John M. Barrett

Manager's Message

John M. Barrett
Township Manager


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Nov 05

Parks key to good quality of life

Posted on November 5, 2019 at 8:46 AM by Andrea Iglar

Fairview Park in South Fayette Township is a tremendous community asset worth exploring.

Just as water, sewer and public safety are considered essential public services, parks are vitally important to establishing and maintaining a good quality of life, ensuring the health of families and youth, and contributing to the economic and environmental well-being of a community and a region.

And like other essential services, physical improvements to the township network of parks must be properly planned and accounted for to be effective.

Recently, the township developed a Comprehensive Recreation Plan that looks at each park and proposes a series of improvements to make our facilities even more robust and appealing to residents.

The plan is the result of a team effort, with guidance not only from design professionals but also from a steering committee of residents, volunteers from the Parks and Recreation Board and hundreds of citizens who provided feedback throughout the planning process.

Ultimately, the result is a well-conceived plan that will guide park improvements for the foreseeable future. Staff now can begin developing a strategy to put the plan into action. The township will seek funding through grants and other partnerships, with the aim of using as little tax money as possible.

For Fairview Park, the plan includes a splash park, additional baseball and multipurpose fields, a wooded, fenced dog park and a network of walking trails that will greatly enhance the park.

Residents can view the entire plan, including illustrations and cost estimates, at www.southfayettepa.com/parksplan.

The South Fayette Township Parks and Recreation Department is uniquely situated to provide crucial benefits to our citizens. Our parks are public commons that serve as the glue that brings and holds the community together.

Please continue to recognize and support our department’s effort to improve the human condition and make South Fayette a great place to live, work and play.

Sincerely,
John M. Barrett
South Fayette Township Manager
Jul 02

Township seeks connections with homeowner associations

Posted on July 2, 2019 at 10:58 AM by Andrea Iglar

Thousands of South Fayette residents belong to a homeowner association, or HOA, so it is easy to see the value in strengthening the township’s working relationship with HOA boards and their members.

While HOAs differ slightly in their organization and standards, they all exist for one very simple reason: to preserve and protect the value of property.

By providing maintenance to common areas and stormwater facilities, HOAs set examples for their members to follow. They also can play a vital role in resolving neighborhood property disputes. When properly functioning, an HOA can be a great ally to the township and an asset to the community as a whole.

In many ways, the mission of South Fayette Township and the mission of an effective HOA are aligned. Just as an HOA exists to preserve and protect the value of property, the township exists to preserve and protect public investments, interests and infrastructure.

The township strives to provide all residents with efficient services such as providing a safe and reliable road network, maintaining a well-trained and organized police force, offering park amenities and recreational programs, and enforcing local codes and ordinances. We also strive to create a sense of community by coordinating public events and providing forums for open communication and discussion.

South Fayette Township would like to form strategic, mutually beneficial partnerships with all HOAs. With this aim in mind, we have created an HOA webpage where homeowner associations can check in through the HOA Roll Call to share their needs and concerns. Our staff is available to attend an HOA board meeting or answer questions about your specific neighborhood.

I would like to emphasize that the township provides the same services to all residents regardless of whether they belong to an HOA. If you need assistance with any township service, please contact the township office at 412-221-8700, visit the township website or follow us on social media.

I look forward to connecting with our residents!

Sincerely,
John M. Barrett
South Fayette Township Manager

May 01

Township employees and volunteers essential to public safety

Posted on May 1, 2019 at 12:24 PM by Andrea Iglar

Public safety is a valuable part of public service, and many professionals in South Fayette Township work diligently to ensure that citizens can safely enjoy their community.

An important piece of our public safety network is the volunteer fire service. South Fayette appreciates that four volunteer fire companies protect our neighborhoods and commercial centers.

All-volunteer crews participate in many hours of training, plus assist with fundraising and administrative duties, often while also working a full-time job. This level of dedication is truly remarkable.

To show our appreciation, the township again is offering firefighters the opportunity to receive tax credits—on both their township real estate tax and their earned income tax. Submission deadline is July 1, 2019. If you are a member of the Fairview, Oak Ridge, South Fayette or Sturgeon fire department, please contact me to determine if you are eligible.

I also ask all citizens to remember the volunteer nature of our fire departments and consider contributing to your local fire company on an annual basis.

Our public safety network extends to various township departments. Recently, two police officers were promoted to the rank of sergeant and two officers celebrated 20 years with South Fayette Township. I applaud Police Chief John Phoennik for prioritizing resident relations, and I encourage families to attend his upcoming “Cup with a Cop” program at YoFresh Yogurt Cafe in South Fayette on Sat. May 11. Children 13 and under will receive a free cup of ice cream!

Our Public Works Department keeps parks safe and usable and participates in the Pennsylvania One Call System to protect people from underground utility lines when they are completing a project that requires digging.

Our engineer technician works to educate residents and homeowner's associations about stormwater management, which helps keep properties safe from flooding, while our volunteer deputy emergency management coordinator aims to inform people on how safety issues such as how to be prepared for severe weather.

Lastly, I would like to highlight the public safety role of our township building and code officials. Our inspectors ensure that all construction—whether it’s a large commercial project or a backyard deck—meets minimum safety requirements. Their daily work strives to protect the public from dangerous conditions.

Remember: Safety first!

Sincerely,
John M. Barrett
South Fayette Township Manager