Fox Chapel taxes increased to pay for road projects
Fox Chapel property taxes will increase for the first time in four years to facilitate aggressive road rebuilding in 2019, borough leaders said.
Council approved a tax rate of 2.95 mills, up 0.45 mills from last year. The owner of a home assessed at $200,000 will pay $590, or about $90 more than in 2018.
“(The increase) is necessary for expanded road rebuilding while maintaining the level of other services expected by our residents,” said Joy Hardt, finance director.
Council committed more than $2 million — nearly one-quarter of the budget — to road reconstruction because it is a top priority for residents, she said.
Other budget highlights include $390,000 to support the Cooper-Siegel Community Library and $325,000 toward the purchase of a pumper truck for the Fox Chapel Volunteer Fire Department.
Total cost is expected to be $675,000, with the balance paid by donations collected over the past three years.
Hardt said council also approved the purchase of a new vehicle for the police department and one for code enforcement.
The borough launched its revised road rebuilding program in 2012 after previous tar-and-chip sealing projects resulted in deterioration of borough roads, Hardt said. The new plan, in addition to yearly paving, includes installation of catch basins and underdrains to eliminate winter icing and lengthen the life of roads, she said.
Council agreed in 2017 to begin dedicating $1.4 million a year to contracted rebuilding and $300,000 in storm sewer materials.
In 2018, the borough was able to target 14 roads.
Manager Gary Koehler said council will determine a final list of roads to be rebuilt this year after winter has taken its toll.
“In early spring, we will bid out the joint paving contract with O’Hara and Blawnox, and we will have determined which roads by then,” he said.
Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.