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Connellsville to sell city-owned properties

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By Rachel Basinger
Saturday, March 23, 2013, 12:26 a.m.

Connellsville officials are looking to get some small parcels of property off the city's upkeep list and back onto the tax rolls.

A resolution was passed this week to accept bids on two small, city-owned vacant properties — one on East Murphy Avenue and one on Bottom Street.

Mayor Charles Matthews said the city has dozens of pieces of property, but aren't too valuable.

“We have several pieces of property, but not a lot of really valuable property,” he said. “We decided to start cutting some property out and get it back on the tax rolls, and we started with these two because we had some interest in them in the past. We thought we would use this as a test-run, to see if we would look at selling other property.”

The cities' properties of value include the parks, municipal building and fire department building.

City Treasurer Judy Keller gave her monthly report.

There is $255,121.15 in the general fund PNC checking account, which includes $112,937.63 in property and per-capita taxes collected and disbursed into the general fund since March 1, she said.

Although the payroll usually is about $60,000 every two weeks, Keller said the next payroll is $95,142.47, which includes sick leave buy-back and uniform allowance.

“Once the payroll amount has been deducted, the general-fund checking account balance will be $159,978.68,” she said. “As of now, I can't see that the city has bankrolled any reserve toward the payment of the $675,000 loan due on Dec. 31.”

In other action:

• Under Matthews' police department report, resolutions were passed to certify a revised and updated list of civil-service, eligible candidates to become a police officer; and to amend a city ordinance, which now will require payment of all annual business registrations by a certain date, or an increased penalty will be imposed.

• Council agreed to amend the contract with Advanced Disposal, formerly Veolia, regarding pickup of recyclables.

Rather than have recyclables picked up on four different days throughout the city, they will now be picked up on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The garbage contractor will send letters to city residents.

• Robert Flockvich was reappointed to the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority. His term will expire Jan. 1, 2018.

Council also passed resolutions to:

• Exonerate the city treasurer from collecting 2013 real estate taxes on city-owned properties that are exempt.

• Renew the city's contract with the state's Costars Program for road salt, effective Aug. 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014.

• Accept the $150,000 Keystone grant awarded to Carnegie Free Library.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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