Pearson trail 1

The walking and fitness trail at Preston Toyota Pearson Park Walking Trail was just redone this summer through a donation by the dealership.

Pearson Park in Neshannock Township will soon be getting upgrades that include handicapped accessibility, a new pavilion, gazebo and restrooms.

Two baseball fields at the park also will undergo renovations.

The Lawrence County Planning Commission at its monthly meeting Wednesday in Neshannock Township reviewed land development plans for the park project, for an Ellwood City printing business and for an addition to a car wash on Taylor Street in the city of New Castle.

The township supervisors have submitted plans for construction of two pavilions including the gazebo, a restroom and additional parking areas.

A new surface also is to be added to the ball fields. 

Supervisor Leslie Bucci, who attended the meeting, said the project started out with plans to seek grants to buy playground equipment, but instead, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources asked for a park master plan. The township learned that grants were available for Americans With Disabilities Act improvements, and the township learned there are sections of the park that don’t quite fit the law, she said.

The township thus received a $150,000 grant through State Rep. Chris Sainato and Sen. Elder Vogel to do a master plan for the park and the Hess complex, she said. “The recommendation (for the park) was to replace a shelter to make it ADA accessible, and also to change the gazebo and replace the restrooms.”

She said that the two ball fields will be resurfaced with crushed red brick for drainage, replacing the existing clay, so that in the event of rain the field will be more ready for play.

She said that 30 to 40 parking spaces also will be added in the park.

The land development for Thought Process Enterprises Inc. is for the construction of a new building for the Ellwood City printing company and invitation shop, to be located at the intersection of Lawrence Avenue and Seventh Street.

The building owner, Keith Venesie, who owns the Color Center across from the borough municipal building, is proposing to build a 6,864-square-foot building. The property is zoned for the downtown commercial district. An engineer representing the company attended the meeting. 

The lot is where the former People’s Bank was located and that building has been razed. 

The Ellwood City Planning Commission has approved the plan, pending review of the county planning commission.

In the city of New Castle, a 172-square-foot addition is planned for an automatic free bay at the Squeeky Kleen Auto Spa, a car wash on Taylor Street at Pearson Street. Planning commission members expressed concern about the possible stacking of cars on the street waiting to go through the car wash. 

The plans show that the car wash entry will be designed to allow a waiting line in one or more lanes for at least eight cars. The plan does not show the capacity in the waiting areas, according to the commission’s review.


Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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