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Sharpsburg holds line on property taxes; eyes major Main Street upgrades

Tawnya Panizzi
| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, 10:51 a.m.
Sharpsburg residents will pay the same in property taxes in 2019.
Sharpsburg residents will pay the same in property taxes in 2019.

Sharpsburg council approved its 2019 budget, holding taxes steady and targeting projects to continue the town’s revitalization.

Residents will pay a property tax rate of 7.15 mills, the same as last year. The owner of a home assessed at $100,000 will pay $715.

The $2.7 million budget includes a variety of projects aimed at making the town safer and more appealing to potential residents and business owners, leaders said.

“The major items in the budget will include more demolition of blighted, abandoned properties, as well as street paving and catch basin-storm sewer replacements and repairs,” Manager Bill Rossey said.

Highlights of expenses include $934,000 for police, $81,000 for fire services and $17,000 for code enforcement.

There is $30,000 slated for paving.

Rossey said council hopes to hire a few part-time police officers and also to continue its fight against absentee landlords and blighted properties. Over the past four years, council has acquired grants to help reduce the number of dilapidated properties from 100 to 20.

Major improvements are slated for Main Street, after the borough landed $750,000 to begin transforming the business corridor.

Rossey said money will be used to install safer sidewalks, lighting and benches.

Grants were awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Allegheny County Department of Community and Economic Development.

Rossey expects crosswalks and ramps to be improved, as well as street lights, trash cans and bike racks to be replaced.

The goal is to make the downtown business district more walkable, he said.

Council will open the first phase of bids on Jan. 17. Work is expected to begin late in spring or early summer.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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