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Shaler keeps tax rate consistent for 2018

| Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, 1:54 p.m.

Shaler commissioners Dec. 12 approved the township's 2018 budget, which keeps the tax rate at 2.49 mills.

Township Manager Tim Rogers said the municipality will start the year with approximately $3.2 million.

“The short story is, revenues, property taxes are relatively flat. Earned income tax continues to show small increases, as well as all of the intergovernmental revenues, interest revenues, charge for services. In as much, there are no tax increases, there are no rate increases provided by the township.”

He mentioned that the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority would issue a 7.5 percent rate increase for 2018 and 7 percent for 2019 through 2021, as part of the authority's agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Allegheny County Health Department for Clean Water Act compliance.

Also at the meeting:

• The commissioners passed a resolution for a source reduction study, as part of an Allegheny County Health Department administrative consent order. Rogers said ALCOSAN drafted the resolution in collaboration with 3 Rivers Wet Weather, a nonprofit addressing the region's wet weather overflow issue.

“This resolution allows us to be in compliance with what we are already doing, which is to try to reduce our inflow and infiltration into the sanitary sewer system,” he said.”

Township engineer Matt Sebastian said that the study highlights Shaler's compliance efforts throughout the previous five years, including the municipality's extensive pipe-lining work.

Rogers said the township is planning a $100,000 manhole-lining project, based on recommendations from Sebastian and consulting engineers.

Furthermore, employees will perform smoke testing, “where you throw smoke bombs in sanitary sewer systems, and you watch where smoke comes out of the ground,” he said.

• Sebastian said the township is continuing its Fall Run Park renovations around the waterfall. Next week, contractors plan to install a viewing platform. The crew will work its way out of the park, restoring the trail as long as weather permits.

• The commissioners voted to promote Amanda Jennings from accounting clerk to assistant. They re-appointed the following: Erin Bartkins as township treasurer at a fee of $200 per month, with a term expiring Jan. 1, 2022; John Rihn as deputy emergency management coordinator, with a term expiring Jan. 1, 2021; and Tim Rogers as a Hampton Shaler Water Authority board member, with a term expiring Dec. 31, 2022.

Commissioner James Boyle mentioned that Rogers' board position alternates between Hampton and Shaler representatives each five-year term.

“It being (composed of) three Hamptonites and two Shalerites, they appointed Mr. Rogers as chairman of the board. I think that has a lot to say about what he knows about the water company and his involvement in overall government. And I think he should be applauded for that.”

Shaler Board of Commissioners President David Shutter echoed those sentiments.

“And he's been chairman since its inception and they just can't believe he's been doing the job he's been doing.”

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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