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O'Hara could maintain tax rate for 11th time

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

If O'Hara Council approves the township's $17 million budget as proposed, residents would skirt a tax increase for the 11th consecutive year.

The tentative 2014 plan would hold the property tax rate at 1.725 mills, the same as this year.

If approved, the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would again pay a tax bill of $172.50.

Council recently approved a $1 million donation to the new community center to be built along Powers Run Road. That money brings the total for next year's capital improvement budget to $7.8 million.

Other highlights of proposed spending include $4.1 million on sewer upgrades, $2 million on parks, $725,000 on roads and $375,000 on a new engine for Parkview Volunteer Fire Department.

Several small projects are scheduled throughout the township parks next year, township manager Julie Jakubec said. Council approved $10,000 to replace the plumbing at Squaw Valley restrooms and another $65,000 over the next five years to reseal the tennis and basketball courts at Meadow, Squaw, Woodland, Schafer and Sacco parks.

Council approved $3.5 million in the sewer budget to pay for the East Little Pine Creek project, which will replace three failing pump stations with one new one. It will serve the residents of the Dorseyville Road area with reliable sewer lines where they now use failing septic systems.

About $100,000 will be dedicated to cleaning and upgrading sewerage lines throughout the entire municipality as part of the consent decree from the Allegheny County Health Department and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

At the municipal complex, a new HVAC system will cost about $200,000. The new heating and air-conditioning unit will replace one from 1995 that is becoming too expensive to maintain, Jakubec said.

Council approved the purchase of at least four vehicles for the public works and police departments. About $75,000 is set aside to replace a truck and chipper, both from 2004, for public works. Police will get a new Dodge Charger and an SUV to replace 2012 models. Cost is expected to be about $98,000.

Council could take a final vote on the 2014 budget during its meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 10.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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