Oct. 24—Delmont's Newhouse Park has seen a steady course of improvements over the past five years. That has translated to more visitors and the need to make some more improvements.
"We've had several tournaments up there this summer and it's shown that we need some more parking," said councilman and recreation board member Stan Cheyne.
In 2019, the borough received a $50,000 donation from nearby Dedicated Nursing Associates to help fund renovation of the park's basketball court. In 2022, Delmont-Salem Rotary Club members installed a drinking fountain as a service project, and the borough conducted a survey of residents about recreation options in places like Newhouse. This year, they have paved part of the parking lot and created a storm water basin on the hillside leading up to the lot.
Council voted unanimously at its October meeting to put up $15,000 as a 10% match if they are able to secure a Westmoreland Conservation District grant for a second phase of park improvements.
"We met with the conservation district and (engineers) Morris Knowles & Associates to go over a rough budget estimate for a phase two," Cheyne said. "It would continue paving the parking lot, which we did a third of, and it would also widen the parking lot to get it a little farther out where the grass has grown back over the old gravel."
Cheyne said it may also be necessary to expand the storm water basin west along the bottom of the hillside.
Councilman David Weber said he's happy to see residents enjoying the improvements.
"It's a very positive thing," Weber said. "People are utilizing the park and the pavilions. We've had a noticeable uptick in usage, and it's the result of the improvements up there and things the recreation board has been doing like 'Movies in the Park.'"
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .