Harmar supervisor floats 2-zone police plan
Harmar Township will be making a counterproposal to contract out police services to neighboring Cheswick Borough.
Cheswick is considering disbanding its police department in a cost-cutting move and have Harmar officers patrol the one-half square mile borough 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But Harmar Supervisors Chairman Michael Hillery said the township would have to hire five part-time officers to satisfy that request.
Instead, Hillery suggests Harmar police divide the coverage area into two zones.
Zone One would cover the area from the Harmar Township building near the Turnpike interchange north to and including Cheswick. Zone Two would be the remainder of Harmar.
Mutual aid pacts with neighboring municipalities would remain intact.
Cheswick officials have scheduled a meeting for Jan. 29 to evaluate police coverage proposals from Harmar, Springdale Borough and Springdale Township.
Hillery reminded residents that supervisors would have to vote on any contract with Cheswick.
Millage going down, but taxes going up
Most Harmar property owners will see a slight increase in real estate taxes this year, although on the surface, it appears the rate decreases.
As a result of the Allegheny County property reassessment and an expected increase in the total value of township property, supervisors had to reduce the tax rate from 2012's rate of 5 mills to avoid reaping a windfall in tax revenue. Tax revenue cannot increase by more than 5 percent during a reassessment.
Officials believe a rate of 3.598 mills in 2013 would bring in the equivalent of 5 mills of taxes in 2012.
However, Supervisors Michael Hillery, Linda Slomer and Jerry Chalmers agreed to set the rate at 3.7 mills.
Supervisors Bob Exler and Kim Toney were opposed; they wanted the rate to be 3.598 mills, or about the same as last year.
One mill in Harmar brings in about $396,500 of revenue.
Under the new format, supervisors could have established a slightly higher rate because there are a number of assessment appeals from township businesses that have yet to be heard by county tax officials.
Hillery, Slomer and Chalmers determined the earlier proposal of 3.598 mills might not have been adequate due to the nearly $108 million worth of business property under appeal.
In other business
• George and Pam Manning of the Allegheny Valley Fire Department gave a report on the first six months of the merger between the Harmar and Springdale township fire departments.
The merged company answered 200 alarms, and there are 38 members on the active roster, including three live-in volunteers at the department's headquarters.
George Manning said a new fire engine will be priced soon as part of a rotation that provides for one new vehicle every 10 years.
The department will seek to sell a 1983 model soon. The new vehicle is estimated to cost at least $300,000.
• Township engineer Larry Seiler said the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has contracted the J.B. Fay Co. to build a bridge along Rich Hill Road over the turnpike.
Work is set to begin in February and should be completed by the end of the construction season.
At least one lane will be open at all times, with the exception of about five nights when the old span will be demolished.
Residents will be notified when the overnight closures will take place.
The bridge is one of eight between the Allegheny Valley and the Route 8 turnpike interchanges that will have to be replaced.
George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Union to work while ATI talks continue
- Police identify Harmar man as victim in Washington Township crash
- Bridge dedicated to mark completion of Butler-Freeport Community Trail
- Ex-church youth leader to face trial for forcing teen girl to have sex
- Oklahoma Borough drilling, supply owner to stand trial for stealing natural gas
- Vandergrift man accused of sexual assault
- 1 dead in Washington Township crash
- ATI contract expires today; union reports no progress in negotiations
- Deer Lakes identifies fired employee after newspaper’s Right to Know request
- Leechburg residents begin holiday lights campaign
- Alle-Kiski Valley seniors get free lift to doctor’s office