Export mayor touts lower tax
By Amanda Dolasinski
Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
During the past three years, Export residents celebrated the completion of a decade-long flood control project and a new district magistrate building.
Even more, they're savoring a tax decrease.
Mayor Michael Calder applauds those accomplishments and hopes to be re-elected; he is being challenged for the Democratic nomination in the May 21 primary by former Mayor Bob Campagna.
Calder defeated Campagna in the 2009 mayoral election. Campagna had an unsuccessful bid for council in 2011.
“I want to continue the trend that we've had over the last 3½ years of improving the quality of life in Export,” Calder said. “We've had, quite frankly, a historical run in terms of setting goals and accomplishing them.”
Last fall, the $9.8 million Turtle Creek flood control project was completed. The project was aimed at taming the creek so that water would stop damaging homes and businesses.
Later that year, Export opened Westmoreland County's newest district magistrate office, in which Charles Conway presides over cases for Murrysville, Export and Delmont.
Most recently, Export council approved a 2-mill decrease in the property tax rate. The average homeowner will pay about $50 less this year.
“The tax decrease puts money right back in the pockets of the citizens here,” said Calder, an attorney in Pittsburgh. “Council is always careful of spending Export citizens' dollars. You don't hear that happening very often.”
If elected, Campagna said he would focus efforts to improve the safety of the borough and maintain the appearance of the downtown.
The borough was able to obtain surveillance cameras for the downtown area when Campagna served as mayor in the early 2000s. He also touted the establishment of a crime watch organization during his term to ensure safety.
“We had a lot of complaints about people wanting a stepped-up police patrol, so we got a crime watch organization together,” Campagna said. “Records will show my concern for our community was and still is for the safety of its people and businesses.”
Campagna said he hopes to build on the safe reputation and downtown beautification to attract people into the area.
“Kennedy Avenue is the main artery through our downtown that so many people use,” he said. “It's an asset to our community. I'm an advocate to do what we can do to add anything we can to our downtown.”
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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