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Homestead council moves ahead with spending plan

| Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 2:06 a.m.

Homestead council is moving forward on the borough's 2014 spending plan, and on Thursday voted to advertise next year's budget and tax rate.

Although budgetary numbers and a proposed tax rate were not available at the meeting, borough manager Ian McMeans said the ordinances setting those figures will be advertised two weeks in advance of the Dec. 12 council meeting.

The budget is expected to be larger than the current spending plan, which is $3.9 million.

One factor that will affect the tax rate is the recent voter referendum that adds a .33-mill real estate tax to fund the Carnegie Library of Homestead.

McMeans couldn't say at the meeting whether there will be any additional adjustment to the tax rate but said the borough hopes to see new revenues through a recent update to the municipality's service fee schedule.

On the expenditure side, McMeans said a forthcoming 17 percent rate hike by the borough's sanitation provider, Alcosan, will add about $100,000 in projected costs to the 2014 budget.

Right now, Homestead allocates about $550,000 for sanitation. Next year, the allocation will be around $650,000.

Homestead Mayor Betty Esper told residents at the meeting to brace for the rate increase.

“Just be prepared,” she said.

Rate payers will see the sewage rate increase starting in January when bills are sent by the borough's billing agent, the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments.

In other news, borough officials noted at the meeting that TVs and other electronic goods are being left on curbs and piling up in alleys since a state law that aims to keep such items out of landfills took effect earlier this year. Electronic waste must be disposed through agencies that will facilitate recycling of such materials. McMeans said locations including Best Buy in the Waterfront will accept old electronic goods for recycling.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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