South Fayette approves budget without tax increases

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Taxes will remain the same in South Fayette Township for 2014. The board of commissioners approved a balanced $9,095,678 budget at its Dec. 11 meeting. Board members Joseph Horowitz and Tom Sray were absent.

The board also approved the township’s real estate taxation millage level, which will also stay the same as the 2013 rate at 3.48 mills.

In addition to the budget approval, commissioners approved a resolution establishing the township’s fees. The resolution includes several fee increases including building, sign and others. The fee resolution also calls for application fees of $5,000 for oil and gas development along with an additional $25,000 that must be given to the township to be placed in an escrow account from which it may draw from or be reimbursed for administrative expenses and engineering costs associated with reviews and inspections.

Prior to the vote, during the public comment portion of the meeting, resident Fred Cardillo stated that he had some concerns about the mining application and escrow fees.

“It’s not because I’m advocating mining,” he told the board.

Cardillo, who works for a company that does blasting, said he was concerned about the high fees and the impact those fees would have on GFCC permits, or government financed construction contracts for re-mining or reclaiming previously mined land.

He said reclaiming previously mined land helps to combat the problem of orange water due to runoff.

“I don’t know if anyone would come in if they had to pay $5,000 or $25,000,” Cardillo said, adding that the reclamation is good for the environment and that the Department of Environmental protection is “100 percent behind it.”

Cardillo also pointed out that there’s about 20 to 30 acres of property in Boys’ Home Park that was strip mined in the past and has not yet been reclaimed. He said in that part of the park, grass and trees do not grow.

In other business:

• The board approved moving forward with a proposal from Civic Plus to redesign the township’s website at a cost not to exceed $23,000. The redesign should take between four and six months. South Fayette residents with experience in website design or technology who are interested in helping with the process are encouraged to contact the township.

• The meeting schedule for 2014 was set. The first meeting of the year will be held at 5 p.m. Jan. 6 and will be the board’s reorganization meeting. Jessica Cardillo will be sworn in as commissioner at that time.

The board of commissioners will hold workshop meetings at 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month and voting meetings at 7:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month. The November and December meetings will each be moved up one week.

• The board approved a collective bargaining agreement with the township’s police union. The agreement is a four-year agreement and runs through Dec. 31, 2016. It calls for a three percent raise each year for the township’s 15 officers starting with the current year.

• The board approved a proposal from PVE Sheffler for coordination of traffic signals in the township. The traffic-signal update is related to the development along Washington Pike and Route 50. At a Dec. 4 meeting, township engineer Mike Benton stated that South Fayette had been looking into adaptive traffic signal systems which would sense traffic and adjust the signals accordingly. The traffic signal coordination will be paid from funds from the township’s traffic impact fees.

• The board approved a one-year contract extension with Waste Management for garbage and recycling pick-up in the township.

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Published Dec 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm (Updated Dec 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm)

South Fayette approves budget without tax increases

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