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Harmar holds line on taxes while maintaining services

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Harmar's real estate tax rate will be the same in 2014.

Supervisors on Monday night gave final approval to a $2.53 million budget that will be partially funded by a real estate tax rate of 3.7 mills.

Officials said they were able to hold the line on taxes while not cutting services.

One item in the budget is about $100,000 set aside for street paving in the 5.9-square-mile township.

The budget passed on a 3-0 vote with Michael Hillery, Jerry Chalmers and Linda Slomer voting in favor.

Supervisors Robert Exler and Kim Toney were absent.

In a response to a resident's question, solicitor Charles Means said supervisors can reopen the budget and readjust the millage rate before Feb. 15.

Hillery, the chairman, will be replaced on the board by Patricia Janosky.

All other board members will remain the same for the upcoming two-year cycle.

SwiftReach

Supervisors approved a resolution to enter into an agreement with SwiftReach, a community alert system, that will cost the township about $1,400 next year.

Under the program, residents and businesses can register for the program and be notified by telephone, text message or email in the event of emergencies such as weather events, closed roads, water main breaks, or adjustments in trash pickup schedules.

Means said he wanted to meet with emergency officials to “clarify some language” in the proposed contact before the program begins.

No start date for the program has been determined.

Residents will be contacted with details for the voluntary program.

In other business

• The township's reorganization meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday.

A new chairman and vice chairman will be selected.

Meeting dates for 2014 also will be determined.

• Supervisors on Jan. 16 are expected to vote on raising the sewage rates by 5 percent.

Officials said the Allegheny Valley Joint Sanitary Authority raised rates for member municipalities for 2014.

• Supervisors accepted a $700 grant from Curtiss Wright, Inc. to upgrade computer systems in township police cars and to provide equipment used to enforce laws relating to large, overweight commercial vehicles.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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