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Trafford sewage costs rising; tax rate steady

| Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Trafford residents will have to pay more for sewage treatment next year, but council doesn't plan to increase the property-tax rate.

Under the fee schedule Trafford Council approved Tuesday night, the minimum quarterly sewage bill will increase from $68.34 to $75.15 for residential properties.

Most of the increase relates to revenues being raised by the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, which is preparing for a multibillion-dollar construction project mandated by the federal government.

On the consumption portion of a ratepayer's bill, the charge will go from $26.04 per quarter to $30.30 for the first 6,000 gallons of water used per quarter.

The authority's 17-percent consumption-fee increase next year will be followed by 11-percent increases annually in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Meanwhile, Trafford Council increased the quarterly service charge for account administration from $9.60 to $12.03.

The minimum maintenance charge of $32.82 will not change, despite council's plan to seek financing to fund its own federally mandated sewage project.

As for the 2014 budget, council plans to keep the property-tax rate at 28.5 mills, Councilman John Daykon said.

Council approved the borrowing of a tax-anticipation loan for up to $150,000 to help the borough pay its bills until tax revenues start coming in during the spring.

Manager Jeff McLaughlin said officials plan to have a small surplus in the 2014, but he didn't specify the amount.

One of the biggest changes will be the addition in January of a fourth full-time public works employee, Louis Corrales, who has been working part-time for the department.

Daykon recommended that council members review the expenses for their respective committees and give any feedback to McLaughlin.

Small municipalities, like Trafford, need to maximize their revenues where possible, Daykon said.

“We need to look at everywhere where we can save costs,” he said.

Council is slated to vote on the budget Dec. 17. Daykon said the preliminary budget will be posted online at www.traffordpa.com.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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