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Springdale wants to entice volunteers with wage and property tax credits

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, 7:00 p.m.

Volunteer firefighters and paramedics in Springdale could soon get breaks on their property and earned income taxes.

As proposed, active and eligible volunteers could receive a 20 percent credit on borough property taxes and a tax credit of up to $200 on the borough's earned income tax.

Council is expected to consider an ordinance granting the credits when it meets Tuesday. It also is expected to take up separate ordinances covering regulations for canvassing and soliciting, and creating a no-parking area on part of Remaley Street.

A 2016 state act allows municipalities to adopt a tax credit for volunteer firefighters and emergency medical service providers.

The goal of Springdale's program is to encourage membership and service in the community's volunteer fire companies and nonprofit emergency medical service agencies.

The annual cost of replacing those volunteers with paid providers statewide has been estimated at $6 billion.

Volunteers would have to meet certain requirements to receive the credits.

They would have to be borough residents who served as an active volunteer with a volunteer fire company or nonprofit emergency medical agency for the entire preceding calendar year.

Fire chiefs and EMS supervisors would have to keep records of each volunteer's activities in a service log for borough council's review. Volunteers would have to apply to their chief or supervisor for the credits.

The ordinance includes provisions for volunteers injured during an emergency response.

Canvassing and soliciting

Springdale Council is considering amendments to its regulations covering canvassing and soliciting.

According to Councilman Mike Ziencik, the only change being made is to institute a $25 fee for registration certificates.

The proposed ordinance says those wishing to canvass or solicit in the borough would have to get a registration certificate from the police chief.

The $25 fee is per person, per day.

Registration certificates would have to be carried at all times when in the borough. Canvassers and solicitors would have to display them to residents they visit and show it to any borough resident or official upon request.

Canvassing and soliciting would not be permitted between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. On Sundays, both would be permitted only between noon and 7 p.m.

Canvassers and solicitors would have to honor no solicitation and no trespassing signs.

No parking on Remaley

A proposed ordinance would prohibit parking on one side of Remaley Street, which is a dead-end street where the borough's water treatment plant is located.

If enacted, parking would not be allowed on the right-hand side of Remaley beginning at Colfax Street to the dead end.

Parking on the opposite side, from the dead end to Colfax, would not be affected.

Violators would face a $30 fine, if paid within 72 hours. Ignoring the fine could cost the offender a trip before a district judge and further fines up to $300 per infraction.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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