Export Borough pays off engineering debt

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Export Council has paid off all of its debt to its engineering firm.

The borough owed more than $100,000 in past-due engineering bills to Gibson-Thomas, dating back a decade. After paying off the bulk of the bills in July, the fee related to a bridge inspection was still in contention.

Council paid about $11,000 to the Latrobe-based firm last month as part of an agreement to clear the register of the bills. The payment was for the $22,000 required inspection of two bridges along Kennedy Avenue. Though borough officials said they think the bills had been paid, documentation of the payment was wasn't found, solicitor Wes Long said.

“On a $3.1 million project, it's a difficult and burdensome task to find that paperwork,” Long said. “If we pay half, we have totally paid Gibson-Thomas for everything we owed.”

In July, the borough agreed to a deal with the firm to pay 50 percent of the outstanding balance. The nearly $52,000 payment wiped out bills dating back to the early 2000s.

Council agreed that it was important to end the year with a clean financial slate. A 1.4-mill tax rate increase approved in 2010 was earmarked to help pay those bills off. Councilman Stanley Mahinske said it was time the borough got out of debt.

Vehicles to be towed

Borough officials reiterated that a parked car in must have a valid registration and inspection to be left on the street.

Last month, Councilman Lou McQuaide complained about three cars that had been parked along Madison Avenue for at least six months. Some had new registration stickers but all had expired inspections.

Long said that's not going to fly in the borough.

“A vehicle has to have both (current registrations and inspections) to be considered legal,” he said. “A ‘junk' vehicle lacks either, not both.”

Emergency plan

Borough officials are working with Murrysville officials to incorporate Export in the municipal emergency response plan.

Long said municipal officials asked the borough to be involved in its revised plan. Murrysville surrounds Export on all sides and has a mutual aid agreement with the borough.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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