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Charleroi posts tentative budget that reflects no property tax hike

Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Current Charleroi Borough Council president Mark Alterici and past presidents Dave DiPiazza, Ed Uhutch, Regis Carroll and Walter Hopkins were honored at the council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.

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Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 12:36 a.m.
 

Property owners in Charleroi likely will not see a real estate tax increase next year.

Charleroi Borough Council on Thursday approved the tentative 2014 budget that would maintain the real estate tax rate of 42.61 mills. One mill generates about $16,000.

Council President Mark Alterici said council was able to again allot $3,500 to the John K. Tener Library. Council raised its annual donation last year from $1,500 to $3,500.

“We're pleased we were able to continue giving them that amount, because we know how important it is,” Alterici said.

Borough Manager Donn Henderson said the budget's largest expenditures are for the police and streets departments. The borough is patrolled by the Charleroi Regional Police force.

The $1,809,553 proposed spending plan includes the following expenditures: administration, $433,600; police, $626,800; fire protection, $106,500; street department, $549,300; code enforcement, $59,000; commission and association donations, $28,653.

The street department's budget for next year includes an increase of $9,140, because of rising costs related to street lights, road maintenance and employee insurance rates.

Council is expected to vote on a final budget Dec. 12.

A copy of the budget is available for review at the borough building.

Council on Thursday also approved a three-contract with its five full-time street department employees. The employees are members of Teamsters Local 585.

The contract calls for a 3 percent and a 50 cent per hour raise in 2014, and 2 ½ percent raises the last two years of the deal.

Alterici praised the union members for their cooperation, adding it only took about a month to reach an agreement.

“The negotiations were very smooth,” he said.

In other business, Alterici acknowledged five former council presidents he had invited to the meeting.

Alterici posed for a photo with former presidents Ed Uhutch, 1985-86; Dave DiPiazza, 1986-88; Regis Carroll, 1988-1994; and Walter Hopkins, 1994 to 2006. Don Podwika, who served as council president from 1980 to 1983, lives in Florida and could not attend.

Alterici, a 20-year council member, did not seek re-election. Alterici, has served as president since 2006.

“I've learned a lot from you guys,” Alterici said.

Council also:

• Hired Judy Ermlick as a crossing guard, contingent upon passing a background check.

• Agreed to name a street near First Street as Lee Lane, in honor of the Lee family. Council agreed to name a parking lot off Fallowfield Avenue in honor of former mayor Ed Palumbo.

• Approved the removal of a parking meter at the intersection of Third and McKean Avenue.

• Announced there will be free holiday parking on Fridays from Nov. 29 through Jan. 3. There will be free parking daily from Dec. 22 through Jan. 3.

• Agreed to accept letters of interest until 3 p.m. Dec. 4 from residents interested in filling a vacancy on the water authority board.

• Rejected a request by Esther Forsythe for a public accessible handicapped parking space at 114 Prospect Ave.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at swolford@tribweb.com.

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