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2013 Municipal Intern Program

In 2013, 10 municipalities and one authority in six southwestern PA counties were selected to participate in the Municipal Intern Program. Students from five area colleges and universities spent the summer working on these projects:

Julie Collins, University of Pittsburgh
Bellevue Borough- Allegheny County

Julie, an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh, served her internship at the Borough of Bellevue working on policy review of blight and abandonment. Julie created a database and tracking system for blighted properties, and updated the code office’s enforcing policies – making policy recommendations for further development. Julie worked closely with the Code Enforcement officers and management staff to assist in property inspections and application of zoning ordinances. With Julie’s efforts in place the borough has taken the first steps to begin the process of addressing this pressing community issue.

Diana Hannon, Butler County Community College
New Castle City – Lawrence County

Diana a freshman at Butler County Community College, served her internship at the City of New Castle in Lawrence County working on: Document Preservation and a Recycling Enhancement program. Diana transferred via scan over 5,000 ordinances – many from old bound ordinance books onto an organized indexed electronic system prepared for public distribution. Ordinances dating back to the 1800’s to current day laws are now categorized into a digital accessible system. In addition, Diana assisted residential and business recycling program development thru grant preparations, RFP requests, and direct mail campaigns. On occasion, Diana also assisted in the New Castle Code Enforcement office and volunteered in local community events such as the New Castle Italian Festival.

Aaron Henry, Waynesburg University
Clinton Township – Butler County

Aaron, an undergraduate at Waynesburg University, served his internship at Clinton Township, Butler County. The focus of his project was to develop a Personnel Policy Handbook for the township. Aaron reviewed handouts provided by his office supervisors, conducted online research, and met multiple times with department heads to review the policy handbooks development. After numerous revisions and reshaping of the guide, Aaron’s work is now being reviewed by the township’s attorney to receive the final seal of approval prior to adoption.

Rebecca Kiernan, Carnegie Mellon University
Moon Township – Allegheny County

Rebecca a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, served her internship at Moon Township, Allegheny County on Community Development. In her project, Rebecca reviewed 10 years of local project development plans, organized and summarized findings in an excel worksheet for the township on current storm water management control plans, as well as created financial security tracking for development projects. This summary will assist the township in meeting EPA mandates to keep track and inspect ongoing projects, and serve as a review on the financial security of ongoing projects. In addition, Rebecca registered Moon Township for the Sustainable Communities Essentials Certification, applied for grants, and attended a statewide Heritage Conference.

Elizabeth Kozub, University of Pittsburgh
East McKeesport – Allegheny County

Liz a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh served her internship at the Borough of East McKeesport. Liz rated and photographed vacant properties, and updated all borough and school tax delinquencies in the borough’s Property Maintenance Database. She developed a tentative list for the 2014 Demolitions and presented this to the East Allegheny School District Board on the effects of blight. In addition, Liz worked to develop a strategy for using Act 90 and a checklist on the potential costs of using conservatorship. Liz offered amendment suggestions to the Rental Property and Occupancy Ordinances that will allow for more oversight of properties. Liz improved database systems including street name address changes, updated community directories and corrected billing sewage discrepancies working with department heads and using existing engineering maps.

John Lubarski, University of Pittsburgh
Washington County Transportation Authority

John, an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh focused on increasing ridership of the public transportation lines at the Transportation Authority of Washington County. John spent time meeting with community groups, political representatives and local businesses fostering and building relationships between stakeholders to promote the bus and opportunities in ridership. In addition, John participated in marketing discussions between stakeholders such as the Tanger Outlets and the Washington & Jefferson College representatives. John sat on in various meetings including legislative breakfasts with agency heads discussing budgets and potential mergers in the transportation arena.

Michelle Marano, University of Pittsburgh
Marshall Township – Allegheny County

Michelle, a student of the University of Pittsburgh, served as an intern with Marshall Township, Allegheny County. Working closely with township management, and the Marshall Township Volunteer Fire Company staff, Michelle developed a Mobile Occupancy Module – a state of the art Emergency Reporting Software Program for first responders. To develop the system, Michelle worked with key members of the fire company compiling desired data points, preparing and distributing survey questionnaires for local businesses. This product will provide a database and valuable tool for first responders to use by accessing critical site information such as fire hydrant and building lock box locations from laptops in route to the emergency.

Nicholas Saylor, University of Pittsburgh
Butler Township – Butler County

A University of Pittsburgh student, Nick served as an intern at Butler Township, Butler County. Nick implemented the Cartegraph Pavement and Infrastructure Management System (CPIMS) for Butler Township which captured in electronic format the township’s infrastructure inventory. Nick walked the zones within the township, gathering and entering information to be recorded. Data collection focused on five primary areas, fire hydrants, road distress, street lights, storm water outlets, and signage. Information collected on the Trimble was downloaded electronically weekly to the township engineer. The township engineer then produced the desired reports as directed by the township manager. Going forward this data will be used in multiple ways to better manage the township needs in budgeting, maintenance, and forecasting ensuring effective and economical planning based on firm data.

David Street, University of Pittsburgh
Chartiers Township – Washington County

David a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh served his internship at Chartiers Township, Washington County. Dave assisted in the revision of the comprehensive plan, as well as enhancing community outreach programs, and updating the records management systems. Dave also developed drafts of the social media, donations, and naming rights policies and was involved with a variety of weekly staff meetings and conversations with county representatives. Dave assisted in developing a RFP for management services to run the new community center expected to open in the fall of 2013, and accompanied code enforcement officials with the inspection all giving him a wide perspective of operations in local government.

Luke Taylor, Carnegie Mellon University
Homestead Borough – Allegheny County 

Luke, a Masters student at Carnegie Mellon University, served his internship at Homestead Borough. Luke assisted with municipal project analysis, grant writing, and strategic development of projects identified through Allegheny Together, the Multi-Municipal Comprehensive Plan, and Borough Council. Luke also created and managed social media accounts like Twitter, and Facebook. Luke helped launch the municipality’s website by doing the leg work and finding a professional developer and was involved in completing the criteria of the Sustainable Community Essentials Certification for Homestead Borough.

Mercedes Williams, Point Park University
Aliquippa City – Beaver County

Mercedes Williams an undergraduate student at Point Park University spent the summer working in the City of Aliquippa, focusing on the administration and enforcement of the community’s health and safety codes. Mercedes’ organized the city’s ordinances related to blight and posted them on the city’s website making them more accessible to the community. Additionally, she worked with the City Administrator and Code Enforcement Officer inspecting, and analyzing vacant properties creating a list of properties for demolition as well as those that can be marketed for redevelopment.