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Perry Township holds line on taxes

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007

Perry Township supervisors passed a balanced 2008 budget without a tax hike.

The budget passed 2-0, with Supervisors A.J. Boni and Janet Galla offering approval. Supervisor Dwayne Rose was absent from Tuesday's meeting. Rose has not attended a meeting in more than a year.

The $602,500 budget anticipates $85,000 in real estate taxes from a rate of 1.127 mills, or $11.27 for each $10,000 of assessed value. Earned income taxes will bring in an additional $171,000, with state liquid fuels taxes adding $103,295. Supervisors anticipate carrying over $42,000 from this year.

Boni said township taxes have not increased since 1998, under a previous administration.

Road projects represent the greatest expenses, with $89,665 designated for road construction and $52,128 for payments on two trucks, a wheel loader and an arm mower.

General government expenses will run $45,000 and street lights will cost $15,000. The roadmaster's salary will be $29,750, the secretary/clerk will receive $13,112 and a part-time road worker will receive $17,675.

Supervisors scheduled their reorganization meeting for 6 p.m. Jan. 7, with the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m.

At the reorganization meeting, supervisors will choose an ambulance service.

The DeAngelis family of Perry Area Ambulance Service is considering selling the nonprofit business. David Dernar, president of EMS Southwest, Murrysville, said he is negotiating to buy the service.

Dernar said his company has 11 vehicles in Greene County. If EMS Southwest does acquire Perry Area Ambulance, Dernar said subscription rates would remain the same and that his company accepts insurance payments.

Boni said other ambulance services are likely to attend January's meeting and offer proposals.

"We've got to look out for the best interest of the community," Boni said. "We haven't gotten any official report from Perry."

Fayette EMS, which is based in Connellsville but operates stations throughout the county, will submit a proposal, according to Rick Adobato, director of operations.

"We will be a major player in this," Adobato said.

In other business:

= Auditors will meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 8. Part of their duties involve setting supervisors' salaries, which may be different from those in the budget supervisors approved.

= Supervisors agreed to hold a hearing during the Jan. 7 meeting to hear testimony for and against allowing Mike Grimes to transfer a liquor license for Campys Pizza & Six Pack Shop. Grimes said he would only sell beer. Campys will be located in the former Fox's Pizza Den along Route 51. It should be open for non-beer sales in a few weeks.

= Supervisors endorsed a resolution the Fayette County Association of Township Officials plan to vote next week requesting that the county commissioners "implement systems and revise procedures such that voting will be more efficient, will actually consume less time, will enable the senior citizens to vote without difficulty and reduce the waiting time voters have experienced as a result of the existing machines and equipment."

Boni, who serves as association president, said many residents throughout the county have complained that the electronic voting machines are confusing and confusion caused long lines.

= Supervisors agreed to explore the possibility of joining in with Lower Tyrone to provide public water to Banning Hill residents. Like Lower Tyrone officials, Boni said the project may be too expensive, but he would pursue grants. As many as 35 households could be added. Barney Road residents will receive public water as part of a separate ongoing project.

= Supervisors agreed to donate two old bleachers to the Elizabeth Forward Girls' Softball League.

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