South Strabane supervisors approved several motions pertaining to park improvements last week.

They agreed to hire the consulting firm Pashek+MTR to look at the township’s Community Park master plan, which hasn’t been updated since 2001, according to township Manager Brandon Stanick.

The township will pay the consultant $35,000 in Act 13 money “to facilitate a community engagement system,” in order to reformulate a plan for the park that fits with what the residents would like to see there, Stanick said.

In another motion, supervisors accepted a commitment letter from Charleroi Federal Savings Bank for a general obligation note for $235,000 to finance the Community Park bathroom and kitchen project.

The township plans to begin construction soon on the attaching restroom and kitchen to the park pavilion. They hope to complete work by the end of the year. The general obligation note will allow the township to “defer payment until next year,” Stanick said.

In a third motion, the supervisors approved a resolution prohibiting smoking and tobacco use in all township parks.

In other action last week, the township adopted an ordinance that repealed and replaced township regulations concerning steep slopes and grading.

Stanick said the supervisors started looking at the grading ordinance after a 2018 landslide in North Strabane damaged multiple homes within the Majestic Hills development plan. Stanick said that over the last several months South Strabane supervisors have been working to update its own grading ordinance to ensure safety for township residents.

The updated ordinance would require a slope stability analysis for any development on a slope greater than 3:1, and it prohibits development on a slope greater than 2:1.

“The other highlight of the amendment is that a grading permit is required for any non-agricultural earth disturbance greater than 36 inches of depth or 5,000 square feet,” Stanick said.

The 19-page ordinance gives the township more oversight – in the forms of permits, inspections and maintenance regulations – when it comes to developments involving slopes that could potentially cause a hazard to residents.

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