2014 MIP Student Participants
The following students completed the 2014 Municipal Intern Program.
Molly worked with the ReClaim South Green Task Force, providing program management support to a cooperative project dealing with blight and abandonment. In addition, Molly developed a Sewer Fund Debt Analysis by researching and analyzing existing and future capital costs of the sanitary system.
Joe utilized GIS technology for identification and classification of tax delinquent and blighted properties in Butler County. He also assisted the Redevelopment Authority in addressing a back log of tax delinquent properties on the judicial slate list that was more than 15 years old. Joe compiled an atlas detailing delinquent parcels by street address and photo, helping the Redevelopment Authority work with county representatives using a systematic approach.
Joe developed a business marketing strategy for potential business investors in the Charleroi community. Joe met with community leaders, nonprofits and others documenting incentive opportunities to be marketed through the community business incubator project. Through Joe’s coordination, the final design of promotional materials are in place to launch the project web site, print and social media components providing coordinated incentives for potential businesses investors considering location to Charleroi.
Joshua Cross | California University | Clairton, Allegheny County
Josh worked with the city manager and the code enforcement officer creating a list of blighted and abandoned buildings for blight mitigation projects. His work included building inspection, violation notification, preparation for public hearing, Act 90 notifications, mapping properties through GIS, and demolition assisting in the preparation of land bank properties.
Tara created a city-wide data catalog, working with departmental directors and system administrators identifying and organizing data resources. Tara worked with a number of stakeholders, including city departments, regional leaders and community champions to cultivate the appropriate information. In addition to the development of the system, Tara also provided technical assistance and training to department directors and staff. The completed Open Data Management Project provides a working foundation for future city data systems. The information Tara cataloged will be used as a model of integrated technology in informing regional policy decisions.
Amanda assisted with the codification and digital organization of the borough’s records including ordinances, land parcel holdings and street sign inventory into a searchable database. In addition, Amanda created a new borough website promoting Donora and its amenities linking important resource information for community use. Amanda’s work assisted the borough’s administrator in management of numerous necessary tasks, such as grant research and development and MS4 permitting requirements for Donora.
Jie took the lead in the updating and expanding the use of the borough’s existing GIS system. Reporting directly to the building/zoning officer, Jie’s project utilized ERSI Arc GIS Software and resulted in numerous maps improving collaboration with the general public in the sharing of land and land use information.
Bill began his internship by reviewing existing documentation of tax delinquent Greenville properties. Bill compiled a statistical report from existing documents which analyzed various factors associated with delinquency for his supervisors. This report was used as a benchmark for his next steps working in the field visiting, photographing and documenting data for delinquent properties on site. Bill also researched the tax collection process at the county level to improve coordination of collections between the Greenville and Allegheny County. Bill’s final report and recommendations are helping the Greenville review its tax collection process and financial position.
Laura took an existing Excel data file of property and tax information, and converted it into a formal Access database. This organized information enables efficiency in future tax collection and organization of property data and enhances the effectiveness of the township’s Zoning and Ordinance and Public Safety departments. Laura reported directly to the zoning and enforcement officer and had regular interaction with public safety officials, nonprofits and housing authorities building a master property database.
Ruhi began her work by going into the field measuring and documenting Millvale’s streets. Her work evaluated the borough’s 9 miles of roads, including characteristics such as street condition, ramps, inlets and drains. This information was transferred into a data base which provided enhanced analysis utilizing a weighted average rating system. Using this information, Ruhi provided a budget for pavement repair recommendations for targeted years. In addition, Ruhi provided measurements for meeting requirements of ADA compliant sidewalk ramps, as well as contributed toward a full inventory of Millvale street signs.
Nicole completed the database of city owned properties with maps, pictures and site descriptions. She also compiled a database of properties along the Shenago River for the Pedestrian Riverwalk Project. Nicole completed New Castle’s silver status for the Sustainability Community Certification. Nicole’s recommendations for properties will assist in the divesting of city-owned, tax-exempt properties, while redirecting economic development to market the city in the future.
Joe inspected and recorded site-data related to Ohio Township’s storm water system. Data collected included infrastructure, such as inlets and manholes, and noting maintenance issues in the field. Joe worked closely with township staff collecting information and then importing data into the township’s GIS software program. Joe’s work gave him valuable experience in Ohio Township’s operations and MS4 reporting experience with township engineers.
Walking Penn Hills, Claire photographed existing storm sewers, providing a geotag location of inflow and outflow points, as required by the MS4 project. This information used in conjunction with GIS software, provided the mapping system for MS4 requirements, as well as for future public works projects with in Penn Hills. Additionally, Claire’s review of the Penn Hills Sustainability Certification provided an enhanced understanding of the public works department’s important role in the existing Penn Hill’s certification.
Annette prepared a technology assessment to research and buy a new communication system for the borough’s offices. In addition to helping with technology needs, Annette began a review of borough documents to help in establishing a database of rental properties. Annette also provided grant research on potential funding sources in support of upcoming capital improvement projects in Rankin.
Natalie updated the township’s 20-year-old, 1994 Employee Handbook. The revised handbook lists expectations for the township and its employees in rules, policies and benefits, providing better guidance for employee. In addition, Natalie assisted in daily township operations and was exposed to all facets of municipal government.
Victor’s project involved upgrading Sharpsburg’s zoning ordinances so they are consistent with its multi-municipal comprehensive plan. Victor reviewed existing land-use documents and provided recommendations to the zoning ordinance committee. Victor’s work also involved creating a newly drafted wireless communication facilities ordinance, which is being reviewed by the borough staff. Victor’s experience included participating in multiple meetings with Alcosan, the county’s water and sewage authority, and the state Department of Transportation, as well as state Rep. Dom Costa, D-34th.
Joe reviewed community blight and designed a database of the information. The data was then linked with a GIS program and then analyzed all the information to evaluate past and predict future blight trends within the township. Joe then worked with community officials on local blight legislation to mitigate blight trends in the community.
Danny contributed to the documentation and photographing of Wilkinsburg’s vacant properties. Working with property owners, Danny developed plans for each property. Danny’s work in Wilkinsburg has also involved preparing the information necessary to pursue legal remedies for vacant properties when appropriate. Through his work, Danny provided a variety of blight remediation strategies for borough.
Sarah reviewed multiple years of duplicate paper records, sorted and reorganized the file room for the township. Sarah digitized selected township records creating links to the information on the townships newly created website. In addition, Sarah assisted in the preparation of resolutions for the townships adoption providing new regulations for the oil and gas industry. Sarah provided supporting documentation for recently received grant funds in preparation for equipment purchases and documentation for the grant.