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East McKeesport seeks water authority audit

| Friday, May 10, 2013, 3:01 a.m.

East McKeesport council voted unanimously on Thursday to call for a forensic audit of the Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport.

East McKeesport and other municipalities tied into the McKeesport system want to know if there is an effect on local rates of a $1 million host fee assessed from MACM by the city of McKeesport.

East McKeesport is tied in to MACM and Allegheny County Sanitary Authority.

MACM board president Nick Shermenti insisted the fee is covered by a surplus and increased rates are needed to cover the cost of system improvements mandated under state Act 537.

Borough administrator-secretary Connie Rosenbayger said East McKeesport's estimated share of the $10,000-$11,000 cost of the audit is $753. The cost is pro-rated and based on sewage user fees.

Also, it was announced that police Chief Russell Stroschein will be back on Monday after an emergency leave.

“(Patrolman Scott Lowden) has done a tremendous job (as acting chief),” council police committee chairman Donna Ferrainolo said. “The department ran very smoothly.”

Patrolman Eric Hess was an interim sergeant during Stroschein's absence. The two officers led a force that arrested 10 adults in April, Mayor Robert Howard reported.

Other roles by borough police included a Tuesday “prom pledge” assembly also conducted by North Versailles officers at East Allegheny High School, and roles in last week's commemoration at the Allegheny County Law Enforcement Memorial.

Two officers took part in a color guard while Lowden read names at the ceremony.

Council recognized United Volunteer Fire & Rescue as a nonprofit service organization, an act needed for the company to conduct raffles and other small games of chance allowed by state law.

Council OK'd buying a $350 television set, mount and shelf for the Senior Citizens Center. It ended a 90-day probationary period for code enforcement officer Jamie Dinkfelt.

Council approved sending Dinkfelt, Ferrainolo and Elizabeth Kozub to a Local Government Academy “Understanding the Tools in the Fight Against Blight” program at the Fallowfield Township YMCA. Rosenbayger will be a presenter there.

Also Thursday, engineer Don Glenn said the deadline is May 24 for applications to Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments for Year 40 Community Development Block Grant funding.

Solicitor Dan Beisler said a house slated for demolition at 634 Larimer Ave. had been sold — and the new owners cannot be found. The borough will post a sign warning that it is a dangerous structure.

In response to calls from residents, tax collector Robert Ferrainolo said his office needs to be told by Allegheny County about changes in assessments before the borough can refund overpaid taxes.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or