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February 21, 2008

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Amy Senopole and Doniele Andrus

Amy Senopole and Doniele Andrus of
Mackin Engineering Company
R.I.D.C. Park West
117 Industry Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1015
Phone: (412) 788-0472
Fax: (412) 787-3588

Conclusion 1: Who determines the "quality" of the document? If people want a more flexible and broad plan, then I think the "quality" drops - it is too subjective. Either plans have to be consistent with ordinances or they don't - there cannot be a grey area here.

Conclusion 2: Who determines what is "good planning"? Communities needs vary - the state should push for municipalities to choose their
consultant based on qualifications PRIOR to grant funding so that the
two entities can develop a scope of work to address their issues. Too often, the consultant is limited by the scope of work in the grant application and therefore the community gets what is "asked for" but not necessarily what they want.

Conclusion 3: I agree that counties need to take on a bigger role in municipal planning / development - particularly to assist with implementation. But what happens when the two have very different ideas for what they want? Whose plan overrides? How do you make these plans "consistent"?

Conclusion 4: More incentives are needed for intergovernmental
cooperation - however they must be realistic and the desire to cooperate should be established prior to funding - too often the communities back out at the end of the planning process. Tax base / revenue sharing is a difficult sell to communities where the township is the one getting the
taxes while the borough / city does not - previous bad blood usually prevents this - how does this benefit the township?

Conclusion 5: I am unsure why the definition of "infrastructure" is so important - how have planning efforts been hampered by the existing definition and what will improve by changing it?

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