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Mon City OKs tax installment plan

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 1:11 a.m.

Monongahela residents will be able pay city real estate taxes in installments beginning this year.

At a meeting Wednesday, council approved an ordinance authorizing a three-payment plan. Taxpayers will have to make payments by April 1, May 30 and June 30, under the ordinance, which was recommended by Tax Collector Ramona Mentzer.

In a letter to council, Mentzer said a similar installment plan was enacted last year by the Ringgold School District. She said the school district received $20,000 extra in real estate taxes, crediting the installment plan for the boost in revenue.

In other news, council honored a little boy with a big heart.

Connor Vaccari will celebrate his seventh birthday Feb. 22 by donating his gifts to the city's Community Disaster Fund.

Donna Vaccari, his mother, said each year the family gets together at the start of the year to discuss plans for their birthdays, all of which are in January or February.

“I asked him like I always do,” Vaccari said. “At first, he didn't say anything. Then the next morning, he said, ‘I want to have a party, but I want to donate all of my gifts.'

“He wants to donate all of the toys he gets, so everybody can have something to play with.”

Vaccari was concerned that Connor would have second thoughts after seeing the gifts and possibly want to keep some for himself. But he has maintained his philanthropic stance.

Vaccari established a Facebook page about her son's generosity. It has spawned donations from a number of states and even one from France.

More than 100 toys and $500 has been donated so far, she said.

“I think its totally awesome,” said Aaron Vaccari, Connor's father. “Its great for the community, and I'm proud of him. He has a tremendous heart.

“How many 7-year-olds do you know who would give up their gifts?”

Mayor Bob Kepics commended Connor for his generosity.

The Ringgold Elementary School South first-grader shook hands with each council member, the mayor and other city officials.

The items will be collected through his birthday, and the list, so far, comprises toys, blankets, pajamas and cash.

The cash will be used to purchase gift cards to benefit the relief fund for disaster victims.

Councilman Bill Hess Sr., a firefighter and city emergency management director, offered to take Connor on a fire truck ride.

“I wish other children your age would take the reins and do things like this,” Hess said.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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