Leechburg firefighters seek commitment from borough
By Braden Ashe
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:21 a.m.
Leechburg Council will vote next month on a 20- to 24-year extension of the annual $32,500 appropriation for the Leechburg Volunteer Fire Department.
The vote will determine whether the department will able to buy a fire truck worth between $700,000 and $1.25 million, according to fire Capt. Dave Safranyos.
If approved, council President Tony Defilippi said the funding won't raise taxes on Leechburg residents. They've supported the funding since 1998, when the borough originally signed a support contract with the firefighters.
Without the truck, borough homeowners will face a rise in insurance rates, according to Leechburg Councilman and fire Chief Tom Foster.
“This truck does everything,” he said.
The New Jersey-based Insurance Services Office (ISO) assesses municipalities' firefighting capabilities across the country and assigns subsequent ratings. The lower the number rating, the lower the insurance premiums, Foster said.
The Leechburg Volunteer Fire Department now has one fire truck and a broken aerial ladder. Safranyos said it would cost between $25,000 and $50,000 to repair the ladder.
The desired truck, from fire equipment manufacturer Rosenbauer, features a 101-foot aerial ladder that can be operated from the cab.
“Right now, the closest working aerial is in Vander-grift,” Safranyos said. “That's 10, 15 minutes away. We have several nine-story buildings here and it's really essential to the borough's safety.”
Safranyos said the department raises about $137,000 each year between community donations and state and federal grants, but can only survive with the support it receives from the borough.
Council will vote on the funding extension at its Nov. 19 meeting, when it will present a preliminary 2014 general fund budget. Borough residents will have ten days after that to review and comment on the budget before council votes on Dec. 19 to put the 2014 budget into effect.
Officials at Tuesday's meeting refused to speculate on general fund figures as they continue working to balance the budget.
Areas that still need to be addressed, according to Councilman Dan Logero, are workers' compensation, sewer use and recently awarded contracts.
“Our main concern as we figure out the budget is taxes,” Logero said. “We're going to do everything in our power to not raise them, and I don't think we'll have to.”
In other business
• Shank Sanitation Inc. was awarded Tuesday with a three-year, $461,832 contract to handle Leechburg's garbage services. The Arnold-based company outbid Waste Management for the second time since 2008 for the Leechburg contract.
• Council on Tuesday waived two provisions of the storm water management ordinance to allow the development of a mini storage facility in the former ATI Allegheny Ludlum parking lot.
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Cool chemistry: Programs at Springdale library take inspiration from late science professor
- Instagram builds Oakmont barber’s rep for innovative cuts, ‘hair tattooing’
- Tax law proves its worth by bringing in lost revenue
- 1 remains in hospital after knife fight in New Kensington apartment
- Battle of Fort Hand 235th anniversary to open window into frontier life
- Lower Burrell restaurant’s noise subject of Liquor Control Board hearing
- Winfield Road bridge replacement to begin in 2015
- New Kensington-Arnold lays groundwork for school consolidation
- Allegheny Township supervisors agree to rezone land for farming