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South Fayette taxes going up; firefighters could see tax break

| Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, 12:39 p.m.

Property taxes are going up for South Fayette residents next year.

Township commissioners on Dec. 13 approved the nearly $11.59 million budget with a 0.25-mill increase — to 4.73 mills. The 2017 budget set expenditures at $10.8 million.

Last month, township Manager Ryan Eggleston told the board the additional $528,000 generated from the property tax hike partly will be directed toward hiring two new officers.

The police department's budget goes from less than $3 million in 2017 to just more than $3.4 million in 2018.

However, volunteer firefighters in South Fayette may see their tax bill go down next year.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on a tax credit for members of the township's four volunteer fire companies.

Members meeting activity criteria set by the township will be eligible for an earned income tax credit of up to $300, and a 20-percent discount on property taxes.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the tax credit at their next meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. Jan.10.

Ellie Faye

While the township plans to hire two new police officers in 2018, one new officer joined the force earlier this month, and her name has finally been revealed.

Ellie Faye is South Fayette's new scent-tracking dog. The almost eight-month old bloodhound officially joined the department, and her new partner Mike Wesolek.

Wesolek chose the name Ellie Faye from the 1,002 submissions from township residents.

Police Chief John Phoennik said Ellie Faye has a little more training to complete.

“She doesn't require much training because she is just going to do what she does naturally,” Phoennik said.

Ellie Faye will help the department track people, be they missing persons or crime suspects.

She has also settled into her new home with Wesolek. Township spokeswoman Andrea Iglar said Ellie Faye has become great friends with the Wesolek family's other dog.

Eric Eisert is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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