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No tax increase planned in Scottdale

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:03 p.m.

Scottdale Borough Council approved a $1.69 million tentative 2014 budget that reflects no real estate tax increase for property owners.

The liquid fuels budget is set at $97,000.

“The liquid fuels budget is what we are allotted each year based on miles of road and population,” said Angelo Pallone, borough manager. “The money will be used for electric and maintenance of street lights and the remaining money will be used for paving.”

Council will vote on the 2014 budgets at its Dec. 9 meeting.

In other business this week, council voted to have a “Children at Play” sign erected on Second Street after it received a petition from residents along the roadway.

“This is a situation where we are helping the neighborhood,” Councilman Jim Pallygus said.

The paving projects for the year have been completed. Council Vice President Bud Santimyer said he approves of the way the streets were finished.

“They flared it out at the intersections,” Santimyer said. “I thought that it was nice instead of making a straight cut up the streets.”

Council also passed a motion to have Pallone look into the cost of erecting a wooden or metal fence around the front of the Eagles building, located on South Broadway, addressing safety concerns there.

“We're going to have to do something,” Councilwoman Joan Brown said. “It's getting worse and something is going to happen.”

Council protection committee asked borough police to monitor the parks more closely.

“We asked them to patrol the parks,” Brown said. “We asked them to get out and walk the parks to make sure there is no vandalism and to work the gazebo area.”

Council asked Pallone to explore the cost of cameras for the gazebo park, a request from the parks and recreation committee.

“We had six incidents in a two, two and a half week period,” Pallone said of vandalism in the park. “With all that money spent there, we need to protect it.”

Council also agreed that in the future, all parade routes will be protected and closed off with wooden horses for safety reasons.

Council accepted the proposed amendment to a storm water grant to include an additional $44,000 that was allotted to the storm water control project for work proposed along Graft Alley.

“If the property owners say no then that money will not be used for Graft Alley,” Pallone explained. Pallone said a few property owners along the route had questions and concerns about the project.

Council voted to extend the handicap curb project until spring due to the cold weather keeping the contractors from acquiring the needed asphalt, which is no longer available this year.

“We can't do it now because we can't get the asphalt for the intersection,” Pallone said.

Council asked Pallone to request a completed 2011-12 audit of financial statement from the Scottdale Volunteer Fire Department and records to date for this year for the borough's 2014 budget review.

Council announced leaf collection will be extended through Dec. 3.

The present medical benefits for the police department and borough employees will be switched to Highmark from UPMC effective Dec. 1 through Nov. 30, 2014.

There will be free parking in the borough from Thanksgiving Day through Jan. 2.

Council voted to participate in the 2014 G-7 Conference.

Scottdale's Winter Light Celebration will be held from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 7.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.