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Harmar supervisors hear pit bull concerns

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By George Guido
Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, 1:36 a.m.

Supervisors say they hope unleashed pit bulls in one Harmar neighborhood don't become a township-wide problem.

Residents from the School Avenue area complained to supervisors on Thursday night about dogs attacking at least two residents of that street.

Those same residents asked supervisors to review existing ordinances and to consider enacting stricter ordinances to protect the elderly and small children.

Solicitor Charles Means said municipalities aren't permitted to prohibit specific breeds.

But when a dog attacks a person or another dog twice, charges can be filed against the owner.

One resident who said she was bitten said police and a state dog law official said her incident can't be considered in the process of declaring a dog dangerous since the attack didn't require stitches.

At least two School Avenue homes reportedly have pit bulls.

Supervisors Chairman Mike Hillery said he will review Harmar ordinances with code officials.

Means advised the neighbors to meet with their state representatives to change state dog laws.

Budget to be delayed

Supervisors indicated that they will be pushing the deadline to pass a township budget for next year.

That's because they are waiting for Allegheny County to release new reassessment figures.

That's not expected to happen until about Dec. 17.

The township isn't permitted to raise real estate taxes more than 105 percent from this year's, unless a court order is obtained.

Township officials say any increase would be within that limit.

With higher property values from this year's reassessment, residents should be paying about the same amount of money for taxes next year.

Millage in many municipalities will have to be lowered to prevent Allegheny County municipalities from receiving a windfall.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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