Similar barricades in Sharon should be removed this year.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
FARRELL, Pa. -- Some concrete barricades on streets around the Steel City Terrace public housing complex will be removed in about a month, but others will stay until demolition of the 100-unit project begins this summer.
The Mercer County Housing Authority, which owns the apartment complex, and Southwest Mercer County Regional Police have agreed to remove the barricades on the east-west streets as soon as possible.
The barricades on the north-south streets will remain in place until June or July, said L. DeWitt Boosel, executive director of the housing authority.
The plans were announced at a Farrell City Council meeting Monday in response to requests from several citizens last week that the barricades be removed.
Background: The authority and police had the barricades placed in strategic locations around the complex in 1998 in an effort to control traffic flow in and out of the area and specifically targeted drug dealers.
Limiting where drug traffickers could flee helped control that illegal activity in the area, police said.
Boosel said he and police believe the situation there has changed over the years and the time has come to remove the barricades.
It will take about a month to arrange to get a crane there to lift them out of the street, he said, noting work will start with the east-west streets -- Highland Street at Spearman Avenue, Kishon Street at Spearman Avenue and Kedron Street at Wallis Avenue.
The barricades on north-south routes -- Wallis Avenue at Kedron and Spearman Avenue at Kedron, will remain in place a while longer, he said.
Boosel said similar barricades around the Malleable Heights apartment complex on Spearman Avenue in Sharon will also be slated for removal.
A site manager will be placed at the Quinby Street Service Center there within a couple of months and Boosel said he will then talk to Sharon authorities about removing the barricades in their city.
New zoning: In other business, Farrell council gave final approval to the creation of a special Traditional Neighborhood Development zoning district for the rebuilding of the Steel City Terrace complex.
The new zoning designation will give developers more flexibility in what they want to design and build.
The plan is to replace the old barracks-style complex with 145 units of apartments and single-family homes over a much broader area than the original Steel City Terrace boundaries.
A mix of federal and state funds will finance the $28 million project.