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Ford City holds tax line, raises utility rates

| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2001

FORD CITY - The borough's 2002 budget will not include a real estate tax increase but there will be a raise in the monthly utility bills charged to residents for borough services.

At Monday's special public meeting borough council voted 4-0 to pass a tentative budget in the amount of $1,095,300 with the tax rate remaining at 11.35 mills. Council also voted 4-0 to advertise the tax ordinance.

The budget will be open for public review. A vote on the final budget is scheduled for Dec. 27.

Voting in favor of the tentative budget were Lou Vergari, Jackie Fijal, Tim Malec and Homer Pendleton. Vergari and Fijal were not re-elected to their seats leaving only two returning council members, Malec and Pendleton, to vote for the budget.

Councilman Jerry Miklos was absent. Councilman Dan Cousins attended the meeting but had to go to work long before the vote was taken.

Vergari said the proposed utility increase is $36 per year per household, the monthly utilities bill going up $3 from $38 to $41.

The water rate will be raised from $15.05 to $17 and the garbage rate from $11.95 to $13. The sewage rate at $10 and the landfill closure rate at $1 remained unchanged.

According to Vergari, the utility bill increases for the more than 1,700 households and businesses in the borough will generate about $65,000 in revenue. Those funds will be used for specific utility projects and purchases, he said.

"We held the line on taxes," said Vergari. "But the increase for water is for chemicals going up, the filter beds needing refurbishing, repainting the inside of the water towers and well reconstruction."

"The garbage increase is for a new garbage truck."

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