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Second Avenue Residents Think Lighting at Cribbs Field in Verona is "Unnecessary"

Residents spoke up at a special Verona Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Some Second Avenue residents in Verona don't want light poles at Cribbs Field because they say it'll increase annoyance and decrease their property values.

Officials previously had agreed to install light poles around the field near the intersection of South Avenue and Athletic Street, but because there was some opposition by residents, they held a special meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

There would be about six light poles—three at the first base line and three at the third base line with five lights or so per pole. Officials stressed the lights are not stadium-type lights and would have shields to avoid overflow into the residential neighborhood.

The poles would be donated to the borough and installed by Duquesne Light, and the Riverview Athletic Association would work to obtain grants to buy the actual lights.

Councilman Dom Conte said teams currently have to call games halfway through because it gets dark. If lights are installed, it would give teams the opportunity to finish their games, and lights would be turned off no later than 10 p.m.

"It's exciting for the kids to play at night," he said.

Resident Al Raimondi said the lights only would benefit the Riverview Athletic Association and not the the residents of Verona.

"You represent the people of Verona, not RAA," he told council.

Raimondi and a handful of other residents said they would encounter parking problems, lighting problems, loud noises and disturbances later on into the night.

He said if the fields stay open later, so would the basketball courts and the playground.

"I enjoy the hurrahs, but there's a time when I want to relax," Raimondi said.

Residents said there currently is a conduct problem at the park, and children from other neighborhoods are disrupting Verona residents. Many said their cars have been vandalized and inquired about the borough's insurance policy.

Councilwoman Sandra Drabicki-Bell said it's illegal for officials to prohibit nonresidents from using the park.

Mayor Dave Ricupero said he would make sure the police look into the issues at the park to try to correct some of the problems.

Councilwoman Peggy Suchevich said she thinks the lights would be a nice thing for the borough.

"It's 2011," she said. "We need to utilize what we have to the best of our ability."

Resident Paul Dachille disagreed.

"It's not needed and it's not necessary," he said.

Officials said they would look into the residents' concerns and discuss the matter further at the July 12 council meeting, which will be at 7 p.m. at the borough building.

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