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West Kittanning holds line on taxes

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 1:51 a.m.

West Kittanning property owners will pay the same in borough real estate taxes next year as they did this year. Council on Tuesday night passed a 2014 budget of almost $340,000.

The borough's tax rate remains at 8.25 mills. The budget is expected to increase by 2 percent, which is about $6,500 more than this year.

Each mill generates about $20,000 for the borough, according to Carly Cowan, borough secretary/treasurer.

“Overall, our budget is a little bit higher, but a lot of our expenses held steady,” Cowan said.

Cowan said the budget includes a 3 percent cost-of-living wage increase. The secretary/treasurer, police and public works department wages amount to just over $147,000, or 44 percent of the budget.

The 3 percent increases cost the borough about $4,400.

The borough currently employs Cowan, two people in public works and two in the police department, according to the borough's website.

West Kittanning's largest increase was in its workers' compensation insurance coverage for the volunteer fire department, which jumped 17 percent to about $7,850, Cowan said.

Council President Cliff Neal said council raised the borough's millage last year by 1.25 mills to help construct its new borough building. Located on Arthur Street, at the former West Kittanning Elementary School site, it should be completed in January.

“The budget is a template, so we're not going to be dead-on every time,” he said. “We've been pretty good at keeping on it.”

The budget vote was 6-0, with Councilwoman Paula Henry absent.

Neal said council plans to meet again on Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the West Kittanning Volunteer Fire Department, 401 Arthur St., for general business.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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