AlliedNews.com - Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

December 7, 2012

GC goes 31 years without tax hikes

GROVE CITY — Grove City council passed its proposed 2013 budget for $15,290,086 on Monday, which is about 2 percent more than this year's $15,009,979 but with no increase in millage for 31 years.

Property taxes will remain steady at 2.5 mills as they have in the budget since 2009. The borough last increased mills in 1981 for a building project, but has since decreased millage four times.

"It was very difficult (to balance), but our department heads were all willing to compromise," said borough manager Vance Oakes. "The budget doesn't address every need we have but it does significant ones."

The budget will be funding a number of key projects this year, including a new fire department that will be added to the police station on Pine Street - along with updating the firing range, locker room and leaky roof at the station - for $1,382,800 by Hudson Construction, Hermitage, awarded on Monday.

An amount of $34,075 was also nodded by council for a vehicle exhaust gas extraction system for the slated fire truck bays, for the health and safety of firefighters.

The principal and interested expected to be paid in the 2013 budget on the fire station will be $70,000. That will increase to $138,000 in 2014. Construction is expected to be finished in June.

"It seems steep," said councilman Joel Bigley, but firefighters have waited decades for a new home. They're already sharing garage space with police, because the station on North Broad Street is too small for all the trucks.

Phase II improvements at the wastewater treatment plant on Greenwood Drive will continue next year, and will require a rate increase of $2 per household to fund a loan obtained this year for $3,300,000. Tap-fee reserve funds for $1,200,000 will be added to the principal to complete the renovation.

A second phase to continue revitalization downtown will involve a contribution of $125,000 from the borough's operating reserves, which will match the same amount being funded by Grow Grove City Inc., the administrative arm for revitalization.

The borough is also seeking a grant for $110,000 from the Mercer County Metropolitan Planning Organization for the project, which will include streetscape and infrastructure upgrades on Pine Street from North Center to South Broad.

Bigley, chair of the Infrastructure Committee, noted the borough contribution was generous, considering what he believed would be more important uses of the $125,000 for infrastructure projects important to residents, like updating water lines.

The budget will include continued costs next year to replace the borough's 1980s-era accounting and finance software with a new program by Springbook software of Portland, Ore..

Oakes said he will be looking at different health insurance options. The borough has been using Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, expected to have a rate increase of 16 percent next year, which would hit the budget with an additional $69,327 cost.

"I see a rate increase of 16 percent to be a lot all at once," he said. He told council that he should have more information about options at next month's meeting.

The borough may be getting revenue from tap-in fees to its wastewater treatment plant from a Dollar General and 40 homes in Mercer Township; however, the borough needs to see if it has enough capacity to share.

Utility lines and pole transformers will continue to be replaced in 2013. The borough wishes to convert its electric capacity to a 12,000-volt system when the replacement work is completed in a few years.

The borough's Park Street water plant is getting in line with the Energy Independence and Security Act, which requires the installation of lights by 2014 that are 25 percent more efficient than incandescent light bulbs.

Bigley - who is the only Democrat on the board - commended the borough employees for their hard work in balancing the budget without raising taxes, but entreated council members to consider millage increases in the future for "long-term planning," he said.

"Generating revenue is a need we have to address," Bigley stated. "It's not palatable to think of the 'T' word ... (but) we can't just squeak by."

Council president George Pokrant was open to Bigley's comments but believed the borough's frugality was important due to the tough economic crisis in the nation.

Published Nov. 21, 2012, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201A Erie St., Grove City.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • hula loom class1.jpg Park staff: Walk this way

    Slippery Rock Community Park is already home to playgrounds, pavilions, classes, programs and more for all ages, and a two-mile walking trail would be a welcome addition.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal park proposed for Rt. 258

    The owner of Living Treasures Wild Animal Park is proposing a similar facility for Mercer Butler Pike in Liberty Township that could open in about two years if all goes as planned.

    July 30, 2014

  • Blackburn gets probation, time served

    A man whose former Grove City apartment was raided by state and federal authorities in December for weapons and military items was sentenced in Mercer County court Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • sru chiequestrian center.jpg SRU plays host to China

    Slippery Rock University is one step closer to potentially forming a partnership with a university in Wuhan, China, which would expand educational opportunities for staff and students.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • gc farm mkt produce table1.jpg Farm fresh

    The Olde Town Grove City Farmers' Market was packed with shoppers and vendors on Thursday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling violations, actions reported

    Six violations and 42 permits for local gas and oil drilling were issued in June by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

    July 29, 2014

  • Board action, CAN will help locals

    Grove City school directors on Monday approved a request made by two nonprofits that will further help local families, and they touched on an issue concerning administrative employees' work schedules.

    July 29, 2014

  • live united fire merkel.jpg Local live United

    The Grove City Area United Way is kicking off a summer campaign that features locals who are examples of how to "Live United."

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • gina burger-file.jpg Police: 'Cool customer' arrested in girl's murder

    An Ohio man charged in the murder of Gina Marie Burger, 16 - whose body was found at Tri-County Industries waste transfer station in Pine Township June 25 - stuffed her body in a playpen bag and carried it past her mother before disposing of the remains in the trash, police said.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public questions Rock band director's position

    Slippery Rock school board members on Monday heard from several people who were concerned about the marching band director's position, which has been opened up for anyone to apply.

    July 11, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide