Verona real estate taxes to remain the same, sewage rates to increase next year.
Verona council holds the line on real estate taxes in next year’s budget, but sewage rates will increase starting in January.
Council unanimously adopted its 2019 spending plan and kept the tax rate at 7.8 mills.
The budget is balanced at around $2.381 million. One mill generates approximately $96,400 in revenue for the borough.
The budget includes improvements to Cribbs Field such as basketball court repairs, a new water fountain at the pavilion, equipment inspections and play-set repairs there and at Riverbank Park.
Council President Sandy Drabicki-Bell said she’s pleased no additional tax dollars were needed for the improvements.
“It’s exciting to move forward,” she said. “Looking at the new year and plans coming to fruition, the kids in the community (will) have recreational opportunities in a safe environment.”
Council also plans to pave Peach Alley between Third and Fourth streets, as well as portions of First and Second streets.
Drabicki-Bell said the alley needs to be a priority because it’s a safety hazard with children riding their bikes between all the potholes and cracks.
“Some of these holes are big and deep,” she said. “People put cones or police bring (barriers) to block that area.”
Councilman Raymon Suchevich commended borough Manager Jerry Kenna and his colleagues for their work on the budget.
“Thanks to everybody that helps us do everything and happy holidays to everybody,” he said.
Taxes were reduced last year from 8 mills to 7.8.
Sewage rates will go up a few bucks beginning the first of the year.
Current rates include $9 per 1,000 gallons and $19 per quarter. That goes up next year to $11 per 1,000 gallons and $22 per quarter.
Bills are sent out by the Oakmont Water Authority quarterly.
Kenna explained the rate hike was to absorb Alcosan’s 7 percent rate increase and raise funds for upcoming sewer repairs.
“Our infrastructure needs too much work,” he said. “We have been working very hard to improve the sanitary sewer lines in the community.
“We have applied for and have been awarded several grants related to sewer lining projects, however, we are responsible for local matches for each grant. It’s imperative that the borough work to continue lining sanitary sewer lines over the next several years and, unfortunately, the increase is necessary to do that.”
Borough Engineer Matthew Pitsch said sewer line repairs, particularly along Diamond Way, Parker Street, Union Avenue and High Street, are planned for next year.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, email@example.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.