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Scottdale Borough Council OKs budget with no tax hike

| Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, 12:39 p.m.

Scottdale Borough residents will not see an increase in local taxes in 2014.

Council passed a 2014 general fund budget Monday with revenues of $1,693,878.74 and expenditures of $1,692,087.35. The budget showed a surplus of $1,791.41.

A motion also was approved that set the millage rate at 20 mills, which is the borough's current rate.

Borough Manager Angelo Pallone said the final budget was the same as the tentative budget presented last month, except for a $6,000 savings on hospitalization, insurance by switching to Highmark for borough police officers and office staff.

The new insurance began for employees Dec. 1 and Pallone said the switch saves employees from paying out of pocket until November.

Council President Andy Pinskey thanked Pallone as well as all of the borough committees for their hard work on putting the budget together.

“It's something that's very important for the borough and the taxpayers and the fact that we're doing it very efficiently is very, very good,” he said.

In other business, the request of the post office to make the roadway behind the post office a one-way street from Pittsburgh Street to the first intersection and from that intersection to North Chestnut Street and to erect the proper signage and directional arrows was approved.

Council also passed a motion to request reimbursement from the post office for the cost of the signs and their installation.

The public safety committee will look into the issue of whether or not the borough should require bonding from small businesses who need to cut open a roadway for any reason.

For now, the borough will charge $150 for any entity or business that needs to cut open a roadway until any decision is finalized.

The moratorium is continuing on $10 parking tickets for those vehicles parked over the line in any of the parking stalls.

The length of many of the parking stalls are not standardized. The borough is hoping to address this, but is currently working on a Green Streets project before taking care of making the parking stalls standardized.

Fees still will be charged for those individuals who park in handicapped spots illegally.

In other business, Pinskey said borough officials will soon be meeting with a representative from the Department of Environmental Protection in regards to issues with Sherrick Run that caused flooding to the property of several different residents in late July and early August.

Also, Pallone said he is currently looking to see if the borough can purchase surveillance cameras for the Gazebo Parklet for less than $10,000 through the COSTARS program so they won't have to pay to advertise and accept bids.

Council also adopted a resolution concerning waiving the police pension plan contributions as well as a fee schedule for the use of borough properties.

Pallone had concerns that some of the fees were outdated, so Pinskey appointed a committee of councilmen Jack Davis and Bud Santimyer, along with Mayor Chuck King, to review the fees and make any recommendations to council by its February meeting.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.