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Allegheny

Allegheny Township to be debt free but more costs looming

| Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 1:30 p.m.
Tomislav Forgo

By the end of the year, Allegheny Township supervisors expect the township’s general debt to be paid off.

But don’t hold your breath for a real estate tax cut.

Supervisors Chairman Kathy Starr said the township’s indebtedness as of Jan. 10, 2010, was $1.6 million. At the end of June, she said, the remaining debt was $208,000, according to figures provided to officials by township Manager Greg Primm.

“He’s pretty good with numbers, and he said it will be paid by Dec. 31,” Starr said.

“We put money in our budget, so we are sure to pay it off by the end of the year,” Starr added.

She was referring to the 2 mills of tax the township collects specifically to apply to debt service.

The debt the supervisors referred to does not include the $500,000 the township borrows every five years to update its equipment and then pays off. Also, Starr said the 2 mills of debt service taxes cannot be applied to the equipment loan.

Although township officials expect the general debt to be retired by the end of the year, Starr said the 2-mill tax isn’t going anywhere.

She and Supervisor Joe Ferguson said that’s because it will be used to finance two upcoming projects.

“We’re looking at the (township) building,” Ferguson said.

He said the township building is in need of improvements, particularly additional insulation, the creation of emergency exits and additional storage space.

One example discussed was Primm’s office, which is off the main entrance. The lack of insulation is noticeable there during the winter, according to Ferguson.

“”When its zero degrees outside, it’s probably 20 degrees in Gregg’s office,” he said. “It’s a wonder the pipes in that part of the ceiling don’t freeze because of the skylight and the lack of insulation.

“Our utility costs, I know, would decrease with better insulation.”

Ferguson said the other project the township will probably borrow money to complete and then pay down using the 2-mill tax is for the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Program (MS4).

It is an extensive program by the state Department of Environmental Protection to reduce water pollution from stormwater runoff. Communities are mandated to do that through specific projects they are tasked with undertaking and financing.

Starr said the township is estimating that the township’s MS4 projects will cost about $600,000.

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