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New Stanton gets appeal for taxes on UPS building

| Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

UPS in New Stanton has filed an appeal of its tax assessment.

The company filed a tax appeal at the end of August for property in New Stanton on Center Avenue, which affects borough, Hempfield School District and Westmoreland County taxes.

New Stanton receives $8,500 a year, the county receives $60,000 and Hempfield School District receives $209,000.

“That's one of our largest” tax incomes, said borough council President Scott Sistek. The fair market value for the property is $13.3 million, but it is assessed at $2 million.

UPS has appealed its assessment before. Solicitor John Campfield said that on the two occasions he could remember, the matter was resolved through settlement but required the taxing bodies to hire an appraiser.

Campfield said the appeal did not contain specific information.

“We don't know what they're seeking,” he told council. “They need an appraisal of property to determine it's worth less than $13.3 million.”

Council voted to approve the land development plans for the Hudson Group, which is developing the new Department of Environmental Protection building in the borough.

The plans had been held up because of disagreements and missing permits.

A sanitary sewer line easement was agreed upon, which will allow for a stormwater connection from the DEP office to a storm drain on Bair Boulevard. The developer has agreed to share in the potential cost of upgrading Bair Boulevard because of increased traffic, offering $16,000.

Emil Bove, borough engineer, made it clear that theproject cost the borough through hours billed for his and Campfield's services.

“Myself and John have spent a lot of hours working with the developer to ensure the borough gets what's required per the ordinance,” he said. “There was a lot of back and forth. It's been every day for the past several weeks.”

Bove said the Hudson Group would probably be moving equipment on to the site next week.

“You'll see the times on the bills,” he said. “It was a lot put into this to get this thing into motion for tonight.”

New Stanton is on the verge of canceling its Veterans Day ceremony. Councilman Wilbur Bussard has spent the past several months looking for a veterans group to participate in the program on Nov. 11, but many veterans groups have already been booked for other commitments that day.

Kate Wilcox is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or kwilcox@tribweb.com.

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