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Collier officials reassure residents about taxes

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Some Collier Township residents expressed concerns last week that their taxes would increase in coming years to pay for a $3 million bond that will go in part toward alleviating storm-water issues, but officials say they have no plans to do so.

The township will float the bond, secured late last year, over 15 years. Officials plan for it to go toward storm-water runoff problems and several unexpected expenses related to construction of the township's new recreation center.

At the time, township manager Sal Sirabella said there would be no foreseeable tax increase for at least the next three years.

Lisa Lonerio, of Delfred Street, pressed commissioners on whether this meant taxes would go up in three years.

“Taxes haven't been raised in Collier in 26 years,” commission President George Macino said.

He said commissioners have no plans to increase taxes, and the bond is paid back through normal township revenue.

Sirabella said he misspoke, as he has no control over setting tax rates and does not have a vote on the commission.

At least three storm-water runoff management projects planned for the bond money are in the Cubbage Hill and Prestley Heights area. Lonerio said she did not want to see tax money used to fix problems coming from Prestley Heights.

Residents in the Cubbage Hill area have been pressing township officials since July to take action against Hiroo Patel and his company, Tri-State Design and Development.

They said his Prestley Heights development, which straddles the Collier and Carnegie border, caused flooding that damaged homes and property.

Officials said at the February commission meeting that the township would not be taking action against Patel, and residents seeking damages would have to do so on their own.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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