Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Photo courtesy Robinson Township
Robinson Township Manager Frank Piccolino confirmed the public swimming pool at Clever Park will open this year as long as health guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 do not tighten again in the coming months.
“We are going to open the pool on time,” Piccolino said during his monthly report March 1. “We have every intention of opening on memorial day.”
After closing entirely last season in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Piccolino said he expects the pool will open this year at 50% capacity, based on current guidelines from Allegheny County.
Swimming lesson groups are likely to be reduced to “two or three” students per session, while details on pool passes and pool parties are still being worked out, Piccolino added.
Robinson Manager Frank Piccolino praised the contributions of Assistant Manager Dan Manius, hired in January to oversee public works projects.
“He’s going all at it — I love the enthusiasm” Piccolino said. “He’s a huge asset to me… and I think he’s going to be a huge asset to the rest of Robinson Township.”
Delivering his first monthly report for February, Manius outlined a litany of park and recreation projects, including plans to install new fencing and sidewalks at the Clever Park playground, repair the roof of the picnic shelter at Groveton Park and — subject to commissioner approval — install a basketball court at Burkett Park.
During his March 1 monthly report, Robinson Police Chief Tim Westwood told commissioners his department had completed a nearly two-year process of reviewing and updating law enforcement policies.
“When I first started [in December 2018]… I noticed that the policies and procedures… they were very out-dated and needed updating badly,” Westwood said. “We now have 170 policies and procedures in place.”
Westwood credited Sgt. John Sweeney for assisting him in the project, adding that the department retained the services of Lexipol, LLC — a private firm headquartered in Texas that develops standardized policies for departments throughout the United States.
The new policies represent industry “best practises” and comply with state, county and federal regulations, Westwood said.
In other police news, during the March 1 meeting township commissioners also approved the hiring of Jared Littler as an entry-level police officer pending physical and psychological screening results.
An unseasonably snowy winter has contributed to construction delays for the 95,000 sq. ft. police station currently under construction in Robinson Township.
Approved in November 2019 and put out for bid in the summer 2020, Piccolino said four weeks of weather delays have pushed back the expected finish date to late August 2021.
The new public safety building represents part one of three planned building upgrades that also call for a new street department and municipal headquarters during future phases.
The main construction contract was awarded Sept. 23 to Canonsburg-based MASCO Construction at a cost of $2.49 million, while smaller contracts for plumbing, HVAC and other specialist jobs totalling an additional $1.37 million were awarded to various other contractors.
The entire project is being paid for using a capital projects fund that doesn’t require supplemental borrowing, according to commissioners.
Robinson commissioners approved a fund balance policy March 1 requiring township administration to allocate at least 12% of annual operating expenditures into a general fund for “emergencies and contingencies.”
In years where the fund balance exceeds 15% of total spending, the additional revenue is to be diverted into the capital fund, used for long-term infrastructure and construction projects.
In years where 12% cannot be spared, commissioners are required to formulate a plan to recoup the losses in future years.