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Taxes to hold steady, but some fees could rise in Cranberry

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 3:50 p.m.

Although Cranberry supervisors gave their tentative approval to a 2014 budget that does not raise taxes, residents could still see some increased fees next year.

Township Manager Jerry Andree said that officials likely will revisit in February whether another sewer rate increase is necessary as the township prepares for an expansion at its Brush Creek water treatment plant.

The township raised rates in August, adding about $8 a month to a residential sewage bill.

“I am not optimistic we will be able to keep it at the exact same number,” Andree said. The expansion project still doesn't have a firm price tag, Andree added, though officials have said it could cost $18 million to $20 million.

The nearly 15-year-old plant, which serves sections of Marshall in Allegheny County and New Sewickley in Beaver County, is built to treat 4.5 million gallons of water each day, but is reaching capacity because of growth in the area. The state is requiring expansion.

The township also will end a five-year contract with Waste Management for trash and recycling services in October, and Andree said the township will take bids in the middle of the year, and that could also change rates.

Supervisors on Tuesday gave their first approval to the nearly $25 million budget, which keeps municipal property taxes steady at 13 mills. A final vote is set for Dec. 11.

Andree said the budget contains contractually obligated pay increases and rising health care costs for employees.

Those increases will be offset by taxes collected under Act 511, which include earned income and business privilege taxes. The township expects those taxes to rise $650,000 to $10 million from this year, Andree said.

Among the capital projects the township will oversee, aside from the treatment plant expansion, are an expansion of the township library, part of the municipal building renovation and expansion, and renovations and expansion of the township water park in North Boundary Park.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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