deliberately aiding a private developer who owns the construction site while also occupying a place on the township’s zoning appeals board.
Both cases are still working through the courts.
“I guess it's progressing, but not as expeditiously as you would expect,” said Abatta. “That big pile is an eyesore and you're correct in saying, God forbid, that there is never an accident there as you're pulling out on the Route 60 area where you can't see. So hopefully we can get this issue taken care of, we want to do what we can do for our residents. And, of course, the sooner the better.”
In other Robinson news:
• During the Nov. 1 meeting, Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce President Chris Heck presented a plaque thanking the Board of Commissioners for 50 years of membership in the organization. While presenting the plaque to the board, he offered thanks to the various businesses in Robinson and congratulated the township on its growth.
• Construction of the new Robinson Township Police Department is currently expected to be finished on Nov. 12. The township will inspect the building to make sure the project is finalized and up to code before moving in furniture and officially opening the building for police operations. Construction of the police department was done at no cost to taxpayers, according to the board.
• The 2022 financial year budget is available on the township’s website for public viewing. According to officials, there have been no tax increases necessary for the new budget.