Basketball court to be included in Stowe park renovation

March 15, 2012
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Commissioners approved the inclusion of a basketball court in the renovation plans for Norwood Park in Stowe Tuesday night, despite rumors to the contrary.

Parents were concerned the park would be redesigned for use by toddlers and young children and have nothing to offer for tweens or teenagers.

“You can’t make your decision based on what-if scenarios. If you did so, then you probably wouldn’t get in a car everyday,” Marianne Drexler said during the agenda meeting, which was Monday night. Ms. Drexler is the daughter of Commissioner Stanley Papst Jr.

The park is being refurbished with a $44,000 grant received through the office of U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, and a $10,000 donation provided by resident Jack DeFillip, who won the money in Proctor & Gamble’s Take it to the House NFL Play 60 promotion. The campaign is designed to tackle childhood obesity by getting kids active.

Mr. DeFillip’s donation was given to the township with the stipulation it be used toward a basketball court.

“We can’t gear our town to one age group,” said Commissioner Kelly Cropper Hall on Monday. “The kids need a basketball hoop and I agree with you. We’re not battling you about this.”

Volunteers offered to help paint the park’s fence when the time comes and others offered to monitor the park during peak hours.

The unanimous vote on Tuesday came as a surprise to additional parents who arrived with children. Member Bob Homer was absent. Eight members of the Sto-Rox fourth- and fifth-grade basketball program also were in attendance.

In regard to the unexpected vote, Mr. Papst quipped, “See all those little kids? They’ll vote some day.”

President Frank Zieger indicated a 24-hour camera may be installed at the park. The camera would send a live feed to be monitored at the police station on Broadway Avenue.

Permission to order new playground equipment was given to Ms. McDermott, the parks and recreation chairwoman, who hopes for a Memorial Day weekend opening date.

Horseshoe pits or a bocce court may be included. Plans are also in the works to refurbish the monument honoring veterans located next to the park.

“It’s going to be beautiful when it’s done,” said Ms. McDermott. “We encourage people to use our parks. Have a birthday party, have a picnic. Just clean up after yourself.”

Davis Park, located off of Island Avenue on Orr Street, is next on the agenda for updates and refurbishment, said Ms. McDermott.

Work has already been done at both Island Heights and Presston parks in the past four years, she said.

In related news, Commissioner Louis “Robin” Parrilla said he and his brother, Nick, would donate property for use as public green space.

The parcel is located along Main Street in the Hanover Heights neighborhood.

While Mr. Parrilla suggests using the area for a “serenity park,” he is open to other suggestions as long as the park is named after his parents, Lewis and Fran Parrilla, both former commissioners and chairs of the township’s Democratic Committee.

Also, police will be enforcing an ordinance requiring the use of tarpaulins to cover loaded truck beds to prevent the loss of debris on roadways. Signs warning of the enforcement of the TARP ordinance have been placed along Island Avenue, McCoy Road and Broadway. Fines ranging between $100 and $600 will be issued, said secretary Marie Incorvati.