Message from the Manager…
Having been born and raised here as a fourth generation
Swissvalian, it is a great honor and privilege to serve as
Borough Manager. We have accomplished many good things recently
and have much more work to do. However, I am especially excited
to see the positive changes that have occurred and the many
great things on the horizon. Swissvale is a “Community on the
For the last 2 ½ years, we have been working very hard to reinvent our local government and initiated some major paradigm shifts. We realigned some department responsibilities, reorganized staff and are working very hard to “do more with more for less”, while bringing basic business principles into our governance and decision-making process and continually evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of our operations. As an example, in 2016, we brought our refuse collection “back in house.” By doing this, it allowed for an increase in the quality of service and an expected annual savings of $80,000 to $100,000 over what our contracted service rate was previously.
As a result of taking innovative approaches, we ended 2015 with a fund balance and surplus for the first time in 8 years. This allowed us to create a Capital Projects Fund and take a General Obligation Note to make improvements again within the Borough. This summer we paved 11 streets. Our DPW repaired 39 sewer inlets and installed 3 new ones on those streets prior to the resurfacing. In the past, much of this work was contracted out and cost more than doing it with our own staff. The DPW also spent several weeks repairing the brick streets in the Regent Square Area, as was done last year. We also plan to demolish about 10 vacant and dilapidated structures before the end of year.
What’s coming in 2017? There will be more paving again! In addition, there will be a $110,000 repair and renovation project to the Collingwood Park, thanks in part to a grant from the state’s Keystone Parks and Recreation Grant Program. There will be a $675,000 pedestrian safety project beginning on South Braddock Avenue from Regent Square to McClure. This project will upgrade cross walks, signals, signs and bicycle safe storm grates along that route. This is a joint project with Edgewood Borough and is being funded, in part, by a grant received by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission. There are also some other private development projects on the horizon that are currently in the planning stages. As you can see there are many major improvements happening around town!
Over the past few years, a major issue that we identified is a communication gap between the Borough and our residents. To help address this issue, we have begun updating our website and Facebook page regularly with information and are also planning on changing our newsletter in 2017 by directly mailing to the 5000 households and businesses within the community. This will start on a quarterly basis and we hope to do this every other month by the following year. So be on the lookout in the future for the newsletter in your mailbox!
In closing, I would like to thank the Borough Council and Mayor for their hard work and determination to make these improvements in the Community. We all look forward to continue working with our community to create a brighter tomorrow and a better Swissvale.
What are you looking for?