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Vandergrift Council holds line on taxes at 28 mills

| Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, 12:11 a.m.

Vandergrift Council on Monday night approved a $2.1 million budget for next year that keeps the real estate tax rate at 28 mills.

The borough's 2014 budget is just $20,000 more than this year.

Council also approved a $200,000 tax anticipation loan from First Commonwealth Bank at a 1.75 percent interest rate.

Council had to reduce the annual $12,000 contribution to the two borough volunteer fire departments to $6,000.

That's because the previous workers' compensation underwriter dropped the borough because of a new provision mandating that firefighters be given cancer coverage.

Vandergrift had to opt for state coverage, which costs $20,000, up from the $14,000 paid to its previous insurer.

Council President Brian Carricato said no private insurance companies are underwriting municipalities with fire companies.

The borough then moved $6,000 from the typical fire company donations to pay for the increased cost.

Landlord ordinance

Council on Jan. 6 is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would require any landlord who doesn't live within 15 miles of Vandergrift to hire a manager who lives within the 15-mile range.

The same requirement would be in effect if a corporation or partnership owns rental property.

Landlords would be required to furnish new renters with the most recent inspection report by borough code-enforcement officials.

Landlords could be compelled to furnish the borough with copies of leases upon request, and any sale of rental property would require the seller to notify borough officials within three days.

Retiring truck driver lauded

Councilman Vern Sciullo congratulated retiring borough truck driver Howard Hunter for his 33 years of service.

“Howard's done a good job for the borough,” Sciullo said.

Sciullo added that those wanting to apply for Hunter's job must do so by the end of the month. Council expects to hire a new driver on Feb. 3.

George Guido is a Trib Total Media freelance writer.

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