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Fox Chapel delays vote on budget

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 9:42 p.m.

Fox Chapel Council was expected to vote on its 2013 budget last week but decided to hold off until next month.

Council member said they are waiting for solid assessment numbers from Allegheny County.

“Because of the uncertainty of county assessments, we want to be clear on what revenue we will receive,” said Borough Manager Gary Koehler.

“We want to put those numbers in the budget and set the tax rate accordingly.”

The borough's tentative budget was OK'd in November, but no millage rate was established.

If council holds the tax rate steady at 2.4 mils, the owner of a home assessed at $200,000 will again pay property taxes of $480.

Koehler said that's what he expects.

“I'm looking for it to be fairly level.”

Council will take a final vote during its meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 21.

A potential increase would be expected to be minimal, Koehler said, and would be instituted only to cover costs of assessment appeals.

Some things for certain in next year's budget include increased spending on road improvements.

Council budgeted $850,000 to upgrade Field Club and Highland roads. Field Club is the second busiest road in the borough, after Squaw Run Road, Koehler said.

The money allotted for road work is up about $250,000 from 2012.

Finance Director Joy Hardt said the borough will continue with its guide rail replacement program, a five-year plan spurred by a state inspection that showed rusted sections.

Council has approved about $100,000 a year to replace the barriers along seven roads and bridges.

Other highlights of the budget include $170,000 for a new 10-ton dump truck for the public works department, $30,000 for a new patrol vehicle for the police department and $14,300 for portable radios.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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