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Apollo officials want to collect fee for rental units

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By George Guido
Friday, March 28, 2014, 1:31 a.m.

Apollo officials want to start collecting a license fee for rental properties in the borough.

The $50 yearly fee would be levied on most rental units under a proposed ordinance amendment. Landlords would be responsible for paying the fee each year.

Exempt would be hotels and motels, nursing homes and multi-housing complexes regulated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Earlier ordinances mandating inspections when tenants are changed and a registry of all borough rental properties will remain intact. The portions of the ordinance requiring a landlord living more than 15 miles from Apollo to designate a rental unit manager will remain unchanged.

Landlords and other residents will have a chance to comment on the proposed fee at a public meeting set for April 17 in the borough building at 7 p.m.

Council hopes to vote on a final draft of the ordinance on May 22.

Sewage update

Apollo officials are waiting for Kiski Township to wrap up its portion of the sewage project.

Project engineer Rich Craft said Kiski officials recently gave their contractor a 30-day extension into mid-April to finish the township's installation program that affects about 34 customers.

Kiski Township gave homeowners a 90-day extension to tap in, taking that phase into mid-July.

Meanwhile, Apollo is not getting the remaining money from PennVEST until Kiski Township's portion is finished.

Apollo is not getting adequate revenue to pay the monthly $2,400 loan payment.

Options include raising the $28 quarterly fee or paying on the First Commonwealth Bank line of credit, taken out to get the project started.

A third option is to move money from elsewhere in the borough's general fund.

Council President Cynthia Virostek will convene a finance committee meeting soon to determine which option to adopt.

Cleanup Saturday

Apollo's spring cleanup day will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Apollo Plaza.

Volunteers can register in the plaza to receive their assignments.

Participants should bring shovels, rakes and brooms labeled with their names, along with heavy duty garbage bags and gloves. Students will receive six hours of community service credits.The borough will donate mulch for the plaza gardens.Rain date is April 5.

For more information, call the cleanup hotline at 724-478-6025.

The Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation and the Apollo Area Business Association are sponsoring the event.

In other business

• Council rejected two bids to buy a backhoe because it felt the advertising for the bids was unclear.

Walsh Equipment proposed almost $27,000 for a 2003 unit and Richard Martin bid $23,000 for a 1997 model.

• The borough will hold tag days at the plaza on April 20 and June 14, hoping to acquire funds for the July 4 fireworks display.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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