2023 Year in Review
The Borough continued to take positive steps forward in 2023 across all Departments. The Borough’s Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) issued twenty-four Certificates of Appropriateness for projects ranging from roof replacement to new home construction – all reviewed to ensure the preservation of the character of Sewickley Heights. Additionally, the HARB was awarded a Certified Local Government grant to pursue an updated Cultural Resource Inventory and develop a Historic Preservation Plan.
Long-time Mayor John Oliver resigned from public service in September 2023. He was stalwart and tireless advocate for conservation of the Borough’s natural resources and preservation of the Borough’s community character. Dr. George Magovern was appointed as Mayor and is enthusiastic to work with Council and the Police Department in 2024. After working side by side with former-Mayor Oliver for over 30 years, Council member Phil Hundley also decided to step back from public service. He was consistently committed to accomplishing meaningful progress through respectful dialogue and creative consensus-building. Mrs. Mary Barbour was appointed to Borough Council and has rapidly engaged in the governance of the Borough.
Emily Moldovan continued to serve as Zoning Officer and Building Code Official. Emily serves as the guide for residents and their professionals through the HARB and construction process. Her expertise and knowledge of the process help simplify project development, review, and approval. Dawn Turner is usually the first face you see in the Borough Administrative offices. She continues to serve the Borough handling resident requests, managing records, and providing a variety of support functions for Borough staff in all Departments.
The Parks and Public Works Department has maintained full staffing for all of 2023. Don Stout joined the Department in late 2022 and serves the Borough in all aspects of Public Works, from improvement in the Borough Park to winter road maintenance across the Borough. He complements the Borough’s two long-time staff members, Jeff Marek and John Trapp, who remain committed to the Borough and its residents. All three work daily to maintain the character and high quality of life in the Borough. In September 2023, the Public Works staff completed a streambank restoration project on Hunt Rd. in partnership with the PA Fish and Boat Commission and the Western PA Conservancy. This project was a supplement to the culvert installed in February 2022. The project will protect the integrity of the roadway and mitigate future sedimentation into Little Sewickley Creek.
The 2023 Road Program included asphalt repair on Pink House and Backbone Roads, and Microsurfacing application on Backbone Rd. from Quaker Hollow to the Bell Acres boundary, approximately 1.7 miles. Additionally, the Borough helped coordinate milling and paving on Allegheny County-owned roads, Blackburn Road, by the Allegheny County Public Works paving crew.
The Borough Police Department made great strides in officer training and Department enhancement in 2023. The Civil Service Commission convened several times to enable the Borough to prepare an Officer eligibility list. In doing so, the Borough was able to hire John Lough III as a full-time officer in June 2023. Officer Lough brings great ambition and character to complement Chief Harrison, Corporal Arena, Officer Pavicic, and part-time officers Castilow and Wikert. All are indispensable members of the Police Force in Sewickley Heights.
Borough Council and Staff remain fully committed to providing quality service and supporting continued efforts to preserve and enhance the historic, rural character of Sewickley Heights for the benefit of its residents.
Nathan A. Briggs